Student Services Frequently Asked Questions
An ADM40 hold is placed on a student’s record when the Degree Progress Office still needs to verify a student’s previous degree. Information related to this and how to take care of removing an ADM40 hold can be found here:
Undergraduate students: If you have a legitimate reason to enroll in a time conflict, you must complete the online time conflict form here and obtain the signatures of both instructors. It is your responsibility to communicate your request to both instructors, prior to completing the time conflict form. You must also provide all pertinent course and instructor information on the time conflict form. It is at both instructors' discretion to approve your time conflict request with or without conditions. Failure to provide all accurate information will result in an incomplete request and changes will not be processed.
Graduate students: Register for one of the courses that conflicts in web registration as the first step. Second, email the 5-digit section number of the course you wish to register for via the Registrar’s Office contact form here. If the course has multiple components such as a discussion, lab and quiz, you will need to provide the 5-digit sections numbers for those sections as well. Failure to provide all accurate information will result in an incomplete request and changes will not be processed.
The CSCI dept. regularly updates the following webpage with important D-clearance information and dates for each semesters D-clearance request and issuing timelines:
Typically, the CSCI dept. will only accept D-clearance requests to be submitted a week or two before the semester starts. ECE students should first register for other courses as a back-up in case they do not ultimately get into the CSCI course they had been hoping to take.
Any non-EE course must be approved by the ECE faculty in order to be applied towards a student’s degree program and be used to satisfy requirements on a student’s STARS. Prior to taking a non-EE course, students must submit an ECE Special Request form found on our dept. website here:
The student would need to fill out the section seeking approval for a non-EE course to count towards their program and list the course or courses they would like pre-approval for. Once the request is reviewed by the ECE faculty, a decision email is sent to the student. If approved, please forward on to your assigned academic advisor so your STARS can then be updated once you are enrolled in the non-EE course.
Two special things to note: 1) MSEE majors must submit this form for any non-EE course they wish to take towards their degree program, while other majors must only submit the form if the non-EE course is not listed as part of the approved courses for their program in the USC Catalogue. 2) Crosslisted courses such at EE455/CSCI 455 and EE545/CSCI 545 do not need an ECE Special Request form submitted for approval as a non-EE course to used towards degree requirements – crosslisted courses are treated like EE courses and do not count towards courses being taken outside the ECE dept.
- Ordering an official transcript (after you have been cleared to graduate by the Registrar’s Degree Progress Office) which will show that your degree is conferred.
- Ordering a verification – more information can be found here: https://arr.usc.edu/records-transcripts/verifications/
ECE advisors are not authorized to sign off on any OIS forms for graduate students. Only an advisor from the VASE Office is permitted to sign off on OIS forms. Check out information specific for international students on the VASE Office here:
Continuing USC student I-20s are handled by OIS, check out their website here:
New incoming student I-20 questions should be directed to the USC Office of Admission I-20 Processors at email@example.com.
MyViterbi is used by Viterbi academic departments to manage D-clearance requests for on-campus sections of courses. DEN@Viterbi students must request D-clearance for DEN@Viterbi course sections on the DEN website here:
Further information for DEN@Viterbi students can be found here:
Change of Major
An ECE graduate student may be able to change their major to another ECE MS program, however the change can not be officially made until AFTER the conclusion of a student’s first semester at USC. More information can be found on the ECE website by scrolling to the bottom on the following webpage:
Many students will opt to switch into the more general and flexible MSEE program. Note that switching into our MSFINE, MSECE-MLDS, or MSQIS programs will require students to take specific preliminary courses and earn specific grades in order to be approved for a change of major.
Pass/No Pass Grades (Spring 2020-Summer 2021 Only)
MS Thesis Option
In order for an MS student to complete a thesis while pursuing their master’s degree, first consult with your assigned academic advisor. The MS Thesis Option is available for students in the MSEE program and in some specialized MS programs. Typically MS Thesis students have a high GPA during their course of study (above 3.50) and have identified a faculty with whom they would like to take undertake a two-semester research project and publish it. For more info, check out the ECE website here and scroll down to Thesis Option:
As a student, you are responsible for finding a faculty member to work with you on a proposed DR topic. A list of all EE faculty and their research interests can be found here:
After contacting the proposed faculty member, you will need to receive their verbal approval that they will supervise your DR.
Progressive Degree Program (PDP)
First consult with an ECE advisor to discuss the PDP application process. Refer to the ECE PDP information provided on our website which has the minimum requirements listed here:
Your PDP course plan will need to show semester by semester what you are taking to meet both your undergraduate degree requirements, along with classes that will be taken for your graduate program. The USC Catalogue is also a useful guide in selecting appropriate electives for your chose ECE PDP course plan. You can use the following link to learn more about the master’s degrees offered by ECE:
ECE Special Request Form
Any non-EE course or course that is not part of your degree program must be approved by the ECE faculty in order to be applied towards a student’s degree program and be used to satisfy requirements on a student’s STARS. Prior to taking a non-EE course or a course you wish to substitute into your program, students must submit an ECE Special Request form found on our dept. website here:
Once the request is reviewed by the ECE faculty, a decision email is sent to the student. If approved, please forward it on to your assigned academic advisor so your STARS can then be updated once you are enrolled in the course that was approved.
Two special things to note: 1) MSEE majors must submit this form for any non-EE course they wish to take towards their degree program, while other majors must only submit the form if the non-EE course is not listed as part of the approved courses for their program in the USC Catalogue. 2) Crosslisted courses such at EE455/CSCI 455 and EE545/CSCI 545 do not need an ECE Special Request form submitted for approval – crosslisted courses are treated like EE courses and do not count towards courses being taken outside the ECE dept.
Transfer Credit for Graduate Students
Students first need to follow the instructions provided on the Registrar Office website:
Let your assigned academic advisor know once Degree Progress Office has completed their review. If the Degree Progress Office provides and initial approval and posts a course to your record for possible transfer credit, then the ECE department faculty will consider the course(s) for final review for transfer and application towards your degree requirements. A syllabus will be needed for any courses to be reviewed by the ECE department along with submission of an ECE Special Request form. Send the syllabus of your proposed transfer course to your academic advisor.
Published on September 29th, 2021
Last updated on March 8th, 2023