There are many opportunities for research and projects at USC. With industry-leading faculty, you too can do research that helps to shape and guide the face of modern politics and policy.

  • USC Research and Innovation acts as the central administrative home for all matters relating to research grants – intramural and extramural – providing graduate students and staff with a bevy of informational resources to aid their fieldwork, data collection, etc.


    Through the Center for Excellence in Research, they offer training courses to provide PhD students across all fields of study with specialized skills and knowledge in seeking funding from government, foundation, and corporate organizations, as well as a variety of other topics

  • USC’s Center for International Studies (CIS) was originally established as a research unit by the School of International Relations in 1986, to promote advanced research and critical debate of theoretical and policy issues in world affairs.


    The Center has since expanded its membership to include faculty in political science, economics, cinema-television, history, sociology, geography, languages, communications, public administration, business, law, and theater.


    The Center supports the research of faculty and students; hosts scholars from the United States and abroad; organizes public seminars, workshops and conferences; promotes collaborative research projects; and contributes to public understanding of international affairs.

  • The Center for Sustainable Cities leverages, elevates and enhances USC’s existing sustainability-related teaching, research, and outreach with the goal of positioning USC as the preeminent partner for international agencies, national and local governments, corporations, and non-governmental organizations to develop solutions to the most pressing urban environmental challenges, and advance the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.


    Our mission is to advance the application of basic science and technological solutions to specific urban contexts, with an eye on developing practical solutions and sound public policy for a more sustainable and equitable future.

  • The USC Center on Public Diplomacy (CPD) was established in 2003 as a partnership between the Annenberg School for Communication and POIR at the University of Southern California. They seek to advance and enrich the study and practice of public diplomacy through research, professional education, and public engagement.

  • The vision of the USC Dornsife Korean Studies Institute (KSI) is to become the most influential academic institution educating the world about US-Korea and US-Asia relations.


    Established in 2005 with the goal of explaining Korea to the world through research and teaching, KSI has rapidly grown into a leading center for Korean Studies in the world. With over 50 graduate and undergraduate affiliates, four Korean Studies faculty, and dozens of Korea-related courses, KSI is an active center for scholarship and learning at USC and beyond.

  • The USC U.S. – China Institute aims to enhance understanding of the 21st century’s definitive and multidimensional relationship through cutting-edge social science research, innovative graduate and undergraduate training, extensive and influential public events, and professional development efforts.

  • Economic, demographic and technological forces are tilting the balance of power westward in the United States and towards the Pacific Rim globally.  The dominance of the nation-state is being lessened by the power of supra- and sub-national forms of governance and by non-state actors from markets to terrorists.  The West Coast is playing an ever greater role in international affairs, not only in business, economics and culture but also in politics and security. The mission of the Pacific Council on International Policy is to give more effective voice to West Coast perspectives on critical global policy issues.

  • The USC Security and Political Economy (SPEC) Lab conducts cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research into the causes of prosperity and peace and their relationship to one another. We draw students from a wide range of fields including International Relations, Economics, Computer Science, Political Science, Environmental Studies, and Mathematics.
    In the SPEC lab, we learn by doing. From day one undergraduate lab members are working alongside faculty and doctoral students on cutting edge research projects, every one of which is aimed toward producing actionable research findings. The SPEC Lab also invests a lot of energy training students in applied data science. In particular, we focus on training students in data management and data visualization using R, an open source statistical software package.