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For many years, the University of Southern California has provided special recognition to undergraduates who demonstrate outstanding achievement in important dimensions of undergraduate education. Discovery Scholars are students who excel in the classroom while demonstrating the ability to create exceptional new scholarship or artistic works. The Global Scholars program recognizes undergraduates who have excelled in their studies both at home and abroad. Renaissance Scholars are students whose broad and diverse interests help them excel academically.

To these honors we have added a program offering university-wide recognition to outstanding graduating seniors- available only to students whose major course of study is in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.

Dornsife Scholars are students whose academic achievements underscore the relationship between excellence in the core disciplines of letters, arts, and sciences (either in the humanities, social sciences or sciences) and the aspiration to have a positive impact on the world. Dana and David Dornsife are internationally renowned philanthropists with the highest regard for education. Dornsife Scholars will be expected to demonstrate a comparable commitment to educational excellence and the advances that allow for improving the lives of people and addressing pressing global challenges.


Only students who major in USC Dornsife are eligible. The USC Dornsife Scholars program combines the talents sought in the USC Discovery and Global Scholars program with an added emphasis on positive human impact. Dornsife Scholars will be named in the spring semester of their senior year. USC Dornsife students will be selected for the Dornsife Scholar Next Level prize of $10,000 to be used for graduate or professional school studies. The requirements for consideration by the USC Dornsife Scholars Faculty Selections Committee will include:

  • That students have a major in USC Dornsife;
  • A GPA of 3.5 overall, and in upper-division major coursework a demonstration that applicants have taken challenging courses in USC Dornsife;
  • Participation in independent research involving close collaboration with a USC Dornsife faculty member in a laboratory or field project, or engagement in archival or library research;
  • Academic study abroad or participation in short-term international internships, research projects, or programs such as Problems Without Passports

Please deliver your application to Kimberly Allen in the USC Dornsife Office of the Dean, ADM 304, no later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, APRIL 6, 2016. Applications must include:

  • Application form (link below)
  • Academic transcript (STARS Report and Completed Course Summary)
  • Resumé
  • Sample of your scholarly work
  • Essay response


Dornsife Scholar Application Form