A Welcome Message from the Computer Science Department Chair


Cyrus Shahabi, Professor and Chair

Welcome to USC’s Department of Computer Science

At the USC’s Department of Computer Science, we are committed to extending the frontiers of knowledge, developing technology for good, and advancing education with real-world impact.

Established in 1968, the department has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years. Our student population has tripled since 2011, now boasting more than 90 faculty members, 360 doctoral students, 2,000 master’s students and 1,200 undergraduates.

With this tremendous expansion, we are delighted by the news that the department will soon have a new state-of-the-art home—a 98,000-square foot structure on campus, thanks to a lead gift from dedicated USC supporters, Charlotte and Allen Ginsburg.

The new facility, announced earlier this year, will bring together computer science students, researchers and experts from disciplines across the university, as they collaborate on pressing issues like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, human trafficking and homelessness.

Our commitment to research and support of our faculty’s diverse research areas has paid off with recognition as one of the country’s leading computer science departments. The program ranked No. 1 in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings for best online master’s programs in information technology for the eighth consecutive year.

Also this year, the USC Games program, offered in collaboration with USC’s School of Cinematics Arts, was recognized by Princeton Review as North America’s top game design program for undergraduates.

Other innovative programs and centers that seek to address some of society’s most intractable challenges are the USC Viterbi Data Science Program, an undergraduate program offered with the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and the Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society (CAIS), a partnership with the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.

Connecting with industry is also a key driver for the department. The Computer Science (CS) Department Industry Affiliate Program (IAP), which was launched in fall 2018 provides engagement opportunities with our exceptionally talented students, world-class faculty, and innovative researchers in an array of path-setting disciplines. Current members include Google, Lyft, DiDi and Microsoft.

Computer science is key to finding innovative solutions to the most complex problems facing society today, accelerating breakthroughs and forging new advances and ideas that will benefit humanity. As we navigate these uncertain times, the future of computer science graduates is now brighter than ever, with science and technology playing a vital role in combating the pandemic and building a better, more just, future for all.

To prospective scholars and students, I hope you consider joining us on this journey. To all our new students, we in the Computer Science Department look forward to working with you to make your USC Viterbi School education a unique experience.

I invite you to explore some of the highlights of the cutting-edge work undertaken by our department’s faculty members on our news page. You can also find detailed information about all of our degree options, courses, faculty and research throughout this website.