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As a prospective student interested in graduate study in the area of communications, you may use this page to learn more about our program. Some common questions and issues that arise are addressed below:

  • Application
    You must apply to the Electrical Engineering Department at USC, CSI does not accept or process applications for admission. You may indicate on your application that you are interested in studying communications.
  • Financial Aid
    Aid awards are highly competitive. If you are interested in receiving financial aid, you should complete the financial aid application that supplements your application to the graduate program in EE at USC. Highly qualified applicants are indentified early in the admissions process and a list of these students is provided to faculty. Thus, the most effective way to receive financial aid is to apply through the department and complete the financial aid application. Directly contacting CSI faculty with financial aid requests is not effective.
  • Is CSI the right place for you?
    We have tried to include enough information on this page to give prospective students some feel for graduate student life at CSI. If you have been accepted into the graduate program and you are trying to decide between several good options, we suggest that you visit the department and speak with our faculty and graduate students.
  • Finding an Advisor/Starting Research
    There is a large graduate student population in the EE department, with many students interested in communication theory, coding, information theory, and networks. Most students who come to USC after receiving a BSEE focus on coursework initially. The courses in the communications area at USC are excellent, offering unparalleled depth and breadth. Doing well in your classes is the best first step to doing good research.

    The majority of students interested in entering industry after receiving the MSEE complete their degree based solely on coursework, although directed research and/or a Masters thesis are options. Students pursuing the Ph.D. degree usually are recruited by an individual faculty member, or they join a professor's research group in the first year after completion of their MSEE.

  • Getting Advice
    Just prior to each semester, we hold several group advising sessions for students interested in studying communications. These are publicized through the department. During these sessions, faculty provide answers to frequently asked questions, and address individual questions. You can also meet with individual faculty during their posted office hours. However, these group advising sessions are highly recommended because many new students have common concerns. It also gives you an opportunity to meet your new classmates.

    The EE-Systems department has staff resources to help you with more complex issues such as transfer units, non-EE coursework, etc.