University of Southern California

Viterbi School of Engineering

Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Degrees

The department offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Additionally, petroleum engineering exists as an emphasis within the mechanical engineering program. An area of emphasis appears in parenthesis after the primary major name on the transcript.

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The requirement for the degree is 128 units. A cumulative grade point average of C (2.0) is required in all upper division courses applied toward the major, regardless of the department in which the courses are taken. See the common requirements for undergraduate degrees section.

Composition/writing requirement Units
WRIT 130 Analytical Writing 4
WRIT 340 Advanced Writing 3

General Education units
General education+ 20

pre-major requirements units
Math Requirement
MATH 125 Calculus I 4
MATH 126 Calculus II 4
MATH 226 Calculus III 4
MATH 245 Mathematics of Physics and Engineering I 4

Physics Requirement
PHYS 151L* Fundamentals of Physics I: Mechanics and Thermodynamics 4
PHYS 152L Fundamentals of Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism 4
PHYS 153L Fundamentals of Physics III: Optics and Modern Physics 4

Chemistry Elective
CHEM 105aL* General Chemistry, or
CHEM 115aL Advanced General Chemistry, or
MASC 110L Materials Science 4

Major requirements units
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
AME 101L Introduction to Mechanical Engineering and Graphics 3
AME 150L Introduction to Computational Methods 4
AME 201 Statics 3
AME 204 Strength of Materials 3
AME 301 Dynamics 3
AME 302 Dynamic Systems 3
AME 308 Computer-Aided Analysis for Aero-Mechanical Design 3
AME 309 Dynamics of Fluids 4
AME 310 Engineering Thermodynamics I 3
AME 331 Heat Transfer 3
AME 341aLbL Mechoptronics Laboratory I and II 3-3
AME 404 Computational Solutions to Engineering Problems 3
AME 409 Senior Design Project 4
AME 441aL Senior Projects Laboratory 3
AME 443L Control Systems Laboratory 3
AME 451 Linear Control Systems Analysis, or
AME 420 Engineering Vibrations 3

Materials Science
MASC 310 Materials Behavior and Processing 3

Major Electives units
AME core electives** 3
AME design elective*** 3
Technical electives 6
Total units: 128

*Satisfies GE Category III requirement.

**Any upper division course in AME.

***An approved AME design course (select from AME 408, AME 430, or any special topic design course).

+The university allows engineering majors to replace the GE Category IV with a second course in Categories I, II or VI.

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Emphasis in Petroleum Engineering

The requirement for the degree with an emphasis in petroleum engineering is 128 units. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher is required for all upper division course work in engineering, science and mathematics. See the common requirements for undergraduate degrees section.

composition/writing requirement Units
WRIT 130 Analytical Writing 4
WRIT 340 Advanced Writing 3

General Education units
General education+ 20

pre-major requirements units
Math Requirement
MATH 125 Calculus I 4
MATH 126 Calculus II 4
MATH 226 Calculus III 4
MATH 245 Mathematics of Physics and Engineering I 4

Physics Requirement
PHYS 151L* Fundamentals of Physics I: Mechanics, Waves and Sounds 4
PHYS 152L Fundamentals of Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism 4
PHYS 153L Fundamentals of Physics III: Optics and Modern Physics 4

Chemistry Elective
CHEM 105aL* General Chemistry, or
CHEM 115aL Advanced General Chemistry, or
MASC 110L Materials Science 4

major requirements units
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
AME 101L Introduction to Mechanical Engineering and Graphics 3
AME 150L Introduction to Computational Methods in Mechanical Engineering 4
AME 201 Statics 3
AME 204 Strength of Materials 3
AME 301 Dynamics 3
AME 302 Dynamic Systems 3
AME 308 Computer-Aided Analysis for Aero-Mechanical Design 3
AME 309 Dynamics of Fluids 4
AME 310 Engineering Thermodynamics I 3
AME 331 Heat Transfer 3
AME 341aLbL Mechoptronics Laboratory I and II 3-3
AME 404 Computational Solutions to Engineering Problems 3
AME 408 Computer-Aided Design of Mechanical Systems 3
AME 409 Senior Design Project 4
AME 441aL Senior Projects Laboratory 3
AME 443L Control Systems Laboratory 3
AME 451 Linear Control Systems I 3

