Aerospace & Mechanical

Information for Graduate Students

  • Advisement: AME graduate students are to contact the following graduate academic advisors for assistance with class selection and any other student related matters:

    MS students Melissa Medeiros (213)821-3105
    PhD students Irice Castro (213)740-1735

  • Graduate Advising Worksheets by Major:

  • Departmental Clearance: D-Clearance stands for Departmental Clearance. If a course name has a "D" after the 5-digit class number (such as 28700D), D-clearance is required prior to registration. To obtain D-Clearance for an on-campus section of a graduate course in AME, if you are an MS student please contact Melissa Medeiros ( or if you are a PhD student contact Irice Castro ( We can only lift d-clearances for AME on-campus classes. Note that it is rare that a 400 or 500 level AME on-campus class requires d-clearance, however you will find this is needed often for classes in other engineering departments.

    All DEN sections of classes require D-clearance! If you are a DEN student, you must use the online D-clearance request process via the DEN Desire2Learn website/DEN@Viterbi Tools option. The DEN website is:

    For engineering courses outside of AME, please contact the appropriate department.

    Please note: BME, CE, EE, ENE, ISE, and SAE require students to complete D-Clearance requests via the D-Clearance Request Manager on myViterbi. It can take up to a week to receive a D-Clearance approval. For pre-req waivers and D-clearance requests for all other departments, you should contact the department advisor directly:

    ASTE Please contact the department advisor at
    CHE Please contact the department advisor at
    CSCI Please contact the department advisor at or
    MASC Please contact the department advisor at
    PTE Please contact the department advisor at

  • Pre-Requisite Waivers: For pre-req waivers for a graduate course in AME, if you are a MS student please contact Melissa Medeiros ( or if you are a PhD student contact Irice Castro ( We can lift pre-reqs for ALL AME classes regardless of on-campus or DEN status. If submitting a pre-req waiver request, please provide specific information as to which course(s) you took previously, likely during your undergrad, that you believe are equivalent to the USC course listed as the pre-req for the course you wish to register for. For pre-req waivers for courses outside of AME, please contact the appropriate department.

  • Cross-listed Classes: Cross-listed classes are courses which appear on the USC Schedule of Classes under AME, but the course is actually offered by another engineering department. The course will qualify as an AME course and not count against the total units you may be allowed to take outside of AME for your degree. Examples of cross-listed courses that count as AME dept. courses are SAE 549, CE 507, MASC 551, EE 543a.

  • Directed Research: AME 590 and AME 790 are directed research courses for graduate students.

    Please note: MS students must have at least a 3.0 GPA in order to do DR and can earn up to 3 units of AME 590 towards your MS degree. PhD students may request up to 6 units of AME 790 per semester. DR is mainly available for on-campus full-time students only. If you have any questions regarding the directed research process, if you are an MS student please contact Melissa Medeiros ( or if you are a PhD student contact Irice Castro (

    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. Faculty research interests can be found at:

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

    1. Log on to
    2. On the main page of myViterbi, 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 590), 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 Irice Castro (
    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 for processing or forward the email to Irice Castro ( for processing.
    6. Once your D-Clearance is processed, you will need to log on to Web Registration to register for the course (either AME 590 or AME 790).

  • Registration Tips:

    • If you are having issues registering for classes, make sure you are registering for the correct section! DEN students must select the DEN@Viterbi section while on-campus students must select the section w/ a campus building and room number location (ex: OHE 100C or RTH 109).
    • Use the USC Schedule of Classes ( 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. You can also look at past semesters ( to see if a course has a syllabus posted or how frequently a class is offered.
    • If you are a continuing student or new domestic student register as soon as your Permit to Register indicates you are able to!
    • If you are a new international student, you will be able to register once you arrive at USC and lift your account holds related to passport verification and any other holds that may be placed on your accounts (English test w/ ALI, etc.). Though some classes may be full, you will have class options to enroll in. However note that you may need to be flexible in selecting your first semester of classes.

  • MyViterbi:

    This website is an important tool which graduate engineering students must log into to request approval for Directed Research, Dept. D-clearances, submit grader applications if being hired, etc.

