Research Programs and Summer Internships

    IR 374 Model Europe: Comparative Public Policy in France and the European Union

    As in the US, European governance is modeled on capitalism, rights, and democracy. European nations and the European Union, however, approach these topics distinctly. This course, with a focus on the European Union and France in comparative perspective to the US, explores contemporary challenges across three foundational policy fields: governance and citizenship; the environment; and business. Faculty experts and guest lecturers work closely with students to understand the contradictory mechanisms at work in these three policy spheres, querying which political strategies are best adapted for the successful future consolidation of Europe. The aim of the course is to provide students with a sophisticated understanding of European policy modeling and contemporary challenges to the European Union.

    IR 391x: Contemporary Issues in European Foreign and Security Policy

    The Brussels study abroad program focuses on European governance and security issues in the seat of the European Union and NATO. Students will explore how the European Union is adapting to its new role as a security provider beyond its borders in places such as the former Soviet Union, the Balkans, Sub-Saharan Africa, or Asia. Students will earn credit for one IR upper-division course towards their major/minor requirements.

    Students will also be assigned an internship in an IR-related organization (ex. Institute for European Studies, Egmont Institute, Carnegie, The Security and Defense Agenda, New Europe, etc.) to complement their coursework. This program is open to IR and IR-Related majors and all class standings.

    ***This program does not qualify for SURF funding and does not satisfy the IR 400-level requirement***

    IR 490: Undergraduate Research

    Directed Research (490x) is student-proposed, faculty supervised research that can be used to earn from two to eight units of elective credit. Students must conduct research under a professor, and must present their work (such as a paper, formal publication, demonstration/performance). Specific enrollment requirements may vary from department to department, however, directed research is usually intended for juniors and seniors who have excelled in the major and have developed a specific research interest.

    College Students in Paris
    ai generated students in Brussels

    Academic Recognition Programs (ARP)

    Supports students’ efforts to make the most of their academic experiences at USC, and to seek further opportunities for study and research.

    Blackstonians Pre-Law Honor Society

    Recognizes academic excellence in undergraduate students and strives to expand their perceptions of the legal profession. Students have access to a variety of events, speakers, and resources that will enable them to focus on using law and the legal system for the moral improvement of society as a whole.


    Undergraduate run political science journal. Prof. Anthony Kammas founded this journal in 2010 with one of his students as a way for undergrads to engage is both scholarly work beyond the classroom and have editorial experience. He drew his knowledge as the one-time Managing Editor of EEPS (East European Politics and Societies) and advised students how to construct a call for papers, critically review submissions, and build a volume. There have been several previous volumes, though the journal slowed down during the pandemic. We are pleased to say that it has made a comeback!

    Office of Academic & International Fellowships

    USC encourages and supports all students who wish to apply for national and international fellowships. Prestigious scholarships such as the Rhodes, the Fulbright, Luce, Marshall and many others can support your research, allow you to study or intern abroad and give you a competitive edge in applying to graduate programs. Recently, The Chronicle of Higher Education once again recognized USC as one of the top 40 colleges in the U.S. to produce Fulbright Scholars, underscoring our prominence as a global institution.

    Pi Sigma Alpha

    Established in 1927, USC also has one of the nation’s oldest chaptersof Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honors society. Open to junior and senior POSC and/or International Relations majors who have completed at least 3 upper division courses in their majors. A minimum 3.5 overall GPA and a 3.5 GPA in the major is also required. For more information or an application, please contact academic advisor Kiki Miller.

    Political Science Undergraduate Association (PSUA)

    A collection of students that work closely with the Department of Political Science as a means of bridging the divide between student and department. Throughout the year, the PSUA organizes events that allow students to interact and socialize with faculty, administrators, and other departmental figures outside of the classroom.

    Political Student Assembly

    A student-run organization that promotes and encourages awareness and activism regarding contemporary political issues, processes, and structures. We are a non-partisan organization concerned with promoting civic engagement, rather than a particular political view point.

    SOAR with Dornsife

    Provides funding to undergraduates for participation as a research assistant in a faculty member’s project. SOAR allows all students to be mentored one-on-one by USC faculty, and introduces students early in their academic careers to the process of serious scholarly inquiry. SOAR is for research during the fall and spring semesters of the academic year.

    SURF at USC

    An opportunity for USC Dornsife students to pursue undergraduate research, in collaboration with Dornsife faculty, either on or off campus during the summer semester. Students are encouraged to conduct on-site research at USC or under the direction of USC Dornsife faculty at many institutions across the nation and around the globe. Any student in good standing, with at least one USC Dornsife major, may apply for a research stipend of up to $3,000 to support a summer research project of their choosing.

    The Renaissance Scholars Program

    Recognizes students who excel in two or more unrelated disciplines. Students educated in this way will be especially well prepared to confront the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. All USC undergraduates are encouraged to pursue this honor.

    USC’s Overseas Studies

    The student who decides to study abroad is about to embark on a life-changing experience. This will be a great time of independence and personal growth for you, in part as the result of taking on some important responsibilities.

    Washington, D.C. Semester Program

    In conjunction with USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy and George Washington University, students are able to complete a full semester internship in Washington, D.C. with an emphasis in applied politics. Students may earn 8 upper-division elective units toward the major and 8 general-elective units. Spring semester only.