Student Services Frequently Asked Questions
DEN @ Viterbi Students
Masters Thesis Option
All Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering Masters programs are course-based. Master students interested in a thesis must identify a faculty member interested in advising the research. The masters program will contribute 4 units toward their program (CE 594a - 2 units and CE 594b - 2 units). After a faculty member has been identified, please reach out to the Astani Student Services team at to discuss a new course plan.
Because of the course-based nature, Master’s students are generally not eligible for Research Assistantships. Despite this, some research labs do take Master’s student researchers for credit or through lab funding.
Undergraduate students will undergo automatic review by the Astani Student Services team.
Master students will need to submit the Application to Graduate form on myViterbi by the second week of the semester. This allows the department to review your courses and update your STARS report.
Conditional Admits and Other Holds
If you received a conditional admit with your letter of acceptance, you must fulfill this condition within the specified time, usually before your second semester. To get this removed, contact the Astani Student Services Team at email@example.com.
International Student Resources
The ability to communicate effectively in English — to read, write and speak the language fluently — is vital to your success as a university student. USC graduate applicants are therefore expected to demonstrate their proficiency in English as part of the application process.
IMPORTANT: USC does not set minimum scores for admission purposes. The scores listed below are used for placement purposes only to determine if an admitted student will need to take the upon arrival at USC.
USC accepts the following English Proficiency Exams:
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) USC accepts only Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT) test scores. Admitted students are exempt from taking the ISE Exam with the following scores: PhD: 100 or above, with 20 or above in each section. Master’s: 90 or above, with 20 or above in each section.
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System) USC only accepts the IELTS Academic scores. Admitted students are exempt from taking the ISE Exam with the following scores: PhD: 7 or above, with 6 or above on each band. Master’s: 6.5 or above, with 6 or above on each band.
- PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic USC accepts only PTE Academic scores. Admitted students are exempt from taking the ISE Exam with the following scores: PhD: 68 or above, with 53 or above on each band. Master’s: 61 or above, with 53 or above on each band.
The student computer lab (KAP 239) is open for any Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering student. You may swipe your USCard for after-hours access. For your safety and security please close the hallway door in the evenings.
Students also have access to several other computer labs. The King Hall Computer Lab in KOH 206 is open:
- Monday- Sunday 7:30am - 11:00pm
The Salvatori Computer Lab in SAL 125 is open:
- Monday - Thursday 24 hours,
- Friday: Midnight - 11:00pm,
- Saturday 7:30am - 11:00pm,
- Sunday 7:30am - Midnight.