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Industrial & Systems Engineering

Industrial and systems engineers work to improve processes, systems, and organizations. An industrial and systems engineering education provides the skills and foundations to design, analyze, and optimize complex systems. They are productivity catalysts, managing the combination of physical, capital, and human resources needed to produce and deliver valuable goods and services.

Industrial and systems engineers are consummate economic competitors who focus on developing and controlling manufacturing, production, inventory, distribution, service, and management information systems to ensure their companies’ success in the global marketplace. On the job, these engineering professionals optimize the use of scarce resources by integrating people and technology to maximize productivity, minimize cost, improve processes, and maintain high standards of quality.

Hear From our Faculty

Check out our recent faculty roundtable discussion that was held with three of our Daniel J. Epstein Department Industrial & Systems Engineering Faculty members – Dr. Kurt Palmer, Dr. Yalda Kasha, and Dr. Sze-Chuan Suen. This roundtable will discuss what the major is, the courses each faculty teach, research they conduct and the discipline of Industrial & Systems Engineering at USC Viterbi.

ISE On The Podcast

ISE Student Blog

Learn More about Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISE) at USC through our student blog. These posts were written by USC Viterbi ISE students during their time at USC to help you better understand the discipline and their life.


“Why the University of Southern California?”

“Why the University of Southern California?” "In fact, why not the University of Southern California?”  Coming from Chicago, Illinois the…
Ayomide AjayiAyomide Ajayi

Lucas’s Experience in Industrial & Systems Engineering

How I Found Industrial Engineering When I was filling out college applications during my senior year of high school, I…
Lucas MortensonLucas Mortenson

What the heck is Industrial and Systems Engineering according to Maya?

If you’re anything like me in 2019 as a high school senior, you probably relate to this title. I mean…
Maya NeuenschwanderMaya Neuenschwander

Industrial and Systems Engineering according to Ayomide Ajayi

Industrial and Systems Engineering is an ever-evolving discipline at the crossroads of statistics, engineering, and management. To me studying industrial…
Ayomide AjayiAyomide Ajayi

Finding community at the University of Southern California.

Studying Industrial and Systems Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, I am passionate about understanding systems and optimizing…
Ayomide AjayiAyomide Ajayi

A Day in My Life as a USC Senior

Life as a senior studying engineering at USC is incredibly busy. But it’s so fun! I thrive off of a…
Maya NeuenschwanderMaya Neuenschwander

Latine Lives at USC Viterbi: Cinthia Sanchez

Hi!! I’m Cinthia Sanchez a current senior at USC majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering and minoring in Law and…
Viterbi VoicesViterbi Voices


Industrial & Systems Engineers engineer better businesses. They optimize processes and look into the people side of engineering. Check out the curriculum here:

Industrial and System Engineers devise how to do things better by engineering processes and systems that improve quality and productivity. An industrial and systems engineering education provides a fundamental base for success in a broad spectrum of career paths.

Course Plan


We have a balance of programs - theoretical, computational, and experimental – which exemplify the Viterbi School’s approach to intensive and collaborative research.

Industrial and Systems Engineering focuses on creating more efficient processes that will improve overall business and engineering processes. Researchers within the ISE department at USC focus on a variety of different topics. These include: agile, flexible manufacturing and production systems, green logistics and industrial ecology, health systems improvement, human-computer interaction, management of technology, optimization and logistics,

port operations and supply chain management, renewable energy systems, transportation and logistics, collaborative engineering design, rapid prototyping, and automated construction.


Faculty will be teaching all of your classes and leading research projects as well. Your opportunities to build relationships with your faculty will begin immediately in your first year, both in the classroom and the lab. Check out a few highlighted professors with whom you may work in the future:

Dr. Najm Meshkati

Combustion, Fuels, and Engine Labs

Dr. Meshkati conducts research on risk reduction and reliability enhancement of complex technological systems, including nuclear power, aviation, and petrochemical transportation industries.

Dr. Phebe Vayanos

Center for Artificial Intelligence In Society

Drawing inspiration from the Grand Challenges of Social Work and Grand Challenges of Engineering, USC Viterbi has teamed up with the School of Social Work to use AI to focus on social issues like ending homelessness.

Dr. John Carlsson


Dr. Carlsson works on algorithms for solving problems in continuous location theory, and more generally, optimization problems that have some kind of geographic element. His research is supported by DARPA, the Navy, the Air Force, the NSF, and others.

Dr. Shinyi Wu

Health Policy Simulation

Her research involves the assessment of cost-effectiveness and the redesign of processes for delivering healthcare, analysis and evaluation of healthcare policies, and adoption and implementation of health information technology.

Don't stop here.

Learn more about the cool faculty and amazing research being done at the Industrial & Systems Engineering Department at their website:

ISE Dept. Website


Your engineering undergraduate degree will prepare you for many career and academic opportunities.

Your future with a degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering can see you pursue a number of future career paths at companies serving a variety of industries.

Whether you have always known “what you want to do when you grow up” or are hoping to find out, we are here to help you plan for your future beyond USC. We provide dedicated career services starting in your first year to help you find internships, co-ops, and full-time positions post graduation.

Implement enterprise resource planning systems

Consult on business practices

Optimize assembly and distribution systems

Develop ergonomically correct systems and interfaces

Improve hospital operations and schedules

Make systems safe by reducing errors and accidents

Manage business operations

Develop quality control and assurance systems

Student Life

We want students who like to work hard – both in and out of the classroom. Our students know that going to college is more than attending class and completing assignments. College is about making connections and joining a community of dedicated students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Our students want to work and play with people as interesting as they are, and we have a number of ways for you to do the same.

Your life can be designed how you like it. Join a professional organization like IISE. Continue your passion for volunteering with the Society of Women Engineers. Keep making art with Corpus Callosum. On this page, we have a few student organizations we think you might be interested in, but there are so many more you can get involved in!

Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers

Professional Organization

IISE brings its members opportunities which provide them with valuable experiences, skills and a familiarity with industrial engineering and related professions.

National Organization for Business and Engineering

Interdisciplinary Society

NOBE USC unites business, management, and engineering organizations to help develop professional skills in members that can be translated to success in the business world.

Illumin Magazine

Engineering Publication

Illumin is an online magazine dedicated to exploring the science and technology behind the things we encounter everyday. It is produces and published by the Engineering Writing Program in Viterbi.

Imagine yourself on campus.

Learn more about life at USC as an engineering student at Viterbi Voices:
Viterbi Voices


As students, these alumni worked hard in class and didn’t stop there. From start-ups to research, they took advantage of all corners of campus in order to bring their dreams to life and succeed post-graduation.  See what some of our alumni are doing now and how they reflect on their time at USC Viterbi.

More Engineering Disciplines

This area of the Viterbi School is just one of the many areas of Engineering & Computer Science.  Beyond this area of study, we have ten academic disciplines spread across eight departments to make up more than thirty majors and areas of emphasis. Take some time to explore all of your interests before you apply by clicking on any area below.

Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering

Design for Movement.

Astronautical Engineering

Build for Beyond.

Biomedical Engineering

Help Others Live Better.

Chemical Engineering

Make the Stuff of Tomorrow.

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Design. Build. Improve.

Computer Science

It’s Way More Than Coding.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Power Up.

Industrial & Systems Engineering

Engineering Better Businesses.

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