Petroleum Engineering
PTE 461 Formation Evaluation 3
PTE 463L Introduction to Transport Processes in Porous Media 3
PTE 464L Petroleum Reservoir Engineering 3
PTE 465L Drilling Technology and Subsurface Methods 3
Total units: 128

*Satisfies GE Category III requirement.

**Any upper division course in AME.

+The university allows engineering majors to replace the GE Category IV with a second course in Categories I, II or VI.

Minor in Music Recording

A minor in music recording is offered through the USC Thornton School of Music to provide undergraduate students with the background necessary to enter the field of recording engineering and to familiarize them with the design needs of modern recording equipment. The minor is recommended to mechanical engineering majors with extensive musical training who would like to combine their technical and musical abilities while learning the engineering applications of physical and mathematical principles to the art of music recording. See the listing under the USC Thornton School of Music.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Requirements for the Master of Science in mechanical engineering are the same as set forth in the general requirements. Six of the required units must be in AME 525 and AME 526 or courses in engineering analysis approved in advance in writing by the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The specific sequence of courses that constitutes an acceptable program must be approved in advance.

Requirements for Graduation Without Thesis, 27 units total with 3.0 GPA: AME 525 and AME 526 or approved mathematics (6); 500 level courses in major department (12); approved 400 or 500 level courses (9).

With Thesis, 27 units total with 3.0 GPA: AME 525 and AME 526 or approved mathematics (6); 500 or 600 level courses in major department (12) not including thesis; maximum AME 594ab — thesis (4); approved 400 or 500 level units (5) (a maximum total of 8 units combining AME 590 and AME 594ab).

Recommended Programs of Study

The program of study depends upon the student’s interest and background. During the first semester at USC, students must consult with a departmental adviser about an area of concentration and draw up a plan of study, which must be approved by the adviser. Besides the common requirements, listed below are several areas in mechanical engineering with specific courses identified as core and core electives. Groups of courses in other combinations and from other departments within the university may be approved if a particular coordinated interest can be demonstrated. In some instances students whose background is not in mechanical engineering may be required to take additional course work.

Common Requirements

Engineering Analysis (6 units): AME 525, AME 526

Engineering electives (3–6 units): Approved 400-, 500- or 600-level courses

Engineering Design

Core courses (9 units): AME 503, AME 505, AME 509

Core electives (6 units): Two courses from AME 404, AME 527, AME 541, ASTE 520, ASTE 523, CE 529, SAE 549

Thermal and Fluid Sciences

Core courses (12 units): Four courses from one of the selected areas:

Combustion: AME 436, AME 513, AME 514, AME 530a

Fluid Dynamics: AME 457, AME 511, AME 530a, AME 535a

Heat Transfer: AME 457, AME 515, AME 516, AME 517

Core electives (6 units): Take two courses from the following list, not duplicating the above selection: AME 436, AME 457, AME 511, AME 513, AME 514, AME 515, AME 516, AME 517, AME 530a, AME 533, AME 535a, AME 535b, AME 537

Mechanics and Materials

Core courses (12 units): AME 509, AME 559, AME 560, AME 584

Core elective (3 units): One of AME 542, AME 588, CE 529a

Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)

Core courses (12 units): AME 455, AME 537, BME 551, EE 607

Core elective (3 units): One of AME 535a, ASTE 501a, ASTE 545

Dynamics and Control

Students interested in this area may follow the M.S., Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (Dynamics and Control) described below.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Nuclear Power)

