Fellowships and Prizes

For information about upcoming external fellowships, see "Fellowship News" on the right.

  • Dissertation fellowships


    Fellowships for continuing students, intended to support a year of dissertation writing and research, are awarded by internal competition. Each includes a generous stipend and tuition remission.

    • The Graduate School’s Arnold, Bing, and Oakley Fellowships are awarded annually to the university’s most promising Ph.D. candidates, with one or more award often going to students from the English Department.
    • Feuchtwanger Foundation Fellowships for research on “the political novel” are awarded each year to Ph.D. students in any literature department.
    • The USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute offers dissertation fellowships to students of the humanities whose research focuses on periods prior to 1850.
    • “Final Year” and “Final Summer” Fellowships, awarded by the College, support advanced students in completing and filing their dissertations.
    • Continuing students are also encouraged to apply for dissertation research support from several federal and private sources, including the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Josephine De Karman Foundation, and the Jacob Javits Foundation. For more information on these and other sources, please visit the Graduate School website.
  • Prizes


    In addition to the full-year fellowships listed above, the department and university award several special prizes for graduate students each year.

    • The Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for international students and the Rockwell Dennis Hunt Scholarship Award for graduates of USC are administered by the Graduate School.
    • Teaching Prizes, conferred by USC’s General Education Program, are awarded each year to outstanding teaching assistants and assistant lecturers.
    • The Graduate School Dissertation Prize of $1,000 is awarded annually to the three most outstanding dissertations across the university.
    • The English department annually sponsors the Moses Prizes in Fiction and Poetry and the James Prize for best critical essay.
    • The Louise Kerckhoff Prize for best essay of the year in Gender Studies, awarded by the Gender Studies program, has often been won by graduate students in English.
    • Summer Fellowships of $2,000-$3,000 are awarded on a funding-available basis through the English department and USC’s Strategic Theme Initiatives.
    • The William James Graduate Essay Prize offers a $1,000 prize for the best graduate essay written during the current academic year. Eligible for the competition are papers written for specific seminars, essays submitted to journals, conference papers, or excerpts from dissertations in progress. Submissions should be 2,500 to 9,000 words (the standard for PMLA submissions) and should not include the author's name anywhere on the manuscript. Instead, a cover sheet should be submitted that includes the author's name and the title of the essay. Deadline: Spring semesters - TBA
  • Travel and conference funds


    The department awards one trip a year to every student traveling to a conference, up to $500. Travel to carry on research at out-of-state or international archives is occasionally funded when the graduate budget permits; travel funds are also available, on a competitive basis, from the Center for Feminist Research, the Early Modern Studies Institute, and other on-campus organizations.

  • External resources


    Funding opportunities include external fellowships for study and research throughout the United States and abroad and fellowships for under-represented students. More information about these resources can be found on the Graduate School website.

Graduate alumni publications pictured above:
Sun Hee Teresa Lee, How to Analyze the Films of Tim Burton Abdo 2011; Ava Chin, Split: Stories from a Generation Raised on Divorce McGraw-Hill 2002; Amaranth Borsuk, Handiwork Slope Editions 2012; Stephan Clark, Vladimir's Mustache Russian Information Services, Inc. 2012; Ned Schantz, Gossip, Letters, Phones Oxford UP 2008; Shefali Rajamannar, Reading the Animal in the Literature of the British Raj Palgrave Macmillan 2012.

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