ITP Knowledge Base

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Browse by the topics below for answers to our more frequently asked questions. If you cannot find the answer you need or if you have further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team.

 

General

What is ITP?

The Information Technology Program (ITP) offers a challenging, state-of-the-art education for those interested in learning about the dynamic and growing field of information technology (IT) and computers. Its goal is to provide students, staff and faculty with the highest quality instruction through both practical, hands-on experience and theoretical discussions of current trends, applications and developments in information technology.

We offer minor and specialization programs, and we coordinate with departments at the Viterbi School of Engineering and the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences to offer majors in Informatics (BA) and Intelligence and Cyber Operations (BA). We offer more than 100 courses to students from schools across the university.

Where is ITP located?

Our main office is located in Olin Hall of Engineering (OHE) 412. Most of our faculty have offices on the third, fourth and fifth floors of OHE, but you should check our faculty directory for the most up-to-date office locations. We offer open lab hours during the fall and spring semesters in Kaprielian Hall (KAP) and OHE.

How do I meet with an adviser?

Advisement appointments are available year-round during regular business hours, excluding university holidays. In order to schedule an appointment, please go to https://itp-advisement.appointlet.com and select a day and time that works for you. You will need to provide your name, USC ID number, email address and the reason for your appointment.

You may also contact us via email.

Am I able to take an ITP class without declaring a minor or specialization?

Absolutely! Our classes are open to all students at USC regardless of major or minor. If you need help selecting a class, you may wish to review our introductory course options.

What is SAP?

The majority of large corporations rely on SAP — 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.

Students in our enterprise information systems minor and specialization use the SAP software packages extensively in our courses. Very few universities provide the opportunity for learning information systems concepts using SAP. By enrolling in the minor or 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 who earn a grade of “B” or better in three classes required for this minor or specialization are eligible to receive an additional Certificate of Recognition in SAP.

Can I major in ITP?

We coordinate with departments at the Viterbi School of Engineering and the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences to offer majors in Informatics (BA) and Intelligence and Cyber Operations (BA).

How do I declare a major in Informatics?

In order to declare a major in Informatics, you must meet with an advisor in the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. The advisor for this major is Lica Abu-Esba, and you can schedule an appointment with her here.

How do I declare a major in Intelligence and Cyber Operations?

In order to declare a major in Intelligence and Cyber Operations, you must meet with an advisor in the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. The advisor for this major is Karla Rivera, and you can schedule an appointment with her here.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

We’re happy to answer any additional questions or concerns you may have and help you navigate to any additional resources as required. Please contact our advisement team. Please note that staff members work regular business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding university holidays.


Minors

What do I get from minoring in ITP?

We offer 12 minor programs. Each program offers students practical experience in software and skills that prepare them for wide-ranging careers in the Information Age. Students majoring in the liberal arts can benefit from experience writing computer programs and designing web applications; students majoring in professional fields like business, communication and cinematic arts can practice data analysis, customer behavior forecasting and startup management.

Students who enroll in ITP courses will have access to modern hardware and software used in today’s industries, as well as the support of expert faculty.

Is there an application to minor in ITP?

We have a short online application form that you can complete to declare a minor or specialization. You do need to be in good academic standing and have already declared a major. Students without majors cannot declare minors.

How do I declare a minor?

In order to declare one of our minor programs, you need to either complete our online application or meet with a member of our advisement team for a short appointment. Appointments usually take between 15 to 30 minutes. During your advisement appointment, you will learn about the program requirements and create a course plan for the minor(s) of your choice. After you create a course plan with an ITP adviser, you can choose to officially have the minor added to your student record.

Can I take a class for my minor on a Pass/No Pass basis?

No. All classes completed for your minor requirements must be completed for a letter grade.

Can I declare a minor and a specialization?

You can declare more than one program in ITP, whether you choose to declare two minors, two specializations, or one minor and one specialization. However, you must make sure that you have at least 16 units that are unique to each minor — that means act those units do not count toward any other major, minor or general education requirement. An academic advisor can help you design a course plan to complete multiple programs.

How can I check my progress in my ITP minor?

Your minor requirements are outlined on your STARS report, which you can access on OASIS. If you have any questions about your minor requirements or notice any discrepancies on your STARS report, please contact our advisement team.

What if a course I need to complete my minor isn’t offered?

