Michael Sullivan Award

Michael Sullivan (USC International Relations BA, 1957) spent his entire career as a high school counselor in the farming communities around Watsonville, California. He felt that it was essential for schools to send their most qualified students to the best universities throughout the United States and he dedicated his life to this goal.

Michael Sullivan made a bequest to the USC School of International Relations for the purpose of helping recent SIR graduates who, saddled with undergraduate tuition debt, would not be able to attend graduate or professional school. Each spring, the School of International Relations mails Michael Sullivan Award competition announcements to graduating seniors and recent graduates. At the School's pre-commencement ceremony in May, the School Director announces Michael Sullivan Awardees in memory of Michael Sullivan, Class of 1957 and Louis Meyers, Class of 1959.

SIR has been awarding grants to graduating seniors and recent graduates since 2003. The number of awards has varied each year from as many as eleven awards to as few as three.


  • Be a graduating SIR senior or recent SIR graduate (applying within 5 years of graduation date) who has applied for admission to graduate and/or professional schools.
  • Have applied for graduate and/or professional school program(s).
  • Be able to demonstrate that his or her "financial status" is such that this fellowship would help remove a final impediment the applicant's desire to pursue an advanced degree.
  • Have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership, and service while at USC and/or outside the university setting.

Awards consideration will be given only to those applying for and entering their first year of graduate/law studies; those already in graduate/law school need not apply.


Last Friday in March: A complete application due by 4 p.m., turn into VKC 330 or to Linda Cole at lcole@usc.edu.

May: Selection committee meets/reviews applications. (The committee will look at GPA, but will place more importance on the courses and faculty that you have taken at USC. Extra-curricular activities are also important but they will not be a determining factor.)

Mid-May: Recipients announced


All complete applications must have:

  • 3-4 recommendations. Three must be from faculty members at USC. One may be a professional recommendation or from faculty from another colleges or universities. SIR Professors do not need to write letters. Please provide SIR recommender's name(s) and we will obtain these recommendations.

  • Copy of your graduate school application

  • 250 word essay in which you demonstrate a clear vision of your goals and how the proposed graduate study will enhance your intellectual and professional development, If you have already graduated, please indicate what you have been doing. (Please type your name and USC ID on the top of the page.)

  • National Student Loan Data System for Students print-out (NSLDS)


All required documents must be submitted to the following address no later than 4 p.m. on the last Friday in March.

School of International Relations-SULLIVAN COMMITTEE
3518 Trousdale Parkway, VKC 330
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0043

Applications can also be submitted electronically to Linda Cole at lcole@usc.edu. Please title email "Sullivan Committee".

  • School of International Relations
  • 3518 Trousdale Parkway
  • Von KleinSmid Center 330
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0043
  • Phone: (213) 740 - 2136