Graduate Funding Opportunities

Students admitted into the PhD program are provided with a graduate support package for a five-year period. Each student receives an annual stipend of $35,700, 36 units of tuition paid per year, and year-round health and dental insurance. The graduate support package typically provides two years of fellowship to allow students to focus full-time on their coursework, and three years of funding as a teaching or research assistant where they develop additional professional skills. In rare cases, our faculty may fund students with a research assistantship support package that includes two years of research assistantship and three years of teaching assistantship.

Funding FAQs

  • Students receive monthly stipends. USC Fellowships are paid over 12 months. Teaching and research assistantships are paid over 9 months. If you have an external fellowship, your fellowship stipend will be disbursed per the foundation’s guidelines.

  • Students receive 12 units per tuition coverage per semester during the academic year, and classes taken must be related to your degree and research. Please refer to your award offer letter for specific details. If you wish to exceed the number of units stated in your offer letter, please contact your academic program administrator for advisement.
  • You may accept a summer internship or a summer RA/TA position. If you are an international student and plan to work off-campus, you must apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

  • Students are expected to devote full-time to study towards their degree and not to undertake employment or other time consuming commitments during the academic year from the end of August through mid-May. Students can petition with the Graduate School to be approved for a five-hour per week overload in limited cases. See academic program administrator for questions on this.

  • We strongly suggest that fellows contact the IRS directly, and/or consult with a tax professional. While receiving your fellowship, domestic students will not receive a W-2 form (although when you serve as a Teaching or Research Assistant you will receive a W-2).

    This link contains information regarding tax treatment of fellowship awards. In addition, please review the IRS 1098-t form. These links are not meant to be a comprehensive list of tax resources or forms that you should consider.

    International Students should review the OIS website.