MS Transportation Systems Management


Transportation is a dynamic field with many aspects. The Master of Science in Transportation Systems Management prepares students from any undergraduate background for advanced positions in the private, public, or nonprofit sector as well as for advanced graduate study.

The program core provides students with a broad basis for understanding transportation systems and needs. A required specialization provides particular depth in a focused aspect of transportation systems relating to particular set of methods or problem domain.

Engineering Background

The program is especially intended for students with undergraduate backgrounds in applied social science, science, technology, and engineering, and some design fields such as architecture; but students from other undergraduate fields can be accommodated so long as they have a sufficiently analytical background and perspective.

Students learn:
  1. the design, provision, operation, and effectiveness of transportation services in the larger context of economic and social systems;
  2. how organizations can best adapt to changes affecting the transportation environment in which services are demanded and provided, including the relationships between transportation, technology, information services, and regulatory requirements; and
  3. to characterize, analyze, and address complex transportation problems at the system level by relying on both theory and applied analytical methods.

Program Requirements

The program core consists of 10 or 11 courses totaling of 32-35 units, including a 6-course program core and an area of specialization consisting of 3 or 4 courses.

For detailed course descriptions, please see the Course Catalogue. For a course schedule, please see the Schedule of Classes. Some courses are available every semester. More specialized courses are available once a year. A few courses might only be available in alternate years.  Transportation courses offered by the USC Astani CEE Department normally do not require students to obtain d-clearance (departmental permission) to register.  Relevant courses in other departments and schools sometime do require d-clearance.  See instructions at the top of the page on which each course appears in the Schedule of Classes.

The USC Astani CEE student services staff normally advise students in this program.  Students and staff should consult with Prof. James Moore, at, (213) 740-0595 with questions, concerning substitutions, or if they encounter any problems with respect to course availability.

Program Core (21-23 units)

The program core consists of 6 courses for a total of 21-23 units. Students should complete all core courses, subject to the options indicated below.

SAE 515: Sustainable Infrastructure Systems or
SAE 541: Systems Engineering Theory and Practice or
SAE 549: Systems Architecting

CE 501: Functions of the Constructor
or ISE 500: Statistics for Engineering Managers

SSCI 581: Concepts for Spatial Thinking

Any 3 of the following 4 courses:
CE 582: Transportation System Security and Emergency Management
CE 584: Intelligent Transportation Systems
CE 585: Traffic Engineering and Control
CE 589: Port Engineering: Planning and Operations

Specialization in Transportation Infrastructure Systems (11-12 units)

This specialization consists of 3 courses for a total of 11-12 units, and is for students with an undergraduate background in science or engineering.

CE 471: Principles of Transportation Engineering
CE 583: Design of Transportation Facilities
CE 586: Modeling Transportation Network Supply and Demand or CE 588: Railroad Engineering

Specialization in Geographic Information Systems (12 units)

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This specialization consists of 3 courses for a total of 12 units. SSCI 582 and SSCI 583 may be taken in any order after SSCI 581, but SSCI 584 should be taken after SSCI 583.

SSCI 582: Spatial Databases
SSCI 583: Spatial Analysis
SSCI 584: Spatial Modeling or SSCI 593: Geospatial Data Integration

Specialization in Data Informatics (12 units)

This specialization consists of 3 courses for a total of 12 units. INF 510 and INF 549 may be completed in any order, but both should be completed before INF 550.

INF 510: Principles of Programming for Informatics
INF 549: Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science
INF 550: Overview of Data Informatics in Large Data Environments

Specialization in Systems Architecting (12 units)

This specialization consists of 4 courses for a total of 12 units, and is for students with an undergraduate background in science or engineering. A single course may not be used to satisfy both a core requirement and a specialization requirement.

SAE 560: Economic Considerations for Systems Engineering and any 3 of the following 5 courses:

SAE 515: Sustainable Infrastructure Systems
SAE 541:
Systems Engineering Theory and Practice
SAE 547: Model-Based Systems Architecting and Engineering
SAE 548: Systems/System-of-Systems Integration and Communication
SAE 549: Systems Architecting