Based on the availability of faculty, students and classroom space, we are able to offer a wide selection of courses every fall and spring semester. However, we are not always able to offer every course. If a course that you need to complete your minor isn’t offered, we recommend registering for a different course if possible. If you are registering for your final semester and the course you need to graduate isn’t offered, please contact our advisement team and we’ll research what alternative options you may have to complete your minor.

How do I drop my minor if I cannot complete it?

Please send an email to our advisement team requesting that we drop your minor from your student record.


Specializations

What’s the difference between a minor and a specialization?

Both minors and specializations offer students complete programs designed by faculty to prepare students for careers that include information technology. Minors in ITP require anywhere between 16 to 25 units to complete. However, students who do not have enough “room” in their course plans to complete a full minor may be interested in our specialization programs, which require between 8 to 13 units to complete.

Specializations do not appear on transcripts, STARS reports, or diplomas. Students who complete specializations receive a separate certificate upon graduation.

It’s advised that you include your minor or specialization on your résumé under the “Education” section.

Is there an application to declare a specialization in ITP?

We have a short online application form that you can complete to declare a minor or specialization program. You do need to be in good academic standing and have already declared a major. Students without majors cannot declare specializations.

How do I declare a specialization?

In order to declare one of our specialization programs, you need to either complete our online application or meet with a member of our advisement team for a short appointment. Appointments usually take between 15 to 30 minutes. During your advisement appointment, you will learn about the program requirements and create a course plan for the specialization(s) of your choice. After you create a course plan with an ITP adviser, you can choose to officially have the specialization added to your student record.

Can I change my minor to a specialization?

In most cases, the core requirements completed for your minor can count toward a specialization instead. Students may change their course plans for many reasons, and those that run out of “room” to complete a minor may benefit from the option to switch to a specialization. You should consult with our advisement team for help making this change to your student record.

Can I take a class for my specialization on a Pass/No Pass basis?

No. All classes completed for your specialization requirements must be completed for a letter grade.

How do I request a specialization certificate?

You can request a specialization certificate after completing the course work required for your specialization. In order to submit your request, log in to MyViterbi and click the “ITP Specialization Certificate Order Form” link. Please complete this form and submit. You may opt to pick up your certificate from our office or have it mailed to your address. Specialization certificate requests are processed twice per year, and the deadlines to submit certificate requests are:

  • Fall deadline: January 15
  • Spring deadline: June 15

Please be sure to submit your certificate request prior to the processing deadline above. Requests received after the deadline will be held for processing at the next deadline.

How can I check my progress in my ITP specialization?

Your specialization will not appear on your STARS report, but the courses you complete will. Therefore, it is recommended that you compare the requirements listed on our website with your completed course work. You are also welcome to contact our advisement team with any questions, and we can check your specialization requirements for you.

What if a course I need to complete my specialization isn’t offered?

Based on the availability of faculty, students and classroom space, we are able to offer a wide selection of courses every fall and spring semester. However, we are not always able to offer every course. If a course that you need to complete your specialization isn’t offered, we recommend registering for a different course if possible. If you are registering for your final semester and the course you need to graduate isn’t offered, please contact our advisement team and we’ll research what alternative options you may have to complete your specialization.

How do I drop my specialization if I cannot complete it?

Please send an email to our advisement team requesting that we drop your specialization from your student record.


Registration

My major isn’t in Viterbi. Can I still take ITP classes?

Absolutely! Our classes are open to all students at USC regardless of major or minor. If you need help selecting a class, you may wish to review our introductory course options.

I don’t have a programming or technological background. Will I be prepared for ITP classes?

You do not need to have a background in programming or information technology in order to register for our introductory courses and start a minor or specialization in ITP. Over 80 percent of our students come from non-engineering departments.

Can I have a prerequisite waived?

We generally discourage waiving prerequisites, except in rare circumstances. Some students have already taken preparatory course work in CSCI, EE, or ISE; have completed online programming tutorials; or have worked on their own programming projects. In these cases, skipping a prerequisite and registering for a higher-level course may benefit the student. If you would like to skip a prerequisite and register for a higher-level course, you will need to obtain the written approval of the instructor of the higher-level course. If you obtain approval, please send the instructor’s approval with your USC ID number to itpadvising@usc.edu.

Some courses have already been approved as substitutions for minor or specialization requirements, so you should check the requirements for your program to see if you need an individual prerequisite waiver.

How do I get d-clearance for an ITP class?

