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Prospective Student Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

    Undergraduate Admissions

    Undergraduate admission criteria and deadlines can be found at the Viterbi School of Engineering admission site. For more information, prospective undergraduate students should contact the School of Engineering directly:

    Engineering Student Affairs
    University of Southern California
    3650 McClintock Avenue
    Olin Hall of Engineering (OHE) 106
    Los Angeles, CA 90089-1455
    (213) 740-4530
    (213) 740-8690 fax

    Master's and Graduate Certificate Admissions

    Details on the graduate application process can be found in the Master's Program Handbook. Master's students generally will not receive offers of departmental support. Be sure to include all required materials in your application, due dates follow:

    • January 15th for Fall admission (or December 15 for merit-based scholarship consideration)
    • September 15th for Spring admission
    • Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed only at the department's discretion, so it is highly recommended that you submit your applications on time.


    Doctoral Admissions

    Information on the graduate application process can be found in the Ph.D HandbookBe sure to include all required materials in your application, due dates follow:

    • Dec 15th Fall admission and to be considered for departmental support
    • Sept 1st Spring admission only, no departmental support

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Other than the online application for admission are there any additional materials that must be submitted directly to the ISE Department?
    Please submit official transcripts from all institutions where you have been enrolled, GRE/TOEFL test scores, a statement of purpose, financial statement and 3 letters of recommendation (optional but highly recommended). You must submit all application materials to:
      University of Southern California
      Office of Admission
      University Park Campus
      Los Angeles, California 90089-0911
      (tel) 213-740-1111
      (fax) 213-740-1556
      (email) gradadm@usc.edu
Is the Engineering Management program only offered at night?
    The EMT program can be completed during the day or night. Through the USC Distance Education Network, the program has been designed to accommodate working individuals who attend classes part time or those who wish to pursue the degree on a full time basis.



Are there any specific requirements (e.g. topic, word limit) for the "Statement of Purpose"?

    The statement of purpose should be between 1-5 pages in length and should clearly outline your interest in that particular field of study, your goals, and how you can contribute to the program and benefit from it. In addition, the statement of purpose can be used to explain any problems an applicant once had throughout his/her academic history. However, please do not submit an autobiography. We are most concerned with your present and future goals as they relate to Industrial & Systems Engineering.


How do I select an ISE major?

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How do I change my major?

    Undeclared undergraduate students must go to the School of Engineering Student Affairs Office, in RTH 110 for advisement. Students already in a major should obtain a Change/Addition of Major, Minor, or Degree Objective Form from RTH 110 or the SAS Lobby, and seek advisement from the prospective major department. If the student is admissible to transfer, the form can be approved by the prospective department.

    All international students regardless of major and admitted graduate students not in ISE must submit a Graduate Application to change majors, along with a one-page statement of purpose detailing your interest in the ISE degree objective.

    Graduate students already in a major within ISE can submit the Change/Addition of Major, Minor or Degree Objective form directly to the Student Services Staff in GER 247. The ISE Graduate Committee will review students as if were are reapplying to the department.

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How do I obtain financial aid?

    To be considered for graduate financial aid, students must submit all required materials by January 1st. Aid is highly competitive, and is only available through this application process. Financial aid is only awarded in the fall semester.

    For information on and to apply for undergraduate financial aid, please visit the USC Financial Aid Office Website. Prospective students are strongly discouraged from contacting faculty regarding financial aid or research assistantships.

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