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Center for Engineering Diversity

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.

 Our Signature Events Include:

Open House

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

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 workshop sled by industry members that will enhance their leadership skills.

Academic Success/Career Development Workshops

CED offers workshops aimed at assisting students in planning for their futures in engineering. Examples of past workshops are: Why Graduate School, A Day in The Life of An Engineer, Advocating for Yourself in the Workplace, Networking Etiquette, and Company Information Sessions. Additionally, they serve as judges in academic competitions throughout Viterbi.

Brightideas: Research Presentation Competition

As a part of Viterbi’s E-week celebration, BRiGHTiDEAS, a competition for undergraduates, engages students in a quick, fun exercise to illustrate the importance of communication skills to engineering students.  Students are assigned to a small team , select a research paper, spend 45 minutes creating a brief presentation that is judged by industry members.


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.