Undergraduate Student Resources

Academic Advisement

Academic advisors are here to help students plan their academic and career goals. They will provide students with information about degree requirements, refer students to campus resources, and clarify questions about academic policies or procedures.

Students will meet with an academic advisor each semester prior to registering for classes to discuss their course plan and schedule. Advisement is required each semester for all Viterbi undergraduate students to review their course plans and lift their mandatory advisement hold.

All Viterbi freshmen students meet with a first-year advisor in RTH 110. As Viterbi Sophomores, students meet with an academic advisor in their declared major. In AME, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors are advised by Natalie Guevara in RRB 101D.

  • Freshmen:

    AME freshmen receive advisement from a first-year advisor in the Viterbi Student Affairs Office in RTH 110. See more information on their website or call 213-740-4530 to make an appointment.

  • Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors:

    AME students are advised by Natalie Guevara, located in RRB 101D. Students can make an appointment on my.usc.edu under the “Undergraduate Advisement” tab.

  • Sample study plans:
Depending on your AME Major, you will be required to take: a Capstone Elective, a Design Elective, Core Electives, and/or Technical Electives. View the Catalogue and your course plan to see which courses are required for your major. See below for specific courses or guidelines about which courses are eligible for each type of class.

AME Capstone Electives: AME 409, AME 415, AME 430, AME 443
AME Design Electives: AME 305, AME 408, AME 410, AME 415, AME 430, AME 481
AME Core Electives: Upper division (300-400 level) AME courses (not already part of degree requirements)
Technical Electives: Upper division (300-400 level) Engineering, MATH, PHYS, CHEM, per approval

Important Information to keep in mind:

  • Refer to the Schedule of Classes for more information. Course offerings, days/times are subject to change.
  • For D-Clearance or pre-requisite waivers (if applicable), please contact the “owning” department.
  • Courses cannot be applied to multiple AME requirements (i.e. AME 408 can apply as Design or Core, not both).
  • Confirm any AME Core or Technical Electives with your academic advisor, beyond the courses listed below.

AME Capstone/Design/Core/Technical Electives List: Fall 2017 Suggestions

If the 5 digit section number for a course ends in a “D” (28700D), then Departmental Clearance/Permission (d-clearance) is needed before attempting to register. Contact the department of the course you are trying to register for to obtain d-clearance. Each department’s contact information can be found on the Schedule of Classes, on the department’s page at the top.

For d-clearance for AME undergraduate courses, contact Natalie Guevara (nguevara@usc.edu). For other courses, contact that course’s department directly. (For example: to request a MATH 245 d-clearance, talk to the Mathematics department or for PHYS 153 d-clearance, contact the Physics department.)

If you receive a prerequisite error because you took a prerequisite course at another institution (i.e. transfer courses) or was waived out due to AP/IB credits (ex: MATH 125), please request a prerequisite waiver from the dept. Even if the course is being applied in your STARS report (as course substitution or waiver) if the listed prerequisite course is not the same prefix and course number, you will need a prerequisite waiver for the subsequent course.

For prerequisite waivers for AME undergraduate courses, contact Natalie Guevara (nguevara@usc.edu). For other departments, view the Schedule of Classes for their contact information.

Permit to Register: Students can find out their Registration Appointment time by viewing their Permit to Register on OASIS. Registration Appointment times are based on earned units, not including courses in-progress.

Restrictions (Holds): Be sure to view and check that you are clear of any registration holds, which are viewed on OASIS. A university office may place a registration restriction on a student’s account if the student has a pending obligation with the office. You should clear any restriction that prohibits registration before your registration appointment. You will not be allowed to register until advisement requirements are cleared.

Mandatory Advisement: All Viterbi undergraduate students are required to meet with their academic advisor to review their mandatory advisement hold. Schedule an appointment with your advisor early to ensure that you get your hold removed on-time.

USC Schedule of Classes (http://classes.usc.edu/): Use to review what is being offered by not only the AME dept, but other Viterbi School of Engineering depts. Course descriptions are provided, and in many cases syllabi for the courses.

Registration Calendar: The calendar shows dates and deadlines for registration – such as Last day to register, Last day to add/drop, Last day to change grade option, etc. This can be viewed on the Schedule of Classes on the left column.

