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Prospective Students

Graduate Research Assistantships

We constantly look for applicants with strong mathematical background as Ph.D. students. We expect the applicants to know linear algebra and probability theory. Familiarity with optimization (linear and non-linear programming) and analysis of algorithms is a big plus. Several current projects are described in Research Projects. Each research assistant will receive a competitive stipend plus paid tuition. Outstanding applicants will also be considered for Fellowship. Research Assistantships and Fellowships are available for Ph.D. applicants only. These are highly competitive. I strongly encourage you to visit my project web pages, study our recent publications, interact with my students and research associates (see Research Team page) and discuss with me via email before you decide to apply to my group.

Applicants can apply to either the Computer Science department or to the Computer Engineering program within the Electrical Engineering department. If you are interested, please email Professor Prasanna ( with the following documents for evaluation:

  1. CV
  2. Undergraduate and Graduate (if available) transcripts
  3. GRE scores
  4. Copies of 2 of your publications if applicable
  5. Summary of your research interest

If you decide to apply to USC, following are the application instructions.

Application Instructions

  1. The USC graduate online application webpage is available at the following website:
  2. Some more information can be found at and
  3. If you are a new applicant, register an account at the application webpage.
  4. Read the instructions on the webpage carefully and fill the online application form. You must provide the following information:
    • Biographical and contact information
    • Application information
    • Academic and language background
    • Additional information and comments
    • International applicant information, if applicable
  5. In application information, select Engineering as the target school and Computer Engineering or Computer Science as your intended program.
  6. In additional information and comments, please mention that you want to work with Prof. Viktor Prasanna.
  7. Please email Professor Prasanna ( with the following documents:
    • CV
    • Undergraduate transcript (even for applicants with a graduate degree)
    • GRE scores
    • Short description of mathematical expertise
    • Summary of your research interests that relate to my current projects
  8. If you have questions about the USC application process, please e-mail the USC Graduate Admissions Office, or contact them via telephone at (213) 740-1111.

Directed Research for on Campus (currently enrolled) Students

We offer directed research to exceptional Masters and Undergraduate students in our project areas. Please read the following before you apply:

  1. We do not accept Masters students in their first or last semester, and undergraduates in Freshman or Sophomore years.
  2. We expect students to continue DR the next semester.
  3. Students considering applying for Ph.D. are preferred.
  4. Applicant must not be enrolled in any other DR or internship.
  5. Required coursework:
      Graduate Students:

    • Must have taken CS 570
    • ML (CS 567)/Data Mining (CS 541)/Optimization course is a plus.
      Undergraduate Students:

    • Must have taken CS 270
  6. The typical load for 1 unit DR:
    • Participate in weekly group meetings
    • Interact closely with Ph.D. students in the group
    • Perform detailed implementation (hardware or software coding) of ideas discussed
    • Read and present at least 3 papers
    • Final report and conference or workshop submission
    • Final project presentation to the group
  7. Work should be completed in the semester enrolled.

Application Instructions

If you qualify based on the above guidelines, please send the following to Professor Prasanna (, and copy Research Associates Dr. Srivastava ( ) and Dr. Kuppannagari ( ):

  1. Your CV, including courses taken at USC with grades and relevant projects
  2. Your review and a brief summary of two recent research papers published by the group
  3. A potential topic of interest and summary of your proposed research
  4. Coursework in the current semester
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