University of Southern California
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Product Development Engineering

Olin Hall of Engineering, 430
(213) 740-5353
FAX: (213) 740-8071

Program Director: Stephen C-Y Lu, Ph.D.

Master of Science in Product Development Engineering

The Master of Science in product development engineering (MSPED) 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 Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering department manages this joint degree program. Students can enter this program in either the fall or spring semesters, and it is available to full-time and part-time students.

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; and
  • Satisfactory general GRE scores of at least 400 verbal, 650 quantitative and 550 analytical.

The MSPED program requires a minimum of 27 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 the thesis option, 4 of the 27 units are to be thesis. At least 16 units, not including thesis, must be at the 500 level or higher, and at least 18 units must be from the AME and ISE departments. For the non-thesis option, 18 of the 27 units must be at the 500 level or higher from the AME and ISE departments, and/or closely related departments. As well, students can choose to take up to 6 units of directed research (e.g., AME 590 or ISE 590). Students must maintain a minimal cumulative GPA of 3.0 in USC course work to graduate.

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 27 units as general electives with advisor approval.

Depending on the academic background and career interests of students, the program offers two areas of specialization, product development technology and product development systems. The product development technology specialization will prepare students for a career as future product development engineers, while the product development systems specialization will prepare students as future product development managers. Students entering this program must declare their choice of an area of specialization and follow the requirements of each area of specialization to graduate.

The required 27 units are grouped into four categories of courses for each area of specialization as follows:

Required Courses (6 units)Units
AME 503Advanced Mechanical Design3
ISE 545Technology Development and Implementation3

Product Development Systems Required Courses (6 units)Units
ISE 515Engineering Project Management3
ISE 544Management of Engineering Teams3

Product Development Systems technical electives (6 units)Units
ISE 415Industrial Automation3
ISE 460Engineering Economy3
ISE 470Human/Computer Interface Design3
ISE 511LComputer Aided Manufacturing3
ISE 517Modern Enterprise Systems3
ISE 525Design of Experiments3
ISE 527Quality Management for Engineers3
ISE 528Advanced Statistical Aspects of Engineering Reliability3
ISE 555Invention and Technology Development3
ISE 561Economic Analysis of Engineering Projects3
ISE 567Collaborative Engineering Principles and Practice3
ISE 576Industrial Ecology: Technology-Environment Interaction3
ISE 580Advanced Concepts in Computer Simulation3
ISE 585Strategic Management of Technology3
SAE 541Systems Engineering Theory and Practice3

Product Development Technology required Courses (6 units)Units
AME 505Engineering Information Modeling3
AME 525Engineering Analysis, or
AME 526Engineering Analytical Methods3

Product Development technology technical electives (6 units)Units
AME 408Computer-Aided Design of Mechanical Systems3
AME 410Engineering Design Theory and Methodology3
AME 481Aircraft Design3
AME 501Spacecraft System Design3
AME 504Metallurgical Design3
AME 506Design of Low Cost Space Missions3
AME 527Elements of Vehicle and Energy Systems Design3
AME 528Elements of Composite Structure Design3
AME 544Computer Control of Mechanical Systems3
AME 588Materials Selection3
CE 550Computer-Aided Engineering3
CE 551Computer-Aided Engineering Project3
ISE 567Collaborative Engineering Principles and Practice3
ISE 576Industrial Ecology: Technology-Environment Interaction3
SAE 549Systems Architecting3

General Electives (9 units)Units
Advisor-approved electives
(Must be upper-division 400 or 500 level courses; up to 4 units can be transferred from other institutions)
Total units required for degree27