There are many ways to get involved with the Department of Middle East Studies and pursue your research goals.
Every year, the department, as well as Dornsife College and the University, offer competitive awards for all students.
Department Fellowships, Awards, and Prizes
The Farhang Foundation Persian-IV & Advanced Persian Scholarship offers tuition assistance to undergraduate students with a keen interest in studying Persian-IV (IRAN-250) and Advanced Persian courses (IRAN-320 or IRAN-350). This scholarship is specifically designed for students who require additional funding to enroll in an extra 4-unit course, leading to an overload of credits beyond the standard 16-unit load. The aim of this scholarship is to provide support to students who aspire to further their academic pursuits in the field of Iranian Studies.
Eligibility requirements for the scholarship include:1) an extra course load over 16 units, 2) a minimum GPA of 3.0, 3) eligible to enroll in Persian-IV or Advanced Persian courses and 4) preference given to students minoring in Iranian Studies.
To apply for the above scholarship for Spring 2024, applicants must email the following documents to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 15th , 2023:
- A copy of the overload registration form.
- The latest copy of their STARS Report transcript.
- Written permission from their home department to enroll in 20 units.
- A typed short essay in Persian, explaining why they are interested in taking Persian-IV or Advanced Persian courses and how it would support their future plans.
*We enthusiastically encourage eligible students to apply for the Farhang Foundation Advanced Persian Scholarship and advance their academic pursuits in Iranian Studies. It’s important to note that the number of available scholarships is limited, and the award is contingent upon the availability of funds.
The El Beih Paper Prize was established by USC alumnus Mohamed El Beih to recognize the best undergraduate student paper in Middle East Studies. Submissions for the 2023 prize will be accepted between September 1 and October 14, 2023.
The awardee will be announced at the department’s holiday party at the end of the fall semester. For more information, contact Professor Ramzi Rouighi (email@example.com).
2022 Recipient – John Klopotowski
2021 Recipient – Coco Zhang
2020 Recipient – Zachary Hrenko
2020 Honorable Mention – Sofia Cortes
2019 Recipient – Emily Wulf
2018 Recipient – Paxton Lambright
2018 Honorable Mention – Ciara Taylor
The Department of Middle East Studies recognizes students who have demonstrated academic excellence in the study of the Arabic language. Nominations are made by Arabic language faculty to the MDES Awards Committee.
The awardees will be announced at a departmental ceremony in May 2023. For more information, contact Professor Ramzi Rouighi.
2021 Awardees – Hana Ayoub, Domenic Camicia, and John Klopotowski
2020 Awardees – Hannah Kang and Jamie Schlegel
2019 Awardees – Paxton Lambright and Rawan Masri
2018 Awardees – Monica Leung and Nickolas Wrobleski
The Department of Middle East Studies recognizes students who have demonstrated academic excellence in the study of the Persian language. Nominations are made by Persian language faculty to the MDES Awards Committee.
The awardees will be announced at a departmental ceremony in May 2023. This award is partly funded by a generous contribution by the Gramian-Emrani Foundation. For more information, contact Professor Ramzi Rouighi.
2021 Awardees – Danial Hashemi and Melody Jebraili
2020 Awardees – Bijan Hosseini and Kaveh Mahdavi
2019 Awardees – Nastaran Far and Keon Ghodrati
2018 Awardees – Campbell Mattix and Bardia Soltani
The Department of Middle East Studies will be accepting applications for a Summer 2023 Foreign Language Scholarship. Applicants must be either a major or minor in our department or currently enrolled in Arabic or Persian language classes, have a minimum GPA of 3.3, and may not be graduating seniors.
Please submit a one page description of your summer plans to MDES@usc.edu by March 1, 2023 to be considered for Summer 2023.
Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
This certificate attests to students’ linguistic competency in at least two foreign languages. To qualify, students must meet foreign langauge requirement in two or more foreign languages and at least two courses counting toward the certificate must be taken at USC with a grade of B or better. For more information, go to https://dornsife.usc.edu/center-for-languages-and-cultures/clc-certificate.
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 Natural 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. For more information, go to https://dornsife.usc.edu/dornsife-scholars-program.
The Fisher Fellowship Program is the first program at USC Dornsife that enables students with financial needs to fully participate in the enrichment opportunities that are at the heart of the college. Students selected for this program will receive funding which may be used over a three-year period to participate in academic programs that involve international travel, field research, and service to various communities. For more information, go to https://dornsife.usc.edu/fisher-fellows-program.
