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2016-2017 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) 
  Jun 25, 2024
2016-2017 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

Computer Science and Engineering

Manton M. Matthews, Chair


The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers master’s and doctoral-level degrees in computer science and engineering. In addition, a graduate certificate program in information assurance and security is offered. These programs emphasize student involvement in research programs and projects, many of which are supported by government agencies or are collaborative efforts with local industries. Current research emphasizes work in agent-based computing and artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, computer security and information assurance, computer vision and image processing, embedded and reconfigurable computing, quantum computing, robotics, software quality assurance, and wireless networks.

The M.S. and M.E. degrees are designed to provide a strong foundation for pursuing careers in the computer and information systems industry. The Ph.D. degree prepares graduates for careers in industrial research and university-level teaching and research. The graduate certificate program in information assurance and security is designed to provide information professionals with the background and knowledge needed for management of computer security and information assurance. Additional information on current research projects, detailed course outlines, and other aspects of the graduate program may be found on the departmental Web site,


Requirements for admission to all graduate degree programs in computer science and engineering include the general admission requirements of The Graduate School as well as more stringent departmental requirements, as described below. In general, the admission process is highly competitive. Admissions decisions are based on the quality of the applicant’s previous university-level academic work, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and other evidence of past accomplishments.

For admission to the M.E., M.S., or Ph.D. program, applicants normally hold the B.S. degree in computer science and engineering from an ABET-accredited program. Applicants should have completed courses in algorithmic design, data structures, computer organization, analysis of algorithms, operating systems, discrete mathematics, and calculus. Applicants not having courses in all of these subjects may be admitted conditionally while they take the remaining ones. Any required prerequisite courses are an integral part of the student’s degree program and must be completed before any graduate degree will be awarded.

For admission to the Certificate of Graduate Study in Information Assurance and Security program, applicants normally hold the B.S. degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field. In addition, they must have completed courses in data structures and algorithms, operating systems, database management systems, discrete mathematics, linear algebra, and probability and statistics. Students enrolled in other graduate degree programs at USC are automatically eligible to pursue the certificate as long as they have taken the prerequisite courses.

For admission to the Master of Software Engineering program, applicants normally hold the in computer science, computer engineering, computer information systems, management information systems, or a closely related field. Applicants should also have at least one year of experience in software development or maintenance. Students not having adequate experience in software development or maintenance will be required to take CSCE 793 Internship in Software Engineering must be completed before the degree will be awarded.

All applicants must submit GRE scores. International applicants must also submit TOEFL (IBT) or IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam scores. The average GRE scores of the accepted applicants for fall 2008 were: verbal 545, quantitative 768, and analytical writing 4.3 (on a 1 to 6 scale).

In addition, all applicants should submit an official transcript from each school or college previously attended, and at least two letters of recommendation.

The admission committee will evaluate all aspects of each application and will make a recommendation on admission to The Graduate School. All application materials must be received by February 1 for fall and summer admission and by October 1 for spring admission.

Academic Standards

All students are expected to meet the academic standards of The Graduate School.

Programs and Courses



    Computer Science