USC Viterbi – Certificate Options

Individual Course and Certificate Options for Professionals

Credit Type & CertificationStudent Enrollment StatusAverage Timeline to CompletionAcademic Background RequirementsApplication for Admission? TuitionStart Date
Individual Graduate CoursesUSC Academic Credit, USC Transcript Limited Status 1 semester (15 weeks) Undergraduate degree in Engineering, Math, or a Hard Science with a 3.0 cumulative GPA Limited Status Approval Required USC Viterbi Graduate Tuition & Fees Semester Based (Fall, Spring or Summer)
USC Viterbi Professional CertificateUSC Academic Credit, USC Transcript, Continuing Education Certificate Limited Status 1 – 1.5 years
(3-4 courses)
Undergraduate degree in Engineering, Math, or a Hard Science with a 3.0 cumulative GPA Limited Status Approval Required USC Viterbi Graduate Tuition & Fees Semester Based (Fall, Spring or Summer)
Graduate CertificateUSC Academic Credit, USC Transcript, USC Diploma Admitted Status
(Degree Program)
1.5 - 2 years
(4-5 courses)
Undergraduate degree in Engineering, Math, or a Hard Science. Additional requirements vary by program. Formal USC Graduate Application USC Viterbi Graduate Tuition & Fees Semester Based (Fall, Spring or Summer)
Open Enrollment CoursesCEUs, Continuing Education Certificate Non-Degree, Continuing Education 3-15 Days Based on Course NoBased on Course Varying dates throughout the year
Custom Certificate ProgramCEUs, Continuing Education Certificate Non-Degree, Continuing Education Flexible FlexibleNoFlexibleFlexible

Academic Credit Courses
(Limited Status & Admitted Enrollment)

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering offers several options for individuals interested in taking graduate level courses for academic credit. These courses are available via DEN@Viterbi, our online delivery method. DEN@Viterbi strives to meet the needs of engineering professionals, providing the opportunity to advance your education while maintaining your career and other commitments. By breaking down geographical and scheduling barriers, DEN@Viterbi allows you to take your classes anytime and anywhere. 

Same Faculty. Same Program. Same Degree. 

For graduate programs, DEN@Viterbi students undergo the same academic requirements, curriculum, and must adhere to the same academic standards as on-campus students; therefore, your diploma is ultimately issued by the University of Southern California. There is no difference between remote students and on-campus students. 

Individual Graduate Courses via Limited Status Enrollment 

A student wishing to take course work for official USC credit, without having been formally admitted to a degree program, may be allowed to register as a Limited student. Qualified candidates for Limited student enrollment must have a BS degree in engineering or a closely related field (such as mathematics or science) from a regionally-accredited institution, with a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).  

They must also have the necessary background for the USC courses they wish to take. In addition, please note the following: 

  • Limited student enrollment is not a promise of future admission. 
  • A maximum of 12 units may be taken as a Limited graduate student and later applied for credit toward an advanced degree or graduate certificate. 
  • Limited students ARE officially enrolled at the University and pay full tuition. 
  • Limited students are not eligible for financial aid. 
  • Grades earned as a Limited student will be considered when applying for formal admission. 
  • Individuals who were previously denied admission to a USC engineering graduate degree program are not eligible to take courses as a Limited student. 

USC Viterbi Professional Certificates 

A USC Viterbi Professional Certificate is a continuing education certificate, provided to students upon successful completion of 3-4 pre-approved graduate level courses. Professional Certificate coursework is recommended by an organization for their employees and reviewed and approved by the Viterbi School.  

Professional Certificate participants must meet the requirements for Limited Status enrollment to enroll in courses as Limited Status students. Limited Status students are officially enrolled at the University, receive USC credit, and an official USC transcript.  

Courses are delivered online via DEN@Viterbi, USC Viterbi's Top Ranked Online Graduate Engineering Program (U.S. News & World Report, 2020).  

