The Center for Engineering Diversity (CED)

Established in 1975, the Center for Engineering Diversity (CED) exists to assist The Viterbi School of Engineering in the recruitment, retention and graduation of our historically underrepresented (African-American, Latino, Native American and female) students pursuing engineering degrees.

Partnering with the Viterbi Admission and Student Affairs division, industry, and alumni affords CED the opportunity to provide a supportive environment that prepares students academically, professionally, and personally for success as professional and academic engineers.  Open to all students with an interest in diversity, CED fosters a community of scholars focused on excellence through connecting students to industry, faculty and student peers.

CED welcomes all students with an interest in being a member of a diverse community.  CED students have 24 hour access to “The Center” which includes an HP computer lab, study space, and lounge area.  CED is a hub for students to connect with each other after class or to meet to complete an assignment, or to work on a group project.

In addition to academic department faculty and staff advisors, the CED staff is available to assist students with academic-related issues and provide counseling on engineering trends, career options, and graduate education.


Current Student Programs

Open House

CED welcomes new and returning underrepresented Viterbi students to the new academic year. Faculty, industry partners and Viterbi staff are invited.

Academic Success/Career Development Workshops
CED offers workshops and panel discussions designed to assist students with academic and professional goal setting, and connecting them to faculty, alumni, and corporate representatives. Topics addressed include: time management, career preparation, networking, securing undergraduate research, and faculty as mentors.


CED Student Leadership Workshop

Executive board members of local student chapters of National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Society of Women Engineers(SWE) and Minority Engineering Graduate Association (MEGA) participate in interactive skill-building workshops led by industry members.

New Graduate Student Welcome Reception

All new and continuing underrepresented graduate students are invited to a reception during Orientation week each fall and spring.

CED Circles Peer Mentoring Program

CED Circles is a yearlong peer mentoring program for new Viterbi CED students. This is an early opportunity to begin establishing your support network at USC.

Brightideas: Design Competition sponsored by Boeing

In this competition, teams of three students have two hours to work together and create a theoretical design to a typical, real-world engineering problem. During this unique, resume-building experience, students will also have the opportunity to network with Boeing engineers and executives, who will be on hand to act as mentors and judges.


The Year End Banquet provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, industry and the students’ family members to celebrate the success of graduating CED students. The Industry Advisory Board generously funds this annual event.

Published on March 27th, 2017

Last updated on April 24th, 2020