All Ph.D. students in good standing receive full funding and tuition for five years. The minimum stipend set by the USC Graduate School for A.Y. 2022-2023 was $34,000. USC encourages students to also seek additional external funding to supplement one’s research. Students who successfully apply for and receive external fellowships or dissertation fellowships are eligible to receive funding top-ups from the USC Graduate School. If you have applied for external funding, please talk to Danielle Ballard about these opportunities.

  • Ph.D. students typically receive an early fellowship for the first year of study and an advanced fellowship to complete their dissertation, usually in the fifth year.
    To ensure students receive their stipend payments in a timely fashion, they must be enrolled full-time the Friday prior to the first day of class each semester. For the 2023-24 academic year the deadlines are August 18 and January 6 respectively. Students may continue to add and drop classes after this deadline.
    International students must complete their Immigration Verification Status with the Office of International Services before they can register for classes. They also need to set up a GLACIER account for tax purposes.
    For information on when USC Financial Aid disburses stipend payments, students should consult the stipend calendars:

    Domestic Student Stipend Calendar
    International Student Stipend Calendar

    Domestic students and permanent residents will not receive a W-2 while on fellowship, but instead will receive a 1098-T form.  Students should consult with the IRS to determine if they need to submit quarterly estimated taxes on their fellowship stipend.
    Tips for Stipends Payments

    • To receive stipend payments faster, sign up for Direct Deposit in e.Pay through the myUSC portal.
    • For those receiving paper checks, regularly update your address information. Domestic students and permanent residents should do this through the myUSC portal at ExperienceUSC; international students should do this through Workday.
    • Report stipend errors as soon as possible. USC processes missing stipend reports weekly according to above stipend calendars.
  • In the second, third, and fourth years, Ph.D. students usually receive Graduate Assistantships as Teaching Assistants, Graders, or Research Assistants.
    As Ph.D. students are expected to prioritize their degree progress, these appointments expect a work commitment of 10 hours per week minimum but cannot exceed 20 hours per week on average.
    Re-appointment is contingent upon departmental need, successful performance of GA duties, and satisfactory academic progress toward the degree.
    For specific guidelines on GA responsibilities and expected professor/GA conduct (among other topics), please consult the Handbook for TAs, RAs, and ALs.
    GAs must be set up in Workday and make an appointment with Payroll Services to present the appropriate I-9 documents within three business days of their official hire date. Domestic students and permanent residents will receive a W-2 for tax purposes; international students must update their GLACIER account annually.
    Students on Graduate Assistantships are paid monthly according to the Payroll schedule.

    Teaching Assistants

    All students hired as Teaching Assistants must enroll in POIR 593 in their first semester of teaching.
    For international students whose native language is not English, an offer of a TAship is contingent upon taking the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Oral Exam administered by USC’s American Language Institute and passing with at least a 5.0. This test must be taken no later than the first day of classes.

  • USC offers several internal fellowships through the USC Graduate School. These include the Dissertation Completion Fellowship, the Endowed Fellowship, and other research and summer writing fellowships. Please consult with the Graduate Studies Director and/or staff for more information. Calls for applications will be announced on the POIR listserv.

  • For certain external fellowships, the USC Graduate School will provide a top-off of up to $10,000 in additional funding as an encouragement for applying for Ph.D. external fellowships.

    Please visit the USC Graduate School for information on external fellowships and the USC Fellowships and Awards Database. Also please consult with your advisor and the Graduate Studies staff for more information.

    2023-24 Cold War Archives (CWAR) Institute Fellowship

    Application deadline: September 10, 2023

    The CWAR Institute uses innovative and collaborative approaches to train next generation Cold War historians in archival research methodologies. The institute has two goals: to stimulate original scholarship on the interplay between soft and hard power in the cold and hot wars between 1945 and 1991, and to demonstrate the power of cooperative scholarship through innovative archival practices.

