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.


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


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.

Study and Research in the United States

Fellowships for Under-represented Students

Because all admitted students receive fellowship, they are expected to devote full-time study towards the Ph.D. and are not allowed to take on contemporaneous  employment or equivalent external commitments.

Contact Details

USC Department of English

3501 Trousdale Parkway
Taper Hall of Humanities 404
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354

Office Hours

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