Logo: University of Southern California

MSCENG Master of Science in Computer Engineering

MSCENG - Master of Science in Computer Engineering

A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 must be earned on all course work applied toward the MS, Engineer or PhD degrees. This average must also be achieved on all 400-level and above course work attempted at USC beyond the bachelor’s degree, whether or not it is applied toward the degree. Courses with grades of C- or below cannot be counted for graduate credit. The following descriptions of degree requirements should enable students to develop a study program that will both meet educational objectives and satisfy graduation requirements. The University Catalogue is the document of authority for basic degree requirements.
Note: Any Non-Electrical Engineering Course needs Prior Approval from the EE Faculty Advisor, Prof. Jerry Mendel.
The Master of Science in Computer Engineering is earned by completing an integrated program of at least 27 units of approved course work. It is expected that all applicants have taken the following entrance requirement courses in order to be admitted to the program. If not, the student may be required to take these courses in addition to their 27 units. A minimum of 18 units must be taken in Electrical Engineering.
  • CSCI 455 Introduction to Programming Systems Design
  • EE 357 Basic Organization of Computer Systems
  • CSCI 402x Operating Systems
  • EE 450 Introduction to Computer Networks or EE 465 Probabilistic Methods in Computer Systems Modeling
  • EE 457x Computer Systems Organization
  • EE 477 MOS VLSI Circuit Design

A Fundamental Course may be waived taking a Placement Exam.  In case a Placement Exam is not offered, then a fundamental course may be waived by a designated faculty member. 

  • EE 550 Design and Analysis of Computer Communication Networks or EE 555 Broadband Network Architectures
  • EE 557 Computer Systems Architecture
  • EE 577a VLSI System Design

Students must take at least 6 units from the following list of elective courses (cannot overlap with core courses):

Computer Science: CSCI 545, CSCI 546, CSCI 547, CSCI 551, CSCI 555, CSCI 558L, CSCI 561, CSCI 565, CSCI 570, CSCI 584, CSCI 585, CSCI 595

Electrical Engineering: EE 532, EE 536ab, EE 549, EE 550, EE 552, EE 554, EE 555, EE 557, EE 558, EE 560, EE 577ab, EE 579, EE 630, EE 650, EE 652, EE 653, EE 657, EE 658, EE 659, EE 677, EE 680, EE 681

Thesis Option

The minimum requirement is 27 units; four of these units are to be thesis.  At least 16 units, not including thesis, must be at the 500 level or higher, and at least 18 units must be in the major department.  A total of 4-8 units of 590 Research and 594ab Thesis must be included in the program.  The minimum thesis requirement in 594a is two units; in 594b, two units.


Students are encouraged to seek academic advice from faculty every semester during their regular office hours and during registration week (the week before classes begin). Please take a copy of your completed USC course work or an OASIS transcript to your advisement session to help faculty determine the right academic path for you. Advisement is not mandatory for d-clearance and registration.
Students must satisfy the degree requirements (outlined above) for the degree program in which they are admitted. Students will be held to all pre-requisites as they appear in the university catalog unless they have been specifically waived by a faculty member or the appropriate placement exam has been passed.
For approval of transfer credit, waiver of pre-requisites, waiver or substitution of degree requirements, or approval of courses taken outside the department of Electrical Engineering or Computer Science, please see EEB 102 for a special request form. This will be submitted to the faculty for a decision.
New Students
Faculty signatures are not required for d-clearance.
All pre-requisites must be satisfied by either
  1. Taking the appropriate classes
  2. Passing appropriate placement exams or
  3. Filing a special request form in EEB 102
Please come to EEB 102 if you have questions.

  1. Plan your course selection for the entire MS program.
  2. Identify all the prerequisites for all core courses and electives of interest: a) if you have taken a prerequisite course elsewhere, clear the placement test; b) or, plan on taking that prerequisite course early in your program.
  3. It is recommended that you prioritize taking courses using the following criteria: 1) prerequisite courses first; 2) Core courses; and 3) technical electives offered infrequently.
  4. Take into account in your planning that not all courses are offered every semester; some courses may even be offered only once a year.
  5. Note that very few courses are available during summer term.
Click here to apply