MSCE Transportation Engineering

About


Transportation Engineering focuses on the planning, design, construction, management, and performance of transportation systems. These systems consist of facilities, vehicles, data, control mechanisms, new technologies, and policies that combine to permit the efficient transit of people and freight.

Transportation systems are vitally important for ensuring any region’s access to physical, economic, and social resources. The Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) Transportation Engineering degree provides graduates with interdisciplinary knowledge and skills that are relevant to firms and agencies world-wide.

Engineering Background
  • Students with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering may be admitted without special restriction to the MSCE in Transportation Engineering program.
  • Students with a Bachelor of Science in Transportation Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Electrical Engineering and associated fields may be admitted, provided that they complete as part of their programs any undergraduate courses specified by the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
  • Students with applied social science backgrounds should consider the Master of Science in Transportation Systems Management in the Astani CEE Department, or the Master of Urban Planning (MUP) or Master of Public Policy (MPP) programs in the Price School of Public Policy.
Engineering Prerequisites
  • Two years of undergraduate calculus through differential equations
  • One calculus-based course in probability and/or statistics equivalent to ISE 225: Engineering Statistics I, or CE 408: Risk Analysis in Civil Engineering.
  • A course in transportation engineering at the level of CE 471: Principles of Transportation Engineering.
  • A course in engineering economy at the level of CE 473: Engineering Law, Finance and Ethics, or
    ISE 460: Engineering Economy.
  • A course in intermediate micro-economic theory is suggested, but not required.

Program Requirements

Each student must complete a core set of courses in transportation engineering and transportation planning defining a coherent, professional focus of sufficient depth and breadth. Core courses are supplemented with restricted electives and a technical elective. The program provides considerable flexibility, but all courses must be selected in consultation with the student's faculty advisor. The program as a whole is approved by the student’s advisor, who also verifies each student’s application to graduate.

MSCE (Transportation Engineering) students should consider the following professional society, all of which have local chapters that provide excellent networking and professional development opportunities:

Memberships are typically available at low or no cost to current students, and many organizations sponsor scholarships for local students, both domestic and international.

See also California Transportation Foundation for additional scholarship opportunities.

The program consists of at least 28 units of course work:

  • 19 units must be at the 500-level or higher in the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering or in related departments.
  • At least 16 units must consist of courses offered by or cross-listed in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

See the complete course list below for a representative program of study. Many related variations on this theme are possible, but the program below is representative of the depth and breadth expected of students. Relevant alternate courses may be approved by the student's advisor.

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, because transportation students receive individualized advisement before registering for classes.  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. Students should see their advisor with questions or if they encounter any problems.

**The Graduate Certificate Program in Transportation Systems provides students from any program with an opportunity to earn a specialized credential in transportation, and provides professionals with the means to broaden and update their education with respect to this rapidly changing field.  This interdisciplinary certificate is jointly sponsored by the Sonny Astani Department; the Price School of Public Policy; and the Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Each student’s program is worked out in consultation with faculty and staff advisors. Many program alternatives are feasible, subject to academic advice. Students may structure their programs to complete one of several Graduate Certificate programs (e.g., Geographic Information Science and Technology, Transportation Systems, Public Management, Optimization and Supply Chain Management, Technology Commercialization, etc.) as part of their 28-unit curriculum and to count up to 12 units from outside the Viterbi School of Engineering as part of their master's program. Some options and combinations may require more than 28 units to complete. A representative sample program appears below. Students should consult with their faculty advisor, Prof. James Moore, at jmoore@usc.edu, (213) 740-0595.
Representative Sample Program
Transportation Engineering (3 courses)

CE 582:  Transportation System Security and Emergency Management
CE 583: Design of Transportation Facilities
CE 584: Intelligent Transportation Systems
CE 585: Traffic Engineering and Control
CE 586: Modeling Transportation Network Supply and Demand
CE 588: Railroad Engineering
CE/ISE/PPD 589: Port Engineering: Planning and Operational Analysis

Transportation Planning (1 or 2 courses)

CE 505: Data Management for Civil and Environmental Engineering
CE/PPD 579: Introduction to Transportation Planning Law
PPD/CE 633: Methods and Modeling Tools for Transportation Planning 
PPD/CE 634: Institutional and Policy Issues in Transportation
PPDE/CE 637: Urban Mass Transit
PPDE 644: Land Use and Transportation Planning
PPD 531L: Planning Studio (Transportation section)

