Since it’s the most wonderful time of the year (registration season duh) here are some of my favorite classes that I’ve taken over the past three semesters:

Course Class Size Description
ASTE 101 – Intro to Astronautical Engineering 25
  • Has both a lecture and a lab section
  • Get to learn about the different topics and software an astronautical engineer would have to use in industry
  • Introduction to basic orbital mechanics, rocketry, and spacecraft systems
ENGR 102 – Engineering Freshman Academy 40
  • Class where you get to interact and collaborate with other freshman engineers in various disciplines (great for meeting other engineers outside of your major)
  • Get to learn about resources offered by Viterbi that will help enhance student’s experience
  • Get assigned an upperclassman mentor
WRIT 150 – Writing and Critical Reasoning 20
  • Topic based writing class (mine was about globalization)
  •  Class is small so it is very discussion based where students and teachers all work together
  • Great intro to higher level writing and thinking
HBIO 205 – The Science of Sport 100
  • Lecture section with about 100 people but lab section only has 15-20
  • Human biology in an athletic application 
  • Got to use labs at USC to measure things like my body composition, vertical, and muscular power generation
GESM 111 – Seminar in the Arts 15
  • An introductory drawing class
  • All freshman must take a General Education Seminar or GESM for short
MATH 245 – Mathematics of Physics and Engineering 45
  • Ordinary Differential Equations and Linear Algebra course that introduces MATLAB in a specifically calculation based application
AMST 101 – Race and Class in Los Angeles 150
  • Lecture section with about 150 people but discussion with 20 people
  • A history class that focuses on the development of Los Angeles as it relates to racialization and class struggles
AME 201 – Statics 35
  • The application of physics principles to static systems
  • Typically one of the first engineering classes to take
ART 150 – Introduction to Photography 15
  • Class #1 of my photo minor
  • Teaches students about the studio art process in relation to photography through project brainstorming and implementation
  • Learn how to use a DSLR camera
  • Learn about different styles of photography
PHYS 172 – Applied Physics II 45
  • The second physics course that focuses on electricity and magnetism
  • Had a lecture, discussion, and lab section

USC, and Viterbi specifically, does an excellent job of fostering a collaborative work environment by having small class sizes and extremely accessible professors. Additionally, by allowing for discussion and lab sections, students are still able to immerse themselves in the content being taught in the lectures.

Kaleigh Ray

Kaleigh Ray

MAJOR: Astronautical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2025 HOMETOWN: Bakersfield, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @k.rayray03 Short Bio - I have been involved in research at the Space Engineering Research Center (SERC) as well as a member of USC’s Rocket Propulsion Lab. At SERC, I worked on developing a docking system for cubesats with project CLING and am currently work on project MAVERIC, designing the power system of a 3U cubesat. In RPL, I am on the composites team and design team. Outside of Viterbi, I have interned at Astrolab where I was a Structures and Mechanisms Engineering intern and helped with lunar mission development and payload prototyping. I also like doing intramurals and photography on my free time!

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