May 24, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Geodesign (BS)

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Allen Hancock Foundation Building B55
(213) 740-5910
FAX: (213) 740-9687

Director: John P. Wilson, PhD

The Bachelor of Science in Geodesign is an interdisciplinary major offered by the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the USC School of Architecture, and the USC Price School of Public Policy. This degree prepares students for professional careers and/or graduate study by engaging them in the acquisition, representation, analysis, modeling and visualization of spatial information set in the context of the built environment and policy. The underlying spatial principles, methods and tools can be used to support sustainable planning, facility and infrastructure management, the design of livable and healthy communities, and a series of regional planning applications to address pollution, water and energy needs, and the impact of population growth on the environment. The major electives provide students with opportunities to explore one or more facets of the built environment and a series of complementary analytical and visualization tools in more detail. Finally, the major is structured to provide students with sufficient elective credits to explore minors or other programs at USC so they can broaden their education to better prepare themselves for the next stage of their lives.

General Education Requirements

The university’s general education program provides a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to consider yourself (and to be considered by other people) a generally well-educated person. This program is effective for all students entering USC in fall 2015 or later, or transfer students beginning college elsewhere at that time and subsequently transferring to USC. It requires eight courses in six Core Literacies, plus two courses in Global Perspectives (which may double-count with courses in the Core Literacies) and two courses in writing. For more information about USC’s general education requirements, see General Education .

Major Requirements

A minimum grade of C, 2.0 (A = 4.0) must be earned in each of the core courses and the capstone course. In addition, a minimum grade point average of C (2.0) or higher must be achieved in the major to earn the geodesign degree. No more than 16 units of core courses may be taken prior to the successful completion of the geodesign pre-major requirements.

Pre-major Requirements

Both pre-major requirements must be taken for a letter grade and a minimum grade of C, 2.0 (A = 4.0), must be earned in each of the pre-major courses.

Additional Requirements

Capstone Course

All students will take 4 units of a capstone experience during their senior year. This may be fulfilled by taking SSCI 412L GeoDesign Practicum (4 units) , which may be offered by any of the 3 units cross-listed (SSCI, ARCH, PPD) and will require students to use their knowledge and skills on a real project with a real client.

Major Electives (24 Units)

A suite of courses that further the development of practical, theoretical, and field knowledge and skills, including computer graphics, drawing, policy analysis, public finance, and statistics. Choose additional electives from the two lists equal to at least six courses (24 units) in all. At least two courses must come from Group A and two courses from Group B.

Additional Requirements


Candidates for the BS in Geodesign can receive an honors degree by meeting these requirements: a 3.7 GPA in department courses at the time of graduation; completion of an honors research project or thesis under the guidance of a faculty member (SSCI 412L ). Admission to the program is granted by the departmental undergraduate adviser in the semester preceding enrollment in SSCI 412L ; students should have a 3.7 GPA in the major at this time.

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