The SOAR program provides funding to Dornsife undergraduates for participation as a research assistant in a faculty member’s project. The purpose of SOAR is to connect students with faculty members and their research; it allows all students to be mentored one-on-one by USC faculty, introduces students early in their academic careers to the process of serious scholarly inquiry, and fosters valuable relationships between students and faculty. For more information, go to https://dornsife.usc.edu/soar.
SURF and SHURE are opportunities for USC Dornsife students to pursue research in conjunction with Dornsife faculty members, either on or off campus, during the summer semester. The purpose of SURF/SHURE is to connect students with faculty members and their research; it allows all students to be mentored one-on-one by USC faculty, introduces students early in their academic careers to the process of serious scholarly inquiry, and fosters valuable relationships between students and faculty. For more information, go to https://dornsife.usc.edu/surf-shure.
University-Wide Fellowships, Awards, and Prizes
The Academic Achievement Award (AAA) provides a tuition benefit to students who are pursuing multiple undergraduate degree objectives, have at least sophomore standing, and have earned a cumulative USC GPA of at least 3.750. AAA allows Fall or Spring registration of up to 21 units at the standard full-time tuition rate.
The purpose of the award is to allow highly motivated students with excellent academic records to complete multiple undergraduate degree objectives without adding to their time-to-degree. For more information, go to https://ahf.usc.edu/awards/aaa/.
The Warren Bennis Scholars Program is a university-wide initiative offered by the Office of the Provost through the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at the Marshall School. Each year, twenty students across academic disciplines are selected at the end of their sophomore year to participate in the two-year leadership program. Scholars receive intensive leadership training and access to top USC professors. For more information, go to https://ahf.usc.edu/awards/bennis-scholars/.
The annual USC Libraries Research Award recognizes excellence and creativity in the use of USC Libraries’ research collections and services. Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to submit papers or projects they have completed at USC in a for-credit class or through independent study during the spring, summer, or fall semesters of the current academic year. In addition to their papers, a Reflective Essay of 500-1000 words is required. For more information, go to http://libguides.usc.edu/researchaward.
The Office of the Provost will provide a limited number of fellowships for undergraduate research each academic year in the fall, spring and summer terms. Each undergraduate student funded by the program will receive a stipend in the amount of $3,000 to support research in any academic field for a period of not less than eight weeks at 20 hours per week during the awarded term. All full-time USC faculty engaged in research are eligible to serve as faculty supervisors. For more information, go to https://undergrad.usc.edu/experience/research/undergrad_research/.
The purpose of the Academic Research Fund is to provide support for undergraduate students who conduct research projects, attend academic conferences, and pursue other research-oriented academic interests. For more information, go to http://usg.usc.edu/funding/.
The USC Africa Student Fund is a scholarship intended to support undergraduate student travel to African countries for study, research, service-based learning and internships. Students who have identified a project or program are invited to apply with this funding in mind. Winners may receive full or partial funding to help cover airfare costs associated with their proposed project or program. For more information, go to https://ahf.usc.edu/awards/africa/.
The Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows Program provides a unique undergraduate government service experience. The Program’s mission is to expose students to government work and its impact. While not all Schaeffer Fellows will pursue a career in government, the Program creates the opportunity for participants to become engaged citizens and develop an informed view of government service and operations. Schaeffer Fellows are selected from four elite universities – Harvard, Princeton, UC Berkeley, and USC. For more information, go to https://ahf.usc.edu/awards/schaeffer/.
A commencement honor, the Discovery Scholar distinction honors students who excel in the classroom while demonstrating the ability to create exceptional new scholarship or artistic works. Like sailors on an unexplored sea, Discovery Scholars blaze new paths, rather than simply following the course charted by others. For more information, go to https://ahf.usc.edu/commencement-honors/discovery/.
A commencement honor, USC Global Scholars extend their learning by spending at least ten weeks in other countries around the world. No matter what you are studying at USC, these Global Learning Outcomes can help you get the most from your time abroad by encouraging you to see the global impact of your education. For more information, go to https://ahf.usc.edu/commencement-honors/global/.
A commencement honor, the Renaissance Scholar distinction honors students whose broad interests help them excel academically. Like Leonardo da Vinci, who was equally adept in the arts and the sciences, Renaissance Scholars are students whose majors and minors are from widely separated fields of study. For more information, go to https://ahf.usc.edu/commencement-honors/renaissance/.