Ph.D. Student Resources
Congratulations on your admission to graduate study at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering. The information below is intended to assist you with the transition to graduate school at USC.
First and foremost please complete the Intent to Enroll form and submit it. It is important for you to reserve your space in the entering class.
For registration dates and deadlines, click here.
International Student Test of English (ISE test)
****Required of all new international students unless formally waived. ***
International students who have to take the International Student Test of English must do so before registering for classes. They can receive departmental advisement before taking the test. For important information, please visit The American Language Institute.
Maps and Directions
To be sure you arrive here safely and can find the important locations on the University campus. For directions to USC and campus maps, click here.
If you have any specific questions, you may contact your assigned advisor, Alexis Matthews (CEE Graduate Advisor) at email@example.com or via phone at 213-740-0573.
Please refer to the following link: Orientation for all information on orientations.
Ph.D. Screening Exam
Students entering the Ph.D. program in Civil and Environmental Engineering are required to pass the Ph.D. Screening Exam:
- The exam is composed of a written part, which is administered the week before classes start in each January, and an oral part that is scheduled later in January or in February.
- The exam is only for those students admitted to or enrolled in the Ph.D. program and in regular graduate standing.
- Ph.D. students with no prior master’s degree must take the Screening Exam before the end of their fourth semester; Ph.D. students with a prior master’s degree must take the Screening Exam at the beginning of the second or third semester (depending on when they started their Ph.D. studies).
- The screening exam questions are written by a committee of three faculty, including the student’s Ph.D. advisor, normally composed of faculty from within the CEE Department.
- The result of the exam is either “pass”, “conditional” (conditioned on some further outcome) or “fail”.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Talk to the professor teaching the class to see if you can register for his class even though it is full.
- Contact Registration about a wait-list.
If you are not a English native speaker, you need to obtain a minimum TOEFL score of 600 to qualify for a TAship. That minimum score is higher than the 580 TOEFL score, which qualifies other graduate students for ALI course exemption. Please note that having a high TOEFL score does not exempt TAs from taking the placement test and following ALI requirements for TAs.
Effective Fall 2009, all CEE students will be required to follow the steps outlined below if interested in taking Directed Research CE 490 (Undergraduate students), CE 590 (Masters students) or CE 790 (Ph.D. students).
- STEP 1 — Students get verbal approval from faculty for a directed research course
- STEP 2 — Students fill out the online form, found at: myViterbi
- STEP 3 — Faculty are automatically sent an email directing them to the admin site where they can log in and approve or deny students requests as well as view all previous semesters.
- STEP 4 — Students receive a confirmation email that their course has been approved or denied by the faculty member.
- STEP 5 — Students receive d-clearance within 1-3 business days for the course.
- STEP 6 — Student registers for the course via web registration.
Please contact the Student Affairs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.