Sep 26, 2023  
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 
USC Catalogue 2023-2024

Product Development Engineering (MS)

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The Master of Science in product development engineering (MS PDE) is an interdisciplinary graduate degree program at USC jointly offered by the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and the Daniel J. Epstein Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) departments. The Daniel J. Epstein Industrial and Systems department manages this joint degree program. It focuses on the global and innovative features of new product development with Management and Technology specializations to match students’ academic backgrounds and career interests. Both full-time and part-time students can enter this program in either the fall or spring semesters and choose on-campus or online (Distance Education Network, DEN) study options.  


The program has the following admission requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree in an area of engineering or science;
  • An undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above; 

The MS PDE program requires a minimum of 28 units to complete. Although it is mainly a course work-based program, students can choose to complete the program with or without a thesis requirement. For this thesis option, at least 12 units, not including 4-unit thesis, must be at the 500 level or higher from the ISE and AME departments. For the non-thesis option, 16 units must be at the 500 level or higher from the AME and ISE departments, and/or closely related units (per the program director approval). As well, students can choose to take up to 8 units of directed research (e.g., AME 590 or ISE 590). Students must maintain a minimal cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all USC course work to receive the degree.

The program's prerequisite is a minimum of one 400 level course in either engineering design or engineering economy. Admitted students who do not meet this prerequisite will be assigned appropriate USC course(s) to complete the deficiencies. Deficiency courses, if taken at the 400 level, may be counted toward 28 units as general electives with adviser approval.

Depending on the academic background and career interests of students, the program offers two areas of specialization: namely product development Management and product development Technology. The Management specialization offers more ISE courses to prepare students as future product development managers whereas the Technology specialization includes more AME courses to prepare students as future product development engineers. Students entering this degree program must declare their choice of an area of specialization and follow the requirements of the chosen specialization to graduate. Switching between the two specializations is possible upon the approval of the program director.

Core Courses (8 units)

Core courses for both Management and Technology Specializations


*Choose one that is not included as a specialization required course.

Technology Specialization General Electives Suggested (4-7 units)

Adviser approved electives must be upper-division 400- or 500-level courses. Up to 4 units can be transferred from other institutions.

Minimum units required for degree: 28

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