Graduate School Exploration
Take your academics and career to the next level with graduate school.
Learn more about how graduate school can affect your professional trajectory and lifestyle to make the best decision for your future.
What is graduate school?
Is graduate school right for you?
Deciding whether or not graduate school is right for you depends on several factors. Some questions to ask yourself are:
Earn credits toward a Master’s Degree while completing your Bachelor’s Degree at USC.
The Progressive Degree Program (PDP) gives continuing USC undergraduates another path to earning a Master’s degree from USC. Take advantage of the ability to take graduate-level classes during your senior year, and reduce the number of units required for you to earn a Master’s Degree.Learn More
Master’s degrees are typically the first level of graduate study after earning a bachelor’s degree. Master’s degree programs may be course-based, research-based, or a mixture of the two. Most full-time master’s degree programs to two years to complete. Sometimes you are able to attend school part-time to earn a master’s degree. In engineering, most master’s degrees are a Master of Science degree.
The PhD, or the Doctor of Philosophy degree, is the highest academic degree awarded by most universities in the United States. Research is a key component of the PhD degree and PhD candidates complete their own original research as part of their degree requirements. PhD degrees can take anywhere from four to eight years to complete.
Progressive Degree Program at USC
The Progressive Degree Program (PDP) allows USC undergraduates to begin working on their master’s degree while completing their bachelor’s degree. Most PDP students are able to finish their master’s degree in one year instead of two years and are able to reduce the amount of units required for the master’s degree. For more information about the Viterbi PDP program, visit their website.