  • Change of Major: If a student wishes to change their major within AME or from within the Viterbi School of Engineering (examples: switch from MSAE to MSME program or MSBME to MSME), please discuss this first with Melissa Medeiros ( Change of majors can only be processed after a student has completed their first semester at USC. The change of major form can be found here:

    Please note: Only fill out the top 3 lines of this form (name, USC ID and date and sign) and send to Melissa via email indicating what you would like to change in to (or add).

  • Graduation Application (MS Students ONLY): MS students who have registered for their final class(es), must submit a graduation application in order to be cleared to graduate, have your STARs updated, and to ensure you receive your diploma at the end of completing your degree. Please send your completed graduation applications to Melissa Medeiros ( once you have finalized your registration. It is recommended that you submit your application prior to the add/drop deadline of the semester you are finishing your degree. The application for graduation can be found here:

  • Graduate Transfer Credit Requests: For information and policies pertaining to graduate transfer credit, please refer to the University catalogue here:

    If you are an MS student please contact Melissa Medeiros ( or if you are a PhD student contact Irice Castro ( to discuss if you are eligible for graduate transfer credit approval. The graduate transfer credit request forms can be found here:



  • Leave of Absence (LOA) Requests: If you will not be enrolling in classes during an upcoming Fall or Spring semester, you are required to submit a Leave of Absence Form to maintain your status in our program and allow you to return the following semester. The forms for LOA’s can be found here:

    Domestic students:

    International students:

    Please send your completed LOA request to if you are a domestic student. If you are an international student, please send the completed form to the GAPP Office, OHE 106 or

  • Application for Readmission: If a student wishes to return to the same graduate degree program in AME after being absent from the university without an approved leave of absence, than an application for readmission must be submitted and reviewed. OFFICIAL transcripts of any work taken at another institution during the period of absence from USC must accompany this form. This application, with transcripts attached, should be submitted directly to Irice Castro ( The application for readmission can be found here:

  • Reduced Course Load (RCL) for International Students ONLY: International MS students who plan to register in less than 8 units during any fall or spring semester due to academic difficulty, medical emergency, or if it is you last semester and you only need 1 or 2 classes to finish your degree, must file an RCL form w/ the GAPP Office in OHE 106 no later than the end of the third week of classes for the semester. You must submit this form in order to maintain your visa status! The RCL form can be found here:

    Please note: AME Academic Advisors cannot sign off on RCL paperwork, all forms must be signed by an advisor in the GAPP Office in OHE 106.

  • CPT (Curricular Practical Training): Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization that allows F-1 international students to participate in paid off-campus academic internships during their degree program. The purpose of CPT is academic, not just for employment purposes, and the internship must be considered an integral part of a student’s degree program. Students must have a specific job/internship offer to apply. If the internship is an unpaid or volunteer position, CPT is not required. Students CANNOT accept any kind of compensation for work performed in an unpaid internship. The application for CPT can be found here:

    Please note: AME Academic Advisors cannot sign off on CPT paperwork, all forms must be signed by an advisor in the GAPP Office in OHE 106.

  • OPT (Optional Practical Training): Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a benefit given to F-1 international students who are completing a Bachelor's or graduate degree in the United States. Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for employment experience in a student’s field of study. OPT is approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For more information regarding the necessary paperwork and online workshop to start the application process, more info can be found here:

    Please note: AME Academic Advisors cannot sign off on OPT paperwork, all forms must be signed by an advisor in the GAPP Office in OHE 106.

  • Account Restrictions: RNR40 or ADM40 restrictions – these do NOT stop you from registering. They are warning that USC still needs you to complete something as part of your admission process. However, if you neglect to resolve the hold, for most students this will be elevated to an RNR41 or ADM41 restriction which will block you from registering in the future. For students from India who have a prior degree verification restriction, USC gives you 2 semesters to submit your transcript due to the arrangements in your country with the delay in issuing final degrees. Take care of any “holds” ASAP if you have these or any other type of restrictions on your student account. Restrictions are clearly posted on the first page after you log into MyUSC and included is the issuing office of the hold and their contact phone number to call to resolve the issue.

  • PhD Screening Exam: The screening exam is one component of the overall screening procedure that involves each PhD student’s complete academic/research record. The screening exam is offered once a year in January and only to students who are already admitted to the AME PhD program. More information can be found here:

  • Student Resources for Viterbi graduate students can be found here:

  • Important Forms for all Viterbi graduate students can be found here: