You are more than a formula and our admission review process doesn’t treat you like one.

Our transfer students come to USC from a wide array of paths and backgrounds. We know that people are unique and we appreciate the wide variety of paths students take to become Trojan Engineers.  There is no set formula to be admitted, you have a story to tell and we want to hear it.

Admission to the Viterbi School is determined through a comprehensive review of the entire admission application.  We strive to get to know you, your interests, and goals by reading your entire application.  While all factors are important, the most influential factor is your academic history.

There is no minimum GPA required to apply.  However, to be a competitive candidate for admission you should engage in the right courses, challenge yourself and demonstrate academic success, particularly in math, science and engineering related courses.

Transfer Students

Transfer students are very important to us.  Over 20% of our incoming class is made up of transfer students from other universities and colleges.

Finding the Right Courses

The best way to prepare for a degree in engineering from USC is to take the courses that will give you a strong foundation for all engineering programs.

Find Courses

Apply as a Transfer Student

Find more information about our Transfer Application Process and submit your application.


Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions?  Go to our Frequently Asked Questions section to get all your questions answered.


3+2 Program

Are you currently (or planning on) attending one of our 3+2 partner institutions?  Find out more about the program and which schools are 3+2 partners.

3+2 Program

Financial Aid

The need based financial aid process is separate from the admission process.  Be aware of deadlines and required documents that you must submit to be considered.

Financial Aid

2nd Bachelor’s Degree

Do you already have a degree from another university?  Would you also like one from USC?  Find out more about the application process for 2nd Bachelor’s candidates.

2nd Bach

Build the foundation for your entire engineering education.

Never Just Take G.E.’s

We do not follow IGETC

Take the Right Courses

It is very important that students wishing to transfer to Viterbi take the appropriate courses for the engineering curriculum.  We do not follow IGETC, but there are specific courses that students should take in order to be competitive for admission.

We recommend that you have the following complete or in-progress at the time of application.

  • Calculus II
  • Two Semesters of a Lab Based Science (Calc-Based Physics, Chemistry or Biology)
  • USC’s Writing Requirement
  • 30 Transferable Semester Units

Additionally, we strongly encourage you to enroll at a full time student.

While you are not required to follow these guidelines, doing so can make you a stronger candidate for admission.

If you have already met the above guidelines, you should continue to engage in additional math, science and/or engineering related coursework.

Find the Right Courses at Your Current School?

USC has several resources to help you identify transferable coursework at your institution.  It is not just important that you take math and science courses, you want to take the courses that will transfer for your degree program.  Your key resources are:

Curriculum and Discipline Info

The Curriculum and Discipline info will help  you determine which courses are required for your major of interest.  By knowing which courses are required for your major, you can choose courses that will help you progress towards graduation.

Transfer Planning Guide

If you attend a California Community College, you can use the Transfer Planning Guide (TPG) to identify transferable courses, based on your major, at your school.  You are not required to complete all the classes on the TPG to apply to USC.

Articulation Histories

If you attend a community college or a four-year institution that is not listed on the TPG website, you should review the USC Articulation Histories website.  These Articulation Histories will display courses that have transferred to USC for credit in the past.  If USC has not received a lot of transfer students from your school,  there may only be a few courses on that articulation history.  However, many more courses may be transferable.

Did You Know?

You can transfer to USC Viterbi in just one year, and do not need to complete your General Education courses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it more difficult to get into Viterbi than other majors at USC?

No.  It is no more difficult to be admitted to Viterbi than the rest of the university.  We admit our students at a similar rate as the university and the Average GPA for Engineering students is the same as the Average GPA for all USC students.

What Engineering major is the hardest/easiest to get admitted to?

All or none.  Your chances of being admitted to one engineering major are the same for all engineering majors.  The application requirements are the same for all majors.   Viterbi offers a flexible engineering program and students are able to change their major. If you are admitted to one of our programs, you are admitted to all of our programs.  However, admission to USC in general is very competitive across all majors.