The program offers the degree of Master of Science in mechanical engineering with specialization in nuclear power. It is structured so that students who have all the prerequisites can complete the entire program through distance education. It is intended for students with an undergraduate degree in engineering. However, students with a physics and/or chemistry background can be accommodated with the completion of certain prerequisites.

fundamental UNITS
AME 525 Engineering Analysis 3
AME 526 Engineering Analytical Methods 3

Core units
AME 534 Nuclear Thermal-Hydraulics 3
AME 581 Introduction to Nuclear Engineering 3
AME 582 Nuclear Reactor Physics 3
AME 583 Effects of Radiation on Health 3
CE 571 Nuclear Safety and Security: Human Performance and Safety Culture 3

Electives — Choose 6 units units
AME 457 Engineering Fluid Dynamics 3
AME 515 Advanced Problems in Heat Conduction 3
AME 516 Convection Processes 3
AME 517 Radiation Heat Transfer 3
AME 530a Dynamics of Incompressible Fluids 3
AME 530b Dynamics of Incompressible Fluids 3
AME 533 Multi-Phase Flows 3
AME 535a Introduction to Computational Fluid Mechanics 3
AME 577 Survey of Energy and Power for a Sustainable Future 3
AME 578 Modern Alternative Energy Conversion Devices 3
CHE 502 Numerical Methods for Diffusive and Convective Transport 3
EE 526 Renewable Energy in Power Systems 3
ENE 516 Hazardous Waste Management 3
Total units: 27

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Energy Conversion)

See Sustainable Infrastructure Systems.

Master of Science in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (Dynamics and Control)

The Master of Science with emphasis in dynamics and control educates and trains multidisciplinary professionals in the modeling, analysis, simulation and control of complex time-evolutionary systems. It is a program of study that encompasses advanced analytical dynamics, nonlinear dynamical systems, linear and nonlinear dynamics and vibrations, and linear and nonlinear control. The program equips students to apply their knowledge to a variety of complex systems encountered in nature and society, especially those in civil, mechanical and aerospace engineering and applied mechanics.

Students will be given advisement in the first semester of their study. In addition to AME 525 and AME 526, students are required to take the following core courses: AME 521, AME 522, AME 524, AME 541, AME 552. Elective courses can be chosen in areas of specific interest to the student such as orbital dynamics, spacecraft control, aircraft dynamics and control, chaos and chaotic dynamics, random vibrations, computer control of mechanical systems and robotics. The program provides the graduate student with a broad, well-rounded, advanced education that can be applied to many specific, technologically advanced fields in which dynamics and control play a pivotal role.

Master of Science in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (Computational Fluid and Solid Mechanics)

See listing under Aerospace Engineering Degrees.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering/Master of Science in Engineering Management

The department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering in conjunction with the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering offers programs leading to the degree of Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering/Master of Science in Engineering Management. This program is designed for graduate mechanical engineers whose career objectives lead to increasing technical management responsibilities.

In addition to the general requirements of the Viterbi School of Engineering, the dual degree of Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering/Master of Science in Engineering Management is also subject to the following requirements:

  1. All applicants must meet the admission requirements of both the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering;
  2. A minimum of 48 units is required;
  3. A minimum of 18 units must be graduate level course work in AME, approved by an AME graduate student adviser;
  4. A minimum of 18 units must be graduate level course work in ISE, approved by the ISE Engineering Management graduate student adviser and chosen from the course list under Master of Science in Engineering Management;
  5. A minimum additional 12 units of acceptable course work must be chosen with the consent of the ISE Engineering Management graduate student adviser to form a coherent program.

Engineer in Mechanical Engineering

Requirements for the Engineer in Mechanical Engineering degree are the same as set forth in the general requirements. Six of the units required for the degree must be AME 690. Prior approval must be obtained from the committee before registration in AME 690.

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering

The Doctor of Philosophy in mechanical engineering is also offered. See general requirements for graduate degrees.