Instructions for Directed Research

AME 490 is directed research for undergraduate students. Enrollment in 3 units is typical and you will earn a letter grade. This will count for either AME Core or Technical Elective credit. If you have any questions regarding the directed research process, please contact Natalie Guevara at nguevara@usc.edu.

If you wish to enroll in directed research, you will need to first set up a meeting with an AME professor to discuss this option and commit to a topic and research plan.

Once you have gotten the preliminary approval from your professor, do the following:

  1. Log on to http://myviterbi.usc.edu.
  2. On the main page of My Viterbi, under Student Resources, select the Directed Research link.
  3. Click AME and on the next page you will need to select a Term, Class (AME 490), Units (3), and Faculty. You will also need to include a Project Description of about 3-4 sentences. If a professor you wish to work with is not listed on the dropdown faculty menu, please email Natalie Guevara (nguevara@usc.edu).
  4. An automatic email will be sent to the professor alerting him or her of your request. They will log in to My Viterbi to either approve or deny your request.
  5. You will receive a confirmation email that your request has either been approved or denied. If approved, you can either print out the confirmation email and bring it to RRB 101 or forward the email to Natalie Guevara for processing.
  6. Once your D-Clearance is processed, you will need to log on to Web Registration to enroll in the course.
    Note that AME 490 must be taken for a letter grade and cannot be taken P/NP.
The Viterbi School’s SURE program provides Junior-year students the opportunity to get paid to work alongside top faculty on cutting-edge research projects during a summer in Los Angeles. For more info on SURE, visit their website.
Receive course credit for your supervised work experience in a professional environment related to specific degree program, academic level, and career objective, through ENGR 395 (Internship or Co-Op). Earn 1-2 units of technical elective credit by taking ENGR 395.

  • 1-unit earned in Summer
  • 2-units earned in Fall or Spring semesters
  • Graded Credit/No Credit
  • Required course for International students in order to be eligible for CPT
  • No class meetings. Successful completion of the course involves submitting materials from your co-op/internship supervisor and writing a 10-page technical report.
  • Must be co-op/internship for the current semester. Not valid retroactively.


  • You should have completed at least 3 semesters of engineering curriculum and have at least a 2.6 grade point average.
  • Your work experience in the co-op/internship MUST be directly related to your respective major.
  • You must work at least 15-20 hours per week during the fall/spring semesters. During the summer, you must work at least 30-40 hours.

To Register:

  • ENGR 395 requires d-clearance, which is given by the Viterbi Student Engagement and Career Connections office. Contact their office to get information about how to request d-clearance.
The Progressive Degree Program (PDP) gives continuing USC undergraduates another path to earning a Master’s degree from USC. The main advantages to a Progressive Degree are: 1) the option to start graduate-level classes during the senior year, and 2) a reduction in units required for the Master’s Degree. If you pursue a master’s degree from the AME Department, you will only have to complete 8 classes instead of 9.

Before applying to PDP, meet with Natalie Guevara to discuss eligibility. PDP meetings are typically held the 2nd and 3rd weeks of the semester (before the priority deadline) and a week before the start of final exams.

Additional information can be found on the PDP Website.

Declaring Leave of Absence

Undergraduate students who find it necessary to take time away from their studies may request to take a Leave of Absence with the academic advisor of their major. The Leave of Absence process eases the transition for students, both at the time they take a leave of absence and upon their eventual return to the university.

Students may elect to take a leave of absence for a variety of reasons:

  • Medical emergencies
  • Family crises or other personal situations
  • Financial issues
  • Academic difficulties
  • Religious missions
  • Military service

Typically, a leave of absence is for one semester or one academic year. A leave of absence may be extended by contacting an academic advisor.

Declaring a Leave of Absence communicates to the University that the student is unable to enroll at USC for the current or upcoming term, but plans to continue his/her studies at USC in a future term. Declaring a Leave of Absence also ensures that the student’s program of study and access to services remain active. It is expected that students will not enroll in courses elsewhere during a leave of absence.

Students who intend to return to USC should review the Leave of Absence Handbook and complete the Undergraduate Leave of Absence Form, included in the last page of the Handbook. Filing a leave of absence for undergraduates is primarily a declaration process – that is, there is not an approval or denial given. Undergraduate students simply inform the University and all necessary departments regarding their intended leave.

