Applying for an HPC Account

An HPC account is required to access HPC resources. These accounts are available to USC faculty, research staff, and graduate students; graduate students will need the approval of their faculty advisors. You may request more than one project account if you are working on multiple projects that require HPC resources. All users associated with a project’s HPC account share the resources allocated to that account. Please note that HPC accounts and resources are for research and teaching purposes only; use of the resources for commercial purposes is not permitted.

HPC researchers who require secure data computation for their projects may additionally apply for an HPC secure data account (HSDA). Data stored in these accounts will be encrypted automatically upon upload and at rest. These accounts allow researchers to work in a secure environment that meets the requirements of HIPAA regulations.

When requesting an allocation of HPC resources, you should explain the nature of your research from a computational perspective, detail the experience of researchers doing similar work using machines similar to HPC, provide information on any grants or other funding that is used to support your project, and describe how computing resources will be used in your research. If you are requesting an HPC secure data account, you will need to submit an additional HPC Secure Data Agreement to be considered for this type of account (see the Application Guidelines section for more information.)

Any form of publication, including web pages, resulting from work done on HPC machines should include a citation similar to the following:

Computation for the work described in this paper was supported by the University of Southern California’s Center for High-Performance Computing (


This research was supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering Division, Grant # DE-FG02-04ER-46130.The simulations were performed at the Center for High-Performance Computing of the University of Southern California.

Copies of published papers acknowledging HPC should be submitted for inclusion on the HPC project website, under the publications page ( Be sure to include complete publication information (i.e, a URL, PDF, or PS file of the actual publication) and indicate if there are any restrictions on publication. Compliance with this policy will be a factor in the evaluation of account renewals.

Applications for accounts are reviewed by HPC management and processed within two weeks. All applications are evaluated on the basis of their technical merit and accomplishments. The HPC allocation committee, a subcommittee of the HPC faculty advisory council, reviews applications for large allocation proposals. These reviews are based on your justification of computational needs and a demonstration of effective use of the HPC computing resources.

Account Application

In order to apply for a new account, please go to and complete the account application. To access the account application, you will need to enter your USC NetID and your USC NetID password. Your USC NetID is used to connect to services such as Workday and

In addition, this web page must be accessed from a USC IP address. If you are attempting to connect to this page from a non-USC Internet connection, you will need to use the USC Virtual Private Network (VPN) to connect to this page. For information on accessing the USC VPN, see the VPN Overview page on the ITS website.

Application Guidelines

The HPC account application page is used for new account applications, to request the allocation of additional HPC resources for existing HPC accounts, and to request HPC secure data accounts.

Please note the following items:

  1. In order to access the account application form, the primary investigator (PI) will be required to log in with his or her USC username and password.
  2. Only one PI information record is necessary for each HPC account.
  3. If you are applying for an HPC secure data account (HSDA), be certain to select the secure data option on the application before submitting it for approval. The PI must submit a signed HPC Secure Data Agreement before the application will be deemed complete and processing begins.
  4. Java and JavaScript must be enabled in your browser in order to successfully access the application.

Getting Help

For answers to frequently asked questions regarding HPC accounts such as “How do I log into the HPC cluster?”, “What is my disk quota?”, “How do I reset my password?”, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please send an email to