To receive the professional certificate, all courses must be completed with a ‘B’ or better. These courses can later be applied to a USC Viterbi Master's degree or Graduate Certificate if the student is formally admitted and receives Departmental approval.  

Professional Certificates from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering offer:  

  • Flexible Curriculum: Courses can be chosen from a variety of disciplines within engineering and computer science through the USC Viterbi School of Engineering  
  • Online Delivery: Professional Certificates are available online, via DEN@Viterbi, meeting the needs of working professionals  
  • Efficient Program Development: Professional Certificates can be created under a short timeline to assist with immediate educational needs. 

Graduate Certificates 

Graduate Certificates allow individuals to obtain advanced knowledge in a specific academic discipline, without committing to a full master’s degree program. Graduate Certificates are a minimum of 12 units. Students meet the same basic admission requirements as master’s students and are subject to the same university policies. Students who begin the certificate as Limited must apply and be Admitted to the program prior to enrolling in their third 3-unit course. A special Graduate Certificate is issued upon completion of the coursework.  

Courses completed can later be applied to a USC Viterbi Master’s or Doctoral degree if the student is formally admitted to the Master’s or Doctoral program and receives Departmental approval. 

USC Viterbi Graduate Certificates: 


Continuing Education

USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s executive education programs provide individuals and organizations the opportunity to experience the world-class education offered by USC Viterbi faculty members and industry experts. 

Our executive education programs are designed for non-degree seeking professionals. Program participants can take advantage of the flexibility and interactivity offered by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering by taking continuing education courses at your organization’s site, on USC’s campus, completely online via DEN@Viterbi or a hybrid of both in-person and virtual participation (when available). Participants receive Continuing Education Units and/or Professional Development Hours upon successful completion of their program. 

Open Enrollment Courses 

Continuing education short courses are available for individual participants throughout the year in a variety of disciplines. Courses provide professionals in several industries with the opportunity to gain advanced knowledge in a particular field over a limited period of time. Course length can vary based on a variety of factors.  

Courses are only available for non-academic credit, with Continuing Education Units awarded upon successful completion of the course. 

Open Enrollment Courses include:  

Custom Certificate Programs 

Custom Programs are designed to harness the expertise of USC Faculty and Industry Experts for the specific needs of an organization. The USC Viterbi School of Engineering Professional Programs team will assess the organization's needs and identify a faculty member with specialized knowledge in the desired area of education. Throughout the development process, the Professional Programs team will work closely with an organization to ensure that the course curriculum and method of delivery are in line with the organization's goals. 

Custom Programs are designed for organizations with 12 or more individuals interested in specific engineering topic areas. Programs can be delivered at an organization’s site, on the USC campus, online with interactivity or asynchronously via DEN@Viterbi. Courses can be modified from the current academic catalogue or research expertise.  

Programs designed are only available for non-academic credit, with Continuing Education Units and Professional Development Hours available upon request. 

Course Delivery Options

USC Viterbi Course Delivery Options 

  • On-site Courses* - Delivered at the company site. On-site courses allow organizations to save on travel and accommodations expenses. 
  • On-Campus Courses* - Held in state-of-the-art facilities on the University of Southern California campus, located in downtown Los Angeles. Accessibility to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and downtown hotels make attending courses on campus convenient for participants.  
  • Asynchronous Online Courses - Delivered completely online via our DEN@Viterbi delivery method. Modules are pre-recorded and available to access at any time. Students have the flexibility to complete the course when it is convenient for their schedule.  
  • Synchronous Online Courses - Delivered completely online via our DEN@Viterbi delivery method. The online method enables interaction with the faculty and fellow participants, allowing employees from several sites to participate simultaneously. Online instruction takes place on USC’s campus. 

* Not available while adhering to COVID-19 restrictions


On-Site CoursesOn-Campus
Online Courses
Online Courses
Individual Graduate Courses
USC Viterbi Professional Certificate
Graduate Certificate
Open Enrollment Courses
Custom Certificate Programs

Published on November 19th, 2020

Last updated on August 18th, 2023