What is the Average GPA for Engineering students?

3.7, but that really isn’t all that useful.  A GPA tells us only so much.  The courses that you are taking is so much more important than the number at the bottom of your transcript.  We are most concerned with a students most recent course work in the most recent semesters.  And although we do look at every course you have  taken, we also notice grade trends and pay closer attention to your math, science, and engineering related coursework.

My GPA/Scores are lower than your average. Should I even apply?

Our averages are just that…averages.  Students are admitted with higher and students are admitted with lower.  The actual numbers are less important than your overall prep.  Taking the right courses that prepare you for a degree in engineering is what you should be focusing on.

The only guarantee we can give is; If you don’t apply, you won’t be admitted.

What are the min/max number of units I need to transfer?

We have no minimum. We have no maximum.  However, if you have fewer than 30, we will take your high school academic history into consideration for admission.  And, even if you have a lot of units completed, you will still need to complete 64 units of coursework at USC to receive a degree from USC.

Do I need to finish all my GE requirements before I apply?

No.  We don’t care if you take any GE courses.  You will take GE’s to fill in your schedule (you want to make sure you are taking a full load of courses each semester), but we are much more concerned with math and science courses.  Make sure you are enrolled in those before you add any GE’s to your schedule.

Do I need to complete all the transferable courses on the Transfer Planning Guide before I apply?

No.  The Transfer Planning Guide is designed to help students figure out what courses will transfer for their intended major.  You do not need to complete all of the listed courses.  Please see our list of recommended courses on the How to Apply page.

I have taken a non traditional route. Is that going to hurt my admission?

We know that each transfer students have a different story.  While many of our students transfer after 1 or 2 years at another institution that they started right out of high school, many of our students have taken time off school to work, raise families, or have other experiences.  Whether you are continuing you education or returning after a long break, we read each application and consider students based on their merit.

I have attended more than one college/university...Is that okay?

Yes.  We review each student based on the courses that they take and not the school where they take them.  We understand that there is limited availability at some colleges and students need to go to more than one school to fill their schedule.  That is fine.

Is it better to go to a 4-year institution before transferring?

No.  We review each student based on the courses they have completed, not the school they are attending.

Can I apply for a 2nd Bachelor's Degree?

Yes.  We accept a number of 2nd bachelors degree students every year.  Just follow the same transfer recommendations as all other transfer students.  If your first degree was not in math, science, engineering or another related field, you may need to complete some courses at another institution before applying.

Can I apply for Spring?

No.  USC only accepts applications for the fall semester.  Although some of our students start at USC in the spring semester, you can not apply for it.

I do not attend a 3+2 partner school. Can I still apply to the 3+2 program

No.  The 3+2 Engineering program is a specially designed curriculum with specific, named, partner schools.  Articulation agreements have been designed, developed, and signed by the partner institutions.  Student must take very specific courses at the 3+2 partner school to be considered as part of the 3+2 program.  Student who do not attend a 3+2 partner school can apply to transfer through our regular transfer admission process.

How many years will I have left at USC after I transfer?

That depends on a lot of factors.  If you will be transferring after your 2nd year at your current institution, it does not necessarily mean that it will only take 2 years to complete your degree at USC.  You are choosing to leave the current path that you are on and the degree requirements that you started, for a new path and set of degree requirements.  Some courses may not transfer.  To find out what courses are likely to transfer from your current school, visit our Articulation Histories website.

I just finished my Junior year. Can I do my last year at USC?

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.  Although we have no limit to the number of units you can complete before transferring to USC, you must complete at least 64 units (1/2 the normal required units for an undergraduate degree) at USC to get a degree from USC.  This will usually take 2 years.

I am a current student at USC and I would like to change my major to engineering. Do I need to go through the admission process?

No.  The change of major process and the admission process are two different processes.  If you are already a current student at USC and you want to change your major to engineering, you will need to work directly with the academic advisers in the Viterbi Admission & Student Affairs Office.  You can email them at

Still have more questions?  Contact us at