Most ITP courses do not require departmental clearance (“d-clearance”), with the exception of ITP-470 “Information Technology Practicum” and ITP-480 “Information Technology Internship.” However, after the first week of classes each semester, all classes require d-clearance in order to allow faculty to check in with each new student who wants to add the class to make sure that they can catch up with the missed material. In order to obtain d-clearance as of the second week of the semester, please:

  1. Bring a Course Schedule Change Form to the class,
  2. Obtain the instructor’s signature on the form,
  3. Drop the form off at the ITP main office in OHE 412, and
  4. Register on Web Registration after you receive an email from our advisement team confirming your d-clearance.

Please contact our advisement team with any questions about d-clearance. You must finalize your schedule prior to the add/drop deadline posted on the Schedule of Classes.

Are there waitlists for ITP courses?

We do not keep waitlists for ITP courses. If a course you need to graduate is full, please contact our advisement team and we’ll help you find out what alternative options you may have to complete your minor or specialization.

Does ITP offer summer courses?

We offer a limited number of introductory or core courses in the summer. These courses may be offered for short seven-to-eight week sessions during the first or second half of the summer.

Does ITP offer online courses?

No. ITP does not offer courses online or through the Distance Education Network. All courses are completed on campus in the traditional classroom setting.

I saw that a class I want to take only has a few students. Will it be canceled?

We are disappointed that we sometimes must cancel courses with low enrollment. In all cases, we contact affected students in advance of the cancelation and our advisement team will help those students find alternative options. However, our administrative team tries its best to offer courses; for this reason, it is not advised to preemptively drop courses. Information about canceled courses will be sent directly from our ITP advisement team to your official university email address.

I’m not a student at USC. Can I still take ITP classes?

Yes. Many people choose to enroll in ITP courses through USC’s limited status program.

I’m a graduate student. Can I still take ITP classes?

Yes. Graduate students are eligible to take 400-level classes in ITP for degree credit. If you want ITP course work to count toward your graduate degree requirements, you should consult with your academic adviser. Although graduate students are not eligible to complete minors, they are eligible to complete specialization programs.

Can I take ITP classes while studying abroad?

No. Unfortunately, courses completed abroad cannot count toward requirements for our minor or specialization programs.

Can I take ITP classes over the summer at a community college?

No. All classes completed for our minor or specialization programs must be completed on campus at USC.

Which introductory programming course should I register for?

We offer introductory programming courses in Java, Python and C++. In most cases, any of these three options prepares you to take our higher-level programming courses, such as ITP-365 “Managing Data in C++.” You should choose a course that fits your interests.

How do I request d-clearance to register for ITP-470?

In ITP-470 “Information Technology Practicum,” exceptional students pursue individual practical or exploratory projects under the guidance of full-time faculty in ITP. You must submit a written project proposal approved by a faculty member in order to obtain d-clearance.

How do I request d-clearance to register for ITP-480?

ITP-480 “Information Technology Internship” is a unique class that allows each student to earn academic credit for an approved project completed in tandem with an internship. You must have an internship offer and a proposal for a related project component approved by a faculty member in order to obtain d-clearance.


Careers and Internships

What kinds of careers and internships to students in ITP pursue?

Alumni from our minor and specialization programs often pursue careers related to their ITP course work. Graduates of our programs have worked across different career fields and industries — including as data analysts at Amazon, software engineers at Raytheon and cybersecurity consultants at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

How can I learn about different job and internship opportunities?

Job and internship opportunities are shared with students pursuing our minor and specialization programs via email, but each student is responsible for their own career search by using other resources at USC, networking with classmates and faculty, volunteering and interning. Students can also browse the Career Center’s job board, ConnectSC.

I’m an employer and I have a job opportunity that ITP students would be a good fit for. Where can I post the job?

Thank you for thinking of our students and alumni! Although our office does not have a public job board or mailing list, we are happy to share relevant job and internship opportunities with our students if you post the opportunity on connectSC. Once you have posted the job on connectSC, please email our advisement team. Please provide your company name, the job duties, required skills and the connectSC job ID.


Graduate Students

I’m a graduate student. Can I still take ITP classes?

Yes. Many graduate students are eligible to take 400-level classes in ITP for unit credit. If you want ITP course work to count toward your graduate degree requirements, you should consult with your graduate program academic adviser. Although graduate students are not eligible to complete minors, they are eligible to complete specialization programs.

Does ITP offer any graduate certificates?

