Scholarships, Fellowships and Assistantships

Grants and scholarships and fellowships are types of financial aid that do not have to be repaid.

Sources of scholarships, assistantships and fellowships

Your academic department or professional school.

Some departments provide their scholarships in the form of a monthly stipend that is paid directly to the student receiving the award. Stipend payments are made monthly according to the stipend schedule.

USC Financial Aid Office (administers federal aid programs, including Federal Work-Study awards; coordinates departmental scholarships and stipends).

The Graduate School (administers fellowship programs and provides information about non-university funding sources).

Federal agencies and private foundations (support for students engaged in specific fields of study).

Corporations (fellowships or tuition reimbursement for employees).

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are awarded by academic departments on the basis of scholastic accomplishment, academic promise and competence. Appointments are for a maximum of one year at a time, and confer both tuition credit and a stipend.

Teaching/Laboratory Assistants

Students are assigned specific duties that assist the teaching staff of the university, but do not serve as the instructors of record. These positions help develop research and teaching skills. Contact your academic department to apply.

Assistant lecturers

Students teach in the Freshman Writing Program, language programs in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the American Language Institute (ALI) and other programs approved by the Director of Graduate and Professional Programs. Assistant lecturers may serve as instructors of record. Contact your academic department to apply.

Research Assistants

Students assist the faculty in research-related tasks that can further the students own research interests. Contact your academic department to apply.


Fellowships and scholarships are awarded to graduate students on a competitive basis by USC schools and departments, as well as by outside agencies. Awards consist of tuition credit and/or stipends. Most Ph.D. students at USC are fully supported by fellowships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships or a combination of these funding sources.

Endowed USC Fellowships

Several endowed fellowships are administered by The Graduate School. Some require candidates to be nominated by their department; others are awarded to students who apply. For more information, visit the Graduate School website.

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