The MS in Systems Architecting and Engineering program is recommended to graduate engineers and engineering managers responsible for the conception and implementation of complex systems. Emphasis is on the creative process by which these systems are conceived, planned, designed, built, tested, certified, used, and retired.
Engineers with several years of work experience will learn tools and approaches for making decisions in the technical environment of today's corporations and institutions. The architecting experience can be applied to industries in defense, space, aircraft, communications, navigation, sensor, computer software, computer hardware, and commercial systems and activities. Industrial relevance is maintained through regular meetings with industry contacts and industry experienced instructors.
The Master of Science in Systems Architecting and Engineering is an interdisciplinary program administered by the Department of Astronautical Engineering in cooperation with the departments of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, and the USC Marshall School of Business.
- Specialization Tracks are available in the following areas:
- Aerospace and Mechanical Systems
- Artificial Intelligence/Neural Networks
- Automation and Control Systems
- Communication & Signal Processing Systems
- Computer and Information Systems
- Engineering Management Systems
- Integrated Media Systems
- Manufacturing Systems
- Network-centric Systems
- Software Process Architecture
International Students: This program is eligible for the OPT STEM extension.
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 27 units is required for the MS in Systems Architecting and Engineering degree
- Required courses: 15 units
- Technical management area elective course: 3 units
- SAE area elective course: 3 units
- Technical specialization area elective courses: 6 units
- Minimum number of units in the Viterbi School of Engineering: 24 units
- No more than 6 units at the 400-level may be counted toward the degree. Remaining units must be taken at the 500-level or above
- No more than 6 units of Special Topics courses (499 or 599) may be counted towards the degree
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required for graduation
Detailed Program Curriculum and RequirementsSchedule of Classes
|Spring 2024 ||September 15, 2023
|Fall 2024 ||December 15, 2023*
|* DEN@Viterbi (Online Delivery) Deadline Extension: An application extension for Fall 2024 is available for online DEN@Viterbi applicants who intend to pursue their entire degree program online and do not require a visa sponsorship. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application extension.
On-campus students who apply by published deadlines will be considered for scholarships if admitted.
Online DEN@Viterbi applicants can view the Master's Scholarships (DEN@Viterbi) page for scholarship opportunities.
Visit our Ready to Apply
page for more information.
- An undergraduate degree in an engineering, math, or hard science from a regionally-accredited university
- Satisfactory cumulative undergraduate GPA (grade point average)
- Satisfactory performance in previous coursework related to the intended major.
- Industry experience recommended but not necessary
The following materials are required to be included with your online application:
- Transcripts: Upload Electronic Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. A mailed hard copy or official e-transcript is not required for admission to our programs.
- Submit an electronic copy of official transcripts (.pdf recommended) and other degree related documents through the online graduate application (International applicants, visit USC Graduate Admission’s Country Requirements page for details on required documents)
- Unofficial transcripts from university student portals are not acceptable
- If the transcript includes a separate grading scale, make sure it is also uploaded
- For upload purposes, all transcript related documents for a single school must be submitted as one document
- If you are admitted, you will be given specific instructions on submitting your hard copy transcripts
- Personal Statement: The personal statement should describe succinctly 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.
- GRE: General GRE test scores are not required for 2024
- Letters of Recommendation (3 Required): Letters of recommendation should be from faculty or others (supervisors, professional colleagues, etc.) qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study.
ADDITIONAL MATERIALS FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS
English Language Proficiency: In addition to application requirements above, international students whose first language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS. 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. Please review USC Graduate Admission – Proficiency in English.
IMPORTANT: USC does not accept Duolingo and TOEFL Essentials test scores.
APPLY NOW - USC GRADUATE APPLICATION
The following is an overview of the tuition & fees for graduate engineering students. Both on-campus and DEN@Viterbi students pay the same tuition.
Per Unit Rate
|Fall 2023 - Summer 2024*|
|Fall 2022 - Summer 2023*|
|* Tuition is the same for on-campus and online students
MANDATORY STUDENT FEES - 2023/24
|Student Health Center Fee|
|Norman Topping Student Aid Fee|
|ENGR Student Programming Fee (On-Campus students)|
|ENGR Student Programming Fee (DEN@Viterbi students)|
$40 - $100 per course
|Health Insurance (U.S.-based health insurance is required, but it does not have to be through USC)|
Fall 2023: $948
Spring 2024: $1,765
ESTIMATED COST OF ATTENDANCE - 27 UNIT PROGRAM
This downloadable Cost of Attendance document breaks down the tuition and fees by semester. Although the actual number of courses taken each semester may vary by student as can the amount of time taken to complete the program, it can be submitted to banks and scholarship institutions.
USC students may pay their tuition and fees online, via wire transfer or using a payment plan. Details can be found on the USC Student Financial Services Payment Options page. You can check your account balance through the On-line Academic Student Information System (OASIS). Log into OASIS through MyUSC.
USC also provides a Tuition Refund Insurance option that enables students to receive a 100% refund of term tuition and fees if they are are forced to withdraw for medical reasons.
What were the main reasons you chose to pursue this graduate program at USC?
First and foremost because of the reputation! USC is a great school and its Engineering programs (go Viterbi School of Engineering!) are one of the best in the world. Secondly, USC offers a great school-work-life balance!
What are some personal achievements or experiences you’d like to share?
My greatest achievement would be how I was able to work full time, attend classes, raise two kids under two years old (during the pandemic) and be in the Air Force Reserve. Being able to juggle all these things at the same time and keep a smile on my face has been my personal best achievement and blessing.
What is one characteristic or quality about yourself that would surprise others?
This might not be a special quality but I like to think of myself as someone who likes learning -this will be my 3rd Master's Degree (all in Engineering) and I love Airplanes, I only have about 12 flight hours under my belt but someday I hope to increase that then gain my private pilot license.
What advice would you give future Viterbi students?
It is okay to be scared, to be unsure of the next step(s), to not know the answer to a question(s), to make mistakes etc. Whatever the case may be, NEVER be afraid of failure or of failing...Don't stop trying and always give it your best! You can do much more than you think you can, all you have to do is just START! If I can do it, anyone can do it!
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
DEN@VITERBI ONLINE COURSE OFFERINGS
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.
|Every plan of study requires prior written approval by the director of the systems architecting and engineering program recorded on the study plan in the student’s file.
|All courses required, students may take ISE 460 or SAE 560, SAE 547 or SAE 548 - 15 Units Total.
|ISE 460 | Engineering Economy or SAE 560 (3 units)
|SAE 560 | Economic Considerations for Systems Engineering or ISE 460 (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 or SAE 548 (3 units)
|SAE 548 | Systems/System-of-Systems Integration and Communication or SAE 547 (3 units)
|SAE 549 | Systems Architecting (3 units)
|Technical Management Area
|One Advisor-approved Course Required - 3 Units Total.
|ISE 515 | Engineering Project Management (3 units)
|ISE 544 | Management of Engineering Teams (3 units)
|ISE 562 | Decision Analysis (3 units)
|ISE 585 | Strategic Management of Technology (3 units)
|SAE 550 | Systems Architecting and the Political Process (3 units)
|SAE elective course required. 3 units total.
|Technical Specialization Area Courses
|6 units required- Any two courses from any Viterbi grad engineering area. Example- Can be any two courses from ASTE area or AME area, ISE and etc.
Please complete the following form for more information.