Guidelines for Withdrawal

Students who will not return to USC should follow the university’s Guidelines for Withdrawal.

Returning from a Leave of Absence

If you are returning from a Leave of Absence, contact your advisor directly so they can help you make a smooth transition back to USC. View the Leave of Absence Handbook for more information.

  • Contact USC Registrar to obtain a Permit to Register date – TRO 101 | Phone: (213) 740-8500 | Email: onestop@usc.edu
  • Check your student account on OASIS, under Restrictions, to see if there are any holds on your account that require action prior to registering for classes – https://my.usc.edu/
  • Contact the Financial Aid Office to be sure that any loans and scholarships are reactivated. You may need to contact your private lenders as well.


Change Your Major to AME/Viterbi

If you are a Current USC Student looking to apply to Change Your Major to Engineering, learn about the process and steps needed in order to apply. If you are a Current USC Student looking to apply to Change Your Major to Engineering, learn about the process and steps needed in order to apply. Information can be found online here: http://viterbiundergrad.usc.edu/pre-engineering/

Changing You Major to a Major Outside of Viterbi

AME Students who seek to switch their major to a discipline outside of Viterbi should meet with their current major advisor along with the advisor of the department/school they seek to switch into, so that they can review admissions and curriculum requirements.

Changing Majors within Viterbi

AME Students that want to change their major within Viterbi should meet with their current major advisor along with the advisor of the major they want to declare so that curriculum requirements can be reviewed.

Tutoring Resources: VARC, Supplemental Instruction, Math Center, Kortschak Center

VARC: Viterbi Academic Resource Center
The mission of the Viterbi Academic Resource Center is to enrich the Viterbi educational experience by supporting undergraduate students through peer mentoring, tutoring, academic skills workshops, and group study sessions, helping students learn better study habits and thrive in their classes.

Viterbi undergraduates who make VARC services part of their regular studying will be able to:

  • Show improvement in understanding their course material.
  • Apply course concepts to different types of problems.
  • Develop positive study habits and skills for lifelong learning.
  • Be a more active student and engage in the Viterbi community.

We look forward to seeing you in VARC soon! Register today & begin scheduling your free peer tutoring appointments! Appointments can be made through myviterbi.usc.edu. See registration steps on their website.

If you have any questions about our services, please contact us at (213) 740-4530 or viterbi.varc@usc.edu.

Supplemental Instruction (SI)
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic support program designed to improve the student’s academic success and increase retention. The SI program targets traditionally difficult courses and provides regularly scheduled, peer-led study sessions. These sessions are available to all students enrolled in the class at no cost. This program is brought to you by the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

  • Work in small, collaborative groups with your classmates.
  • Review lecture material, course reading, and homework.
  • Go over exam strategies with SI leaders who know the course and professors.
  • Attend as often as you like.
  • It is totally free!

View the SI website for more information about Classes / Session Schedules, and about Becoming a Leader.

Math Center
The Math Center is located in KAP 263. (Kaprielian (KAP) is the building on Vermont that is next to gate #6 and across the street from parking structure A.)  It is a suite of rooms where you can get together with friends to study, use the computers, and get help with your math classes.  Math graduate students, faculty, and assistants are available to help you.

All USC students are welcome to use the Math Center as a study room and a place to get help with mathematics, but when there is competition for resources priority will be given to undergraduates enrolled in a math course.

It is run informally and is designed for easy drop-in usage.  It works best to use the Center as a study room.  It’s a good place to meet up with your study partners and work on homework.  If and as you need help, ask one of the graduate students, faculty members or assistants.

View the Math Center website for more information about Consulting Hours, Policies, and Frequently Asked Questions.

Kortschak Center for Learning and Creativity
The USC Kortschak Center for Learning and Creativity (KCLC) is for students who learn differently and wish to receive academic support. Students who have a learning difference, a documented learning disability, ADHD or other disability-related learning challenge are encouraged to utilize the KCLC. At the KCLC, students are paired with learning assistants and/or tutors, have access to assistive technology, can study in a quiet environment and receive guidance in their preferred way of learning.