    The two-semester long CWAR Institute fellowship program trains M.A. and Ph.D. level students through a combination of online seminars, discussions, and in-person research experience at Cold War archives and culminates in conferences and publications. Competitively selected applicants will join the institute as CWAR Fellows to hone critical research skills in historical and archival methodologies, further their own research agendas in Cold War history, improve their communication and presentation skills, and develop a network of supportive professional contacts.

    The CWAR Institute builds on the success of the Cold War Archives Research Fellowship previously organized by the European Institute at Columbia University and the Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research (SICAR) previously organized by the Wilson Center and The George Washington University.

    All application materials should be submitted to by the deadline. For more information on applying, please visit the Wilson Center website.

    Witteveen Memorial Fellowship in Law and Humanities, Tilburg Law School

    Application deadline: September 25, 2023

    The Witteveen Memorial Fellowship in Law and Humanities aims to promote research and teaching in law and rhetoric, narrative, image, performance, sound, and/or culture. The fellowship enables a junior scholar (PhD or postdoc level) to share and develop their research in the field of law and humanities during a residency at Tilburg Law School for one month in the period February-May, 2024.

    We expect the Fellow to participate actively in the academic life of Tilburg Law School by presenting their research in a research seminar and by teaching a guest class to students. Past Fellows have also introduced film screenings, have organized a reading of their play with students, have read their poetry, and have given a lecture performance, in addition to participating in various research seminars.

    Scholars who are in the final stages of their PhD research or who obtained their PhD in the field of law and humanities within the last five years are eligible.

    We invite you to apply online for this position by September 25, 2023. Candidates must submit a CV including a list of publications, a writing sample (article or chapter), a research statement explaining how their research relates to law and humanities, and one letter of recommendation.

    The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans

    Application deadline: October 26, 2023
    The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans is a $90,000 fellowship for immigrants and children of immigrants going to graduate school in the United States. We are looking for the 30 most promising New Americans who will go on to make a significant contribution to US society, culture, or their academic field. If you will be a college senior this fall, a college graduate who is applying to graduate school this fall, or someone in the first or second year of a graduate program you’ll be in during the 2024-2025 academic year, consider applying.


    • You must be under age 30 as of the application deadline.
    • You must be planning to be or enrolled full-time in a graduate program for the 2024-2025 academic year.
    • In addition to Green Card holders, naturalized citizens, and children of immigrants, individuals with refugee or asylum status, and immigrants who have graduated high school or college in the United States regardless of status (including DACA) are eligible to apply.

    The USC Graduate School invites potential applicants to attend a one-hour information session to give an overview of the program, the selection process, and the application.
    When: Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at 12pm (PT)
    Attendees must register for this webinar in advance.

  • The Fall External Fellowship Boot Camp is a 10-day intensive writing workshop in which USC doctoral students complete proposal narratives for applications to the National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. A second external fellowship boot camp will be held in the spring for students pursuing opportunities from the NIH or fellowships in the humanities and social sciences.


    The fall Boot Camp will be held from August 3 – 11, 2023 with both online and in-person activities. Participants will be expected to attend all of the relevant meetings and to revise their proposals while not in sessions. Participants will also be expected to read and substantively comment on the drafts of others.


    The Boot Camp will include a structured workshop via zoom on Thursday August 3 and Friday, August 4. The following week participants will rotate through a series of small peer review teams to refine their proposal narratives. Ideally, these small group meetings will take place in person.


    Participants who complete the full course and apply to the NSF, Ford or other major national award before July 2025 will be eligible for a $1,000 research grant from the graduate school.


    Applicants for the fall boot camp must be eligible for one of the identified fellowships. More information about eligibility is available on the funding websites:


    Ford Pre-Doctoral:


    The boot camp selection process is competitive and requires applicants to submit a CV and 2-page draft personal statement. You may submit an application at:


    Applications are due to the USC Graduate School by Sunday, July 23, 2023 at 11:59pm.