The Progressive Degree Program (PDP) gives continuing USC undergraduates another path to earning a Master’s degree from USC. If admitted, students have the option to start graduate-level classes during their senior year and request a reduction in the units required for the Master’s degree, which allows students to earn the M.S. degree in an accelerated time frame. The Progressive Degree Program must be completed within six years of a student's first undergraduate college course, whether taken at USC or in transfer.
The Viterbi Data Science Program offers the progressive degree option for the following M.S. degrees:
The most up to date description of the program is in the USC Catalogue.
Viterbi requires an undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher in order to apply for the progressive degree program. Students in computer science and other engineering majors within Viterbi are eligible. Data Science majors, computational Dornsife majors, and other USC majors with appropriate prerequisite coursework are also eligible.
Students considering a progressive degree program in data science should have a minimum quantitative background of Calculus I and Statistics. Acceptable courses and exams include:
A score of 4 or 5 on AP Calculus AB or BC
MATH 125 Calculus I (MATH 118 is not acceptable)
A score of 4 or 5 on AP Statistics
BUAD 310 Applied Business Statistics
BUAD 312 Statistics and Data Science for Business
EE 364 Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
MATH 407 Probability Theory
Although not required for admission to the program, students are encouraged to develop Python programming skills early on. Students who have taken ITP 115 Programming in Python and have a strong programming background may be eligible to waive DSCI 510 Principles of Programming in Data Science.
Prerequisite course subjects may be transferred to USC if taken during summer semesters. Students should submit a Transfer Credit Pre-Approval via OASIS to ensure their course will transfer to USC. A department review of transferred prerequisite courses may be required so please retain your course syllabus.
Course Plans and Course Waivers
Depending on the program of study and the student’s academic background, progressive degree students may be eligible for one or two course waivers in their graduate program of study. Students applying to the progressive degree program will work with an academic advisor to determine the courses required for their progressive M.S. program.
The application process is managed by the Viterbi School of Engineering’s Progressive Degree Office. More information about the Progressive Degree Program and application instructions can be found on the USC Viterbi School of Engineering's website.
Students interested in applying to a Data Science Progressive Degree should watch the following presentation:
For prospective candidates, please contact Viterbi PDP for general PDP information and application process questions.
For current students, please contact the Data Science Program for curriculum, academic preparation, and course plan questions.