Graduate Certificate in Systems Architecting and Engineering

Application Deadlines

Spring 2018: September 15, 2017

Fall 2018: January 15, 2018

The Graduate Certificate in Systems Architecting and Engineering is designed for practicing engineers engaged in the creation and design of complex innovative systems, in aerospace and commercial fields.

Entering students are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field from an accredited institution. Three years of industry experience are recommended.

Students are required to earn a cumulative B average or higher in courses taken for the certificate. The courses taken for the certificate may be applied later to the Master of Science in Systems Architecting and Engineering.

Please Note: Requirements for graduation, course offerings, course availability, track offerings, and any other degree requirements are subject to change. Students should consult with an academic advisor prior to registering for any classes.

  • A minimum of 15 units is required to earn the Graduate Certificate in Systems Architecting and Engineering
  • 5 Required Courses: 15 Units
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required for graduation
  • Courses taken for the Graduate Certificate may be applied to the MS in Systems Architecting and Engineering if the student is admitted into that program
Detailed Program Curriculum and RequirementsSchedule of Classes

Fall 2019 (Scholarship Consideration Deadline)December 15, 2018
Fall 2019 (Final Deadline)January 15, 2019
Spring 2019 (Scholarship Consideration Deadline)August 31, 2018
Spring 2019 (Final Deadline)September 15, 2018
Visit our Application Deadlines page for more information.


  • An undergraduate degree in engineering, math or hard science from a regionally-accredited university
  • Satisfactory cumulative undergraduate GPA (grade point average).
  • A minimum of three years of industrial experience is highly recommended prior to taking systems architecting, systems engineering, and design experience courses. This program is not recommended for bachelor’s degree graduates without industrial experience.


Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

Statement of Purpose (Required): The statement of purpose should succinctly describe your reasons for applying to the proposed program at the Viterbi School of Engineering, your preparation for this field of study, study interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.

Resume/CV (Required)

Letters of Recommendation (Optional): Letters of recommendation should be from faculty or others (supervisors, professional colleagues, etc.) qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study.


English Language Proficiency: In addition to the general admission criteria listed above, international students whose first language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS examination to be considered a candidate for admission. There is no minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required for admission to the Viterbi School. For possible exemption from additional language requirements, you must achieve an Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 90, with no less than 20 on each section or an IELTS score of 6.5, with no less than 6 on each band score. For more details on English Proficiency Criteria for the University of Southern California, please visit USC Graduate Admission – Proficiency in English.

The following is an overview of the tuition & fees for graduate engineering students. Both on-campus and DEN@Viterbi students pay the same tuition.


Academic Year
Per Unit Rate
3-unit Course
4-unit Course
Fall 2017 - Summer 2018
Fall 2018 - Summer 2019


Fee Description
Fee Amount
Mandatory Fees (approximate)
Fall 2017: $450
Spring 2018: $400
Health Insurance
Fall 2017: $646
Spring 2018: $1,170
Norman Topping Student Aid Fee
ENGR Computing Access Fee (On-Campus students)
ENGR Computing Access Fee (DEN@Viterbi students)
Exam Proctoring
$40 - $100 per course
Detailed Information on Tuition & Fees
This program is also available online to professional engineers through DEN@Viterbi. Because the DEN@Viterbi program provides a fully equivalent academic experience, the degree a USC engineering student earns is the same whether they are on-campus or online.

If you are interested in beginning classes as a DEN@Viterbi student next semester, explore the requirements and steps to enrolling as a Limited Status Student.

Learn More About DEN@Viterbi
Detailed Program Curriculum and RequirementsSchedule of Classes


The following courses and program requirements serve as program planning for DEN@Viterbi students. Course offerings and availability are subject to change. Please consult with advisor if you have any questions.

Required Courses
Five of the Following Courses Required – 15 Units Total.
ISE 460 | Engineering Economy (3 units)
SAE 560 | Economic Considerations for Systems Engineering (3 units)
ISE 515 | Engineering Project Management (3 units)
ISE 544 | Management of Engineering Teams (3 units)
SAE 541 | Systems Engineering Theory and Practice (3 units)
SAE 542 | Advanced Topics in Systems Engineering (3 units)
SAE 547 | Model-Based Systems Architecting and Engineering (3 units)
SAE 549 | Systems Architecting (3 units)
SAE 574 | Net-Centric Systems Architecting and Engineering (3 units)
Please complete the following form for more information.