ITP Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is ITP?

A: ITP is an academic program at the Viterbi School of Engineering whose mission is to offer courses in applied technology to all students at USC. The program offers cutting edge and hands on courses in web development, new media, 3D animation, security, programming, video game design and programming, and other innovative topics in information technology. The unit is a leading source of curriculum innovation on campus and is also a leader in integrating emerging instructional technologies in the classroom. We offer minors and specializations; we do not offer any majors.

Q: Can I get a prerequisite waived?

A: If you would like to take a course and have not taken the proper prerequisite you will need to contact the instructor of the course and let him/her know why you think you are prepared. S/he can assess your knowledge and let you know if you're ready for the course. If you get instructor approval, please forward the instructor's email to itpadvising@usc.edu along with your student ID number and you will be granted permission to enroll. Please keep in mind that if you are given permission to take the more advanced course you can never go back and take the introductory course and earn credit for it.

Q: Does ITP have waitlists for closed courses?

A: ITP does not have waitlists for their courses. Keep checking back online to see if a seat opens up. Students change their schedules up until, and even after the beginning of the semester. If you don't get a seat prior to the start of the semester you may wish to show up on the first day to see if someone else does not. Please have a backup plan incase a seat never becomes available.

Q: I would like to take an ITP course but I do not have any programming experience. What can I take?

A: ITP offers many courses that do not require prerequisites or prior programming experience. Please consider taking any of the courses below:
ITP Intro Courses Flyer.

Q: I have no computer programming experience but I would like to learn. What course should I take?

A: ITP offers two introductory programming courses that you should consider:

  • ITP 109 - Introduction to Java Programming
    • Object-oriented programming language
    • Great to learn before C++ or Objective-C (used for iOS apps)
    • Android is built on Java, so this is a good language if you want to learn to create mobile apps
  • ITP 115 - Programming in Python
    • Great introductory language
    • Clear syntax makes it an ideal first language
    • Scripting language, which is great if you want to go into web development
    • Used in Maya for digital animation
  • ITP 165 - Introduction to C++ Programming
    • The best way to learn programming fundamentals for iOS programming
    • A good engineering language
    • Best for high performance applications like video games
If you're still struggling to determine which programming language would be the best fit, please feel free to contact the instructor(s) of the course.

Q: Does ITP offer summer courses or courses through distance education?

A: While we currently do not offer any distance education courses, ITP does offer a limited number of courses during the summer. For summer 2014, we are planning to offer ITP 104x (Web Publishing), ITP 165x (Introduction to C++), and ITP 230x (Video Game Quality Assurance); all three of these courses have no prerequisites. For the most up-to-date information, please check the official schedule of classes.

Q: What's the difference between a minor and a specialization?

A: Minors: Minor programs are available to students matriculated in an undergraduate degree program and must be completed simultaneously with the major degree program. Minors require more coursework than a specializations and the ITP minors range from 16-26 units. Completion of a minor program will be recorded on the transcript. The student receives a separate minor certificate for each minor completed. Specializations: Graduate students and non-degree seeking students are eligible to pursue a specialization. Also, USC undergraduate students who do not have enough space in their schedule to complete a minor may choose to complete a specialization. Specializations range from 6-12 units. Non-degree seeking students enroll as limited status. Students who complete a specialization are awarded a certificate of completion. All specialization coursework must be taken for a letter grade and the SAP specialization requires a grade of B or better in each course. Please note ITP minor and specialization coursework is not offered through distance education and must be taken in-person at the University Park Campus. Non-degree seeking students should familiarize themselves with the process of enrolling as a limited status student at USC: http://www.usc.edu/dept/ARR/registration/limitedstatus.html More information on ITP specializations can be found at: http://itp.usc.edu/specializations

Q: Can I complete a specialization online?

A: All courses must be completed on campus at USC; there are no online classes.

Q: Can I still take a specialization even if I'm not currently enrolled at USC? How do I enroll?

A: Yes, you can. A specialization is for non-degree seeking students of any background and you can earn it on its own. To do so you would enroll as a limited status student and you must take all units for a letter grade. Here is information on how to enroll as a limited status student and some information on ITP specializations. http://www.usc.edu/dept/ARR/registration/limitedstatus.html http://itp.usc.edu/specializations

Q: What does limited status enrollment mean?

A: The limited status program is intended for individuals who wish to take a limited number of courses at USC without formally applying for admission to the university. Individuals who do not have a bachelor's degree may take up to 16 units. For graduate students, up to 12 units are allowed. Please refer to: http://www.usc.edu/dept/ARR/registration/limitedstatus.html

Q: Which minor is right for me/what works best with my major?

A: There is no right or wrong major/minor combination. ITP minors are open to all USC undergraduate students. The ITP advisor can help you think through what combination would be best for you, based on your interests and skills.

Q: Does ITP offer any majors or graduate degrees?

A: At this time, ITP does not offer any undergraduate majors or graduate degrees, only minors and specializations.

Q: What is SAP?

A: The majority of large corporations rely on SAPTM - an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software – to help manage and streamline their business processes. This powerful IT solution allows different departments and locations of a company to share information with one another in real time for more effective communication. SAP is the world's leading ERP systems vendor. Very few universities provide the opportunity for learning information systems concepts using SAP. By enrolling in this specialization, you will gain skills that set you apart from others and prepare you for a career in the expanding world of ERP systems. Students pursuing the SAP specialization must receive a B or better in all three classes, or they will not be eligible for the specialization.

Q: I've taken ISE 583 (equivalent to ITP 320). I want to take an advanced SAP course (e.g. ITP 421, 422, 454, 455, 486, 487, 488) but web registration is not allowing me to enroll.

A: Email itpadvising@usc.edu. Mention you've taken ISE 583 and state the 400-level course you would like to take. Please include your name and student ID number in the email. The advisor will waive the prerequisite, which will allow you to add the course.

Q: I'm an international student. How will my ITP course enrollment impact my visa status?

A: Please contact the USC Office of International Services for assistance: http://sait.usc.edu/ois/intl-students.aspx