Undergraduate Education

Office of Undergraduate Programs

About the Office

By providing a distinctive undergraduate experience built on excellent liberal arts and professional programs, we aim to create unique opportunities for career preparation through innovative collaborations across disciplines. The university's commitment to becoming the world center for innovative interdisciplinary research and undergraduate education is reflected in the emphasis on providing opportunities for students to participate in research and related scholarly endeavors. Our academic programs span the spectrum from basic to applied research with a high degree of societal relevance. This focus on undergraduate participation in the creation of knowledge is a principal ingredient of the academic experience at USC.

In addition to formal academic major and minor programs, USC offers undergraduates an academic life full of opportunities -- to conduct research with faculty, to study abroad, to learn by serving the community and much more. We know that tomorrow's leaders will have broad backgrounds in diverse fields. They will be life-long learners with the ability and passion to continuously acquire and synthesize knowledge. In short, they will have both a breadth and a depth of knowledge. Academic life at USC offers a constellation of opportunity. For those who accept them, there are challenges here to be seized and shaped for a lifetime of leadership, intelligent citizenship, and enlightened living. Welcome and best wishes as you pursue your academic endeavors.


Gene Bickers, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs

As vice provost for undergraduate programs, Gene is responsible for oversight of the university's Renaissance Scholars, Discovery Scholars, Global Scholars, McNair Scholars and Undergraduate Research programs. He also works with the vice president for academic planning and budget to develop new curricular strategies that address USC's commitment to education centered on the needs of undergraduate learners.

Since joining USC in 1988, Gene has taught at all levels at the university. He chaired the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 2003 to 2005 and has been honored with many of the university's most prestigious teaching awards, including USC College's Raubenheimer Junior and Senior Faculty Awards (1992 and 2002), a Mortar Board Excellence in Teaching Award (1994), the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching (1999) and the university's Teaching Has No Boundaries Award (2003). Additionally, from 1997 to 2000, he was a Faculty Fellow of the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching.

Gene' research focuses on the physics of strongly correlated electrons in solids. He was an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow from 1991 to 1993, and his investigations have been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research.

Outside the university, Gene has been a member of the National Committee of Examiners for the Graduate Record Examination in physics since 2001, serving as committee chair beginning in 2004.

Gene earned his bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics (with highest distinction) at the University of Virginia. He holds master's and doctoral degrees in theoretical physics from Cornell University.

David Glasgow, Director, Undergraduate Programs

As the Director of Undergraduate Programs, Dr. David Glasgow is primarily responsible for administering the Renaissance Scholars, Discovery Scholars, and Global Scholars programs, as well as the annual Undergraduate Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work. He works in conjunction with all academic departments to enhance research opportunities for undergraduate students and coordinates a number of undergraduate research opportunities and funding programs and including the Research Clearinghouse, Medical Preceptorship Program, USC Provost's Undergraduate Research Fellowships, the Rose Hills Foundation for Science and Engineering Fellowships, and the Undergraduate Research Associates Program. David also organizes a Summer Bridge Program for select incoming freshmen. In addition, David manages a university-wide advisor training for new and veteran advisors. He also directs campus-wide retention efforts and works with liaisons from all academic units to ensure accurate reporting of retention and graduation data.

Prior to joining the Provost's office, David held positions in the Office of College Advising, Degree Progress, and Curriculum at USC. David earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in Public Administration from USC and holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership also from USC.

Heather Cartagena, Associate Director, Undergraduate Programs

As the Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs, Heather coordinates the Renaissance Scholars and Discovery Scholars programs, and organizes a series of spring events which showcase the research and creative work of USC's undergraduates (Undergraduate Writers' Conference and the Undergraduate Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work). She also supports campus-wide advisor training and is the project lead for the university-wide USC Undergraduate Advisement Database which is used by all undergraduate academic advisors at USC.

Heather was previously an academic advisor, program manager, and advising administrator at the USC Marshall School of Business. Heather earned her bachelor's degree in psychology and her master's in education, both from USC.

Erica Lovano McCann, Assistant Director, Undergraduate Programs

As the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs, Erica coordinates the Academic Achievement Award (AAA) program which offers eligible students a break in tuition to pursue multiple programs of study. She also coordinates the Global Scholars program. In addition, Erica works to intentionally collaborate with colleagues across campus to promote opportunities for interdisciplinary study and discussion among undergraduate students..

Erica earned her bachelor's degree in sociology with minors in gender studies and non-profit management from the University of San Diego. She earned her master's in higher education administration from USC. Previously Erica has worked in areas such as Residential Education, Student Activities, Parent & Orientation Programs, Service Learning Programs, and Academic Success Initiatives.

USC Undergraduate Programs