No. Although we do not offer graduate certificates, we do offer specialization programs that graduate students may complete. Students who complete specializations are eligible to receive certificates of completion upon graduation.

I’m a graduate student and I have completed ISE-583, which is equivalent to ITP-320. How can I register for classes that require ITP-320 as a prerequisite?

ISE-582 is considered equivalent to ITP-320 for graduate students. When you would like to register for a course that requires ITP-320, please contact our advisement team to request a prerequisite waiver. Be sure to include your USC ID number in your request. We will waive the prerequisite for you and email you when you are able to register.


Limited Status Enrollment

I’m not a student at USC. Can I still take ITP classes?

Yes, if you meet the limited status enrollment criteria. Many people choose to enroll in ITP courses through USC’s limited status enrollment option.

How do I register on a limited status basis?

You must follow the rules and regulations established by the Office of the Registrar. In order to obtain permission to register for ITP courses, please scan a PDF copy of your completed registration form to itpadvising@usc.edu or mail your completed form to:

ITP Advisement
3650 McClintock Avenue
Olin Hall of Engineering 412
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1456

Please type your information on your registration form (do not handwrite). Once your registration form is received and reviewed, you will receive notification of approval and a signed PDF copy of your registration form via email. Please note that review may take 3 to 5 business days, so plan accordingly. You will need to take the authorized registration form to the Registration One-Stop Center in John Hubbard Hall in order to formally register for the class.

Please note that limited status students are ineligible to enroll in ITP-470 or ITP-480.


Faculty and Staff

When is the ITP main office open?

Our main office (Olin Hall of Engineering 412) is open Monday through Friday for regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are closed on weekends and for university holidays.

When are final grades due?

Final grades are due on the Grading and Roster System within four working days from the date of the scheduled final examination.

What if I need to correct a grade?

If you determine that a mistake was made in submitting a final grade for a student, please email our associate director of advisement and recruitment, Tim Gotimer, with the student’s information and the corrected grade. Correction of grade requests can take 2 to 4 weeks to be finalized and appear on a student’s STARS report and transcript. Only faculty members may request grade corrections; requests from students, graders and teaching assistants will be rejected. Your prompt response to any questions from our advisement team and the Office of Academic Records and Registrar about grade corrections allows us to expediently correct grades and update student records.

How can I request that a prerequisite is waived for a student?

Some students have already taken preparatory course work in CSCI, EE, or ISE; have completed online programming tutorials; or have worked on their own programming projects. In these cases, skipping a prerequisite and registering for a higher-level course may benefit the student. Please email your approval with the student’s information to our advisement team so that a waiver can be generated for the student to register for your higher-level course.

Please note that once students complete the higher-level course, they cannot go “backward” and register for a course that was waived. Students will be advised of this, as it may impact their degree completion if the lower-level course was required for another major or minor. This is university policy.

How can I refer a student to minor or specialize in an ITP program?

We’re excited to meet with new students to help them declare our minor and specialization programs! Students should contact our advisement team with questions. In order to formally declare a minor or specialization, each student will need to complete our online application form or schedule an advisement appointment by going to https://itp-advisement.appointlet.com and selecting a day and time that works best for them. We encourage students to browse our academic programs section of our website for up-to-date information about our minor and specialization programs.

What are my responsibilities as a supervisor for ITP-470?

In ITP-470 “Information Technology Practicum,” exceptional students pursue individual practical or exploratory projects under the guidance of full-time faculty in ITP. If you choose to guide a student in ITP-470, you will need to approve their written project proposal. You should meet with the student regularly during office hours and via email to help them maintain appropriate progress on their project.

You will need to submit a final grade on MyViterbi for each student that you agree to supervise in ITP-470. It is not recommended that a faculty member supervise more than two or three students in ITP-470 in a single semester.

What are my responsibilities as a supervisor for ITP-480?

ITP-480 “Information Technology Internship” is a unique class that allows each student to earn academic credit for an approved project completed in tandem with an internship. If you choose to supervise a student in ITP-480, you will need to approve their written project proposal. You should meet with the student regularly during office hours and via email to help them maintain appropriate progress on their project and internship. ITP-480 requires coordination between the faculty supervisor and the work site supervisor.

You will need to submit a final grade on MyViterbi for each student that you agree to supervise in ITP-480. It is not recommended that a faculty member supervise more than two or three students in ITP-480 in a single semester.