All Ph.D. students in good standing receive full funding for five years, which includes a stipend, tuition remission, and health and dental insurance. The minimum stipend set by the USC Graduate School for A.Y. 2023-2024 was $35,700. USC encourages students to also seek additional external funding to supplement one’s research and conference travel. 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.

  • The following three awards are open to POIR students. Students may apply for more than one, but must apply to each separately. Applications must be submitted to this form by 5pm PST on February 26, 2024.

    Sherwin Family Advance Graduate Student Research Support Fund

    The Sherwin Family Advance Graduate Student Research Support Fund seeks to support students studying International Relations in their dissertation research and is intended to be used to help cover costs of dissertation research such as travel, lodging, technical support, equipment, etc. Up to ten students will be selected to receive a $3,500 stipend to help fund their research.

    This award is for advanced graduate students nearing the completion of their program. Preference will be given to ABD students.

    To apply, students must submit the following as a single PDF:

    • A completed application cover page, signed by yourself, your faculty advisor, and your PhD Program DGS.
    • A short statement about your dissertation research.
    • A short statement about what you will use the funds for and why this is essential to your dissertation research.
    • A letter of support and nomination from a POIR Faculty Member.
    • An anticipated budget.
    • An updated copy of your STARS report.

     

    Michael Young Memorial Fellowship

    The Michael Young Memorial Fellowship Fund will provide a one-year fellowship during 2024-2025 AY to one graduate student in the POIR program. The awardee will be selected on the basis of merit. Additionally, while not a requirement, positive consideration will be given to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and/or students who seek a career in the U.S. Foreign Service.

    To apply, students must submit the following as a single PDF:

    • A brief (max. 1-2 pages) statement explaining why your work is worthy of recognition and why you deserve this fellowship. On the first page, include your name and USC ID in the top left corner.
    • A letter of support/recommendation from a POIR faculty member.
    • A current CV highlighting your armed forces involvement (if applicable), academic achievements, publications, awards, and other recognitions you have received as a scholar.
    • A copy of your updated STARS report showing course history and GPA.

     

    Willard and Betty Beling Scholarship

    The Willard and Betty Beling Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship award. The awardee will be selected on the basis of merit and cannot be awarded twice to the same student. Five students will be selected for this financial aid award in the amount of $5000.

    To apply, students must submit the following as a single PDF:

    • A brief (max. 1-2 pages) statement describing your research that highlights your contribution to the research. Be sure to include your name and USC ID on the top left corner of the first page.
    • A letter of support/recommendation from a POIR faculty member.
    • A current CV highlighting academic achievements, publications, awards, and other recognitions you have received as a scholar.
    • A current copy of your updated STARS report showing course history and GPA.

     

    POIR has two new funding opportunities open to our Ph.D. students. Applications for these awards are due by Friday, March 1, 2024.

    POIR Ph.D. Educational Development Fund

    The POIR PhD Educational Development Fund aims to support POIR Ph.D. students in educational experiences related to the development of skills necessary for success post-graduation. Eligibility criteria is intended to be flexible, and funds may be used for educational workshops and networking opportunities only. Funds are not to be used for travel or conferences, and are separate from travel/conference funding.

    All students who are in good standing are eligible to apply for this fund. The department will provide up to 10 students with funding up to $750.

    To apply, send the following information as a single PDF to Danielle Ballard via Docusign:

    • Your completed application form with name, event, and fee, signed by yourself, your faculty advisor, and DGS.
    • A short (250 words or less) statement indicating what you will use the funds for and how this is related to your overall educational goals.
    • Proof of registration.

    If approved, funds will be distributed after proof of registration has been received, as well as a copy of the program.

    POIR Ph.D. Research Development Fund

    The POIR PhD Research Development Fund aims to support POIR PhD students by providing a small research award in the form of a stipend of up to $500 for expenses associated with carrying out small research projects and/or experiments. Eligibility criteria is intended to be flexible. Funds are not to be used for travel, conferences or networking opportunities, and are separate from these funding opportunities.

    All students who are in good standing are eligible to apply for this fund. The department will provide up to 5 students with funding up to $500.

    To apply, send the following information as a single PDF to Danielle Ballard via Docusign:

    • A completed application form cover page signed by yourself, your faculty advisor, and DGS.
    • A short (500 words or less) statement indicating what you will use the funds for and how this is related to your overall educational goals.
    • A summary of activities, budget and timetable for carrying out the project.

    If approved, funds will be distributed after proof of registration has been received, as well as a copy of the program.

     

  • 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.

    USC Shoah Foundation’s Sandy and Steve Cozen Graduate Top-Off Fellowship

    The USC Shoah Foundation’s Sandy and Steve Cozen Graduate Top-Off Fellowship is offered to outstanding PhD students at USC. The top-off fellowship is intended to facilitate successful completion of their doctoral dissertation.

    The top-off fellowship provides $4,000 support per academic year for two consecutive years to advanced-level PhD Candidates from all disciplines, and from any school or department at USC. To be eligible to be considered for the fellowship, students need to meet the following criteria:

    • Students’ doctoral research has to utilize oral or visual history testimony and be situated within the fields of Holocaust and genocide studies, antisemitism studies, memory studies, history, oral history, or human rights.
    • Students must have already been awarded full departmental and/or university support equivalent to a 50% graduate assistantship. The Cozen Fellowship will then be used to “top-off” the existing regular support offer.

    Please submit materials to the application form.

    Rockwell Dennis Hunt Scholastic Award and Trophy

    Application deadline: November 20, 2023 at 11:59pm

    The Rockwell Dennis Hunt Scholastic Award and Trophy honors USC graduate students whose undergraduate degree is from USC. The $5,000 award is bestowed at the USC Honors Convocation.

    Applicants must meet the following criteria:

    • have earned a bachelor’s degree at USC within the last five years (May 2018 – August 2023)
    • have completed at least three years of undergraduate work at USC
    • be currently working towards a master’s degree or doctorate at the University of Southern California during 2023-2024

    The online application is available here: https://provost.sma.usc.edu/prog/the_rockwell_dennis_hunt_scholastic_award

    One letter of recommendation must be included with the online application by Monday, November 20, 2023 at 11:59pm.