History

For almost four decades, ITP has served the university by offering courses in programming and advanced software, providing cutting-edge computing labs and resources, and transforming its curriculum to keep students, faculty, and staff up-to-date with advances in technology. Take a look back at how ITP grew alongside the Digital Revolution.

Image
1981

The School of Engineering establishes the Programming and Data Processing Learning Center, which offers courses in programming languages like Fortran, COBOL, BASIC, and Pascal. Students, faculty, and staff on both the University Park Campus and Health Sciences Campus can take classes in software and emerging technologies.

Preview of 1981 news clipping

"What is Programming and Data Processing?" Daily Trojan, April 7, 1981.

1983

Students can earn the Certificate in Programming and Data Processing by completing 16 units of approved course work. This certificate program gives students from across the university the opportunity to gain experience working with computers.

1985

As personal computers like the IBM PC and Apple II bring computing to more offices and homes, ITP offers a new course to introduce students to these new devices: PDP-100x “Introduction to Microcomputers” (2 units).

1997

Now home to 5 faculty and 51 different courses — including topics like Java, Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop, computer networking, and the Internet — the PDP Learning Center adopts a new name: the Information Technology Program (ITP).

Preview of 1987 news clipping

"Learn Essential Computer Skills." Daily Trojan, April 17, 1997.

2000

ITP offers four certificate programs — Web Developer, Microsoft Office Professional, Applications Developer, and Interactive Multimedia Developer — available to students in any major.

2001

ITP establishes its first minor program in Web Technologies and Applications. This new minor teaches students client-side and server-side development, multimedia, and databases.

2003

ITP’s second minor, 3D Animation, launches with concentrations in traditional and interactive animation. Now titled 3D Computer Graphics and Modeling, this minor focuses on teaching the software and technical skills to create 3D models of characters, buildings, and products. New elective course offerings focus on enterprise data management, e-commerce, and computer security.

Preview of 2003 ITP website homepage

Information Technology Program. February 18, 2003. Internet Archive.

2004

ITP launches the Video Game Design and Management and Video Game Programming minors in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science and the School of Cinema-Television.

2005

A new minor in Law and Internet Technology explores the intersection of law, computer security, and cybercrime. As skills preventing and investigating cybercrime become more important to an increasingly digital world, this minor grows into two separate minors: Applied Computer Security (in 2010) and Computer and Digital Forensics (in 2012).

2009

Barely one year after the launch of the iOS App Store — which allowed third-party apps to be installed on iPhones for the first time — USC became the second university to offer a course in iOS application development. Now taught in Swift, ITP-342 “iOS Application Development” continues to be popular with students across the university.

2012

11 full-time faculty lead ITP’s efforts as new minors in Enterprise Information Systems and Innovation: The Digital Entrepreneur are launched in collaboration with departments in the Marshall School of Business. Students in the Enterprise Information Systems minor learn to use enterprise resource planning systems like SAP. The Innovation: The Digital Entrepreneur minor prepares students to work on high-tech startups.

ITP-115 “Programming in Python” launches and by 2019 becomes the most popular programming course at ITP — demonstrating Python's importance across application development, research, and data analysis.

2014

ITP establishes its minors in Computer Programming and in Mobile App Development, creating a pathway for students from all backgrounds to learn how to write desktop, mobile, and web applications.

2015

Reflecting the increasing importance of data analysis across industries, ITP offers a new minor in Applied Analytics. By 2019, this minor grows to be one of the most popular minors at USC by enrollment.

2017

ITP retires its final not-for-credit course, replacing ITP-090 “Introduction to Adobe Photoshop” with ITP-190 “Tools for Digital Graphics,” a 2-unit course that gives students the chance to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to create, edit, and export images and retouch photographs.

2018

As over 100 million smart devices — including wearables and smart home systems — ship worldwide, ITP launches a new minor in Connected Devices and Making.

A new major in Intelligence and Cyber Operations brings together course work from ITP and the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences to prepare students to work at the intersection of cybersecurity and international relations.

2019

A new minor in Blockchain allows students to learn how to create decentralized applications and propose new use cases for the transformative technology.