Political Scholarships and Awards


Diana Chudacoff Levin Award, Kam Kuwata Award for Political Involvement,

 Coady Scholarship for Summer Interns, Dr. Larry Berg Award in Political Leadership, Independent Spirit Award 

The political internship scholarships and awards include the Diana Chudacoff Levin Award, Kam Kuwata Award for Political Involvement, Coady Scholarship for Summer Interns, Dr. Larry Berg Award in Political Leadership, and Independent Spirit Award. All internship awards and scholarships will be applied to internships during the summer semester and the award amounts will vary by each award recipient.

Internships provide exciting opportunities for students to gain direct hands-on experience in the worlds of politics, government and public service. Interns develop insight into the nature of political institutions and learn about important policy debates while building invaluable relationships with potential future employers. Internships are available with elected officials, political consultants, non-governmental organizations, state and local government agencies, environmental organizations, political parties and campaigns, interest groups, political media and more.

Diana Chudacoff Levin Award

The Diana Chudacoff Levin Award provides support to outstanding students who would like to explore the real world of politics through an internship experience. Students who demonstrate an interest in the political process and whose aspirations include future civic engagement are most likely to be successful in the highly competitive selection process. Interns may take positions in political and governmental offices in the Los Angeles area, Sacramento, Washington D.C., and other locations in the United States. All internships must be unpaid. Those selected will enroll in POSC 395: Directed Governmental and Political Leadership Internship, and must fulfill the course requirements. Award winners will receive a generous stipend and/or 2 units of tuition credit to be applied to POSC 395. 

Kam Kuwata Award for Political Involvement

The Kam Kuwata Award for Political Involvement will be offered to a student or students who have demonstrated a strong interest in politics, government, or public service. The Kuwata Award will provide them with financial support to work in one of these fields.

Coady Scholarship for Summer Interns

The Coady Scholarship for Summer Interns provides funding to sophomores, juniors or seniors with demonstrated financial need, who are enrolled in the Departments of Political Science or Sociology and who are selected to participate in internships with a focus on political service or social activism as part of the Gateway Internship Program. This program combines summer internships with a mentorship with a distinguished professional. For more information on the Gateway Internship Program, please visit: dornsife.usc.edu/gatewayinternships

Dr. Larry Berg Award in Political Leadership

The Dr. Larry Berg for Political Leadership will provide financial support to a student or students whose academic work, political involvement, and civic engagement has prepared them for working on behalf of a candidate or cause that inspires them. The award will be presented to a student or students who have demonstrated a strong interest in public service, and a commitment to their peers and community.

Independent Spirit Award

The Independent Spirit Award will be granted to a student or students whose internship endeavors demonstrate an entrepreneurial vigor and visionary approach to solving public policy challenges. The award will support students who have internship placements with organizations or offices that have pioneered reform policies or programs that aim to make lasting change. Candidates will be expected to make the case for why their political internship is particularly innovative. 

Eligibility

All awards are open to undergraduate students of all majors currently pursuing degrees at USC with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must not graduate before the end of the 2014 Summer Semester. Internships must be unpaid or low-paid and students must work a minimum of 25 hours per week. 


While it is not required to have an internship confirmed when submitting an application, students must have applied to a number of possible internships and have a strong area of interest or specific internship placement in mind. As these are competitive awards, in addition to exemplary academic work, candidates should demonstrate an interest in politics, government or public service, as shown through means such as:

  • attending and/or organizing political events (especially on-campus events)
  • prior political volunteerism
  • political internships
  • politically-related student activities
  • attendance and/or participation in Unruh Institute events

Application Instructions

Please complete the attached application, and include an unofficial transcript (downloadable by printing your “Completed Course Summary” at www.usc.edu/oasis), a complete resume, a writing sample, and a 250-500 word essay explaining why you would like to participate in this program. Please submit two letters of recommendation, written by a faculty member at USC or elsewhere.

Finalists for the Diana Chudacoff Levin Award, Kam Kuwata Award for Political Involvement, and Coady Award for Summer Internswill be invited to have an interview with the selection committee. 

The Summer 2014 application period has passed. Please check back during the 2015 Spring semester for more information.

 

 

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