Computer Methods (1 course)

CE 505: Data Management for Civil and Environmental Engineers
CSCI 455x: Introduction to Programming Systems Design
DSCI 510: Principles of Programming for Informatics
ISE 435: Discrete Systems Simulation
SSCI 581: Concepts for Spatial Thinking or PPD 631: Geographic Information Systems for Policy, Planning, & Development

Quantitative Methods (1 or 2 courses)

CE 561: Uncertainty Quantification and Data Analytics in Civil and Mechanical Engineering
CSCI 570: Analysis of Algorithms
ISE 520: Optimization Theory and Algorithms: Numerical Optimization
ISE 525: Design of Experiments
ISE 530: Optimization Models for Analytics
PPD 557:
Modeling and Operations Research
ISE 532: Network Flows
ISE 536: Linear Programming and Extensions
ISE 538: Performance Analysis: Using Markov Methods
MATH/CSCI 501: Numerical Analysis and Computation
PM/MATH 544L: Multivariate Analysis
PM 603: Structural Equation Modeling or PPD 558: Multivariate Statistical Analysis
PPDE 668: Applied Econometrics for Program Evaluation

TECHNICAL OR INSTITUTIONAL ELECTIVES (1 course, if needed)

CE 471: Principles of Transportation Engineering
CE 501: Construction Practices 
CE 502: Accounting, Finance and Strategy
CE 506: Heavy Construction Estimating
CE 526: Engineering Mathematical Methods
CE 558: International Construction and Engineering
CE 561: Uncertainty Quantification and Data Analytics in Civil and Mechanical Engineering
CE 569: Project Controls 
CE 582:  Transportation System Security and Emergency Management
CE 583: Design of Transportation Facilities
CE 584: Intelligent Transportation Systems
CE 585: Traffic Engineering and Control
CE 586: Modeling Transportation Network Supply and Demand
CE: 588: Railroad Engineering
CE/ISE/PPD 589: Port Engineering: Planning and Operational Analysis
CE 590: Directed Research (in Transportation Engineering)
CSCI 455x: Introduction to Programming Systems Design
CSCI 570: Analysis of Algorithms
DSO 581: Supply Chain Management
ECON 502: Mathematical Methods in Dynamic Economics
ENE 502: Environmental and Regulatory Compliance
ENE 505: Energy and the Environment
ENE 535: Air Pollution Management: Exposure, Health Effects and Risk
ENGR 596: Internship in Engineering
ISE 435: Discrete Systems Simulation
ISE 515: Engineering Project Management

ISE 520: Optimization Theory and Algorithms: Numerical Optimization
ISE 525: Design of Experiments
ISE 527: Quality Management for Engineers
ISE 529: Predictive Analytics 
ISE 532: Network Flows
ISE 535: Data Mining
ISE 538: Performance Analysis using Markov Methods
ISE 544: Management of Engineering Teams
ISE 561: Economic Analysis of Engineering Projects
ISE 562: Decision Analysis
ISE 570: Human Factors in Engineering
ISE 576: Industrial Ecology: Technology Environment Interaction
ISE 580: Performance Analysis with Simulation
PPD 542: Policy and Program Evaluation
PPD 557: Modeling and Operations Research
PPD 558: Multivariate Statistical Analysis
PPD 560: Methods for Policy Analysis
PPD/ISE 587: Risk Analysis
PPD 617: Urban Demography and Growth
PPD 619: Smart Growth and Urban Sprawl: Policy Debates & Planning Solutions
PPD 631: Geographic Information Systems for Policy, Planning, & Development
PPD/CE 633: Urban Transportation Planning and Management
PPD/CE 634: Institutional and Policy issues in Transportation
PPD 636: Infrastructure and Modern Society
PPD 644: Shaping the Built Environment
PPDE 668: Applied Econometrics for Program Evaluation (Up to 4 Units)
PPD 692: Transportation and the Environment
PPD 694: Coastal Policy and Planning
PPD 709: Applications in the Advanced Quantitative Methods
PPDE 637: Urban Mass Transit
PPDE 644: Land Use and Transportation Planning

SSCI 581: Concepts for Spatial Thinking
SSCI 583: Spatial Analysis and Modeling 
SSCI 587: Spatial Data Acquisition
SSCI 589: Cartography and Visualization

Published on February 13th, 2017

Last updated on January 5th, 2022