Growing up, I always thought I would go from graduating high school, to graduating with an undergraduate degree, and then immediately to graduate school. However, after the college application process, the thought of ever having to submit applications and take standardized tests all over again made me feel uneasy. But, I still really wanted to continue my education past undergraduate without putting myself through the grueling application process.

After starting my degree here at USC, one day I’m scrolling through my regular emails from the school, and saw the phrase “progressive degree program,” which peaked my interest. I started doing some research, and came to find out that this program (commonly referred to as a PDP), allows you to apply for a masters program as a junior, start taking classes while you’re still in undergrad, and finish your masters degree in only one extra year. I thought it couldn’t get much better than this, and then suddenly it does; I didn’t even have to take the GRE!

I realized that this was the perfect program for me. While I enjoy my undergraduate, it can be tough at times, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle an additional two years of school for a master’s in engineering. Plus, I had enough space in my schedule that I’m able to graduate with my degree in environmental engineering this spring, and then next fall (2022) I’ll graduate with my master’s! My PDP is in green technologies, so I get to take a bunch of classes relating to sustainability, renewable energy, and more, which is pretty much where I want to take my career path.

I’m in two classes for my PDP right now, and they’ve been super enjoyable so far, and I’m super excited to continue taking these classes for the next year!

Olivia Morse

Olivia Morse

MAJOR: Environmental Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Danville, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @livv_morse I'm on the E-Board of USC's chapter of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, and I'm also involved in the Society of Women in Engineering and American Society of Civil Engineering. I am also a member of Greek life.