Frequently Asked Questions

General

Fellowships allow students to focus full time on their studies. In general, fellowships include tuition, fees and a stipend that is distributed over the course of the academic year.

Fellowships allow students to focus full time on their studies. Assistantships may involve up to 20 hours per week of teaching or research supporting the work of a faculty member.

The Graduate School administers a number of internal and external fellowships, including:

  1. Fellowships for new incoming PhD students
  2. Fellowships for continuing PhD students, including Dissertation Completion, Research Enhancement, Provost’s Mentored Teaching and various Endowed Fellowships
  3. External Fellowships, such as the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships Program, the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships, the Ford Foundation Fellowships, the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowships and others

Fellowship eligibility varies. For internal fellowships, candidates are often nominated by their program, department or school.

In most cases, fellowships administered by the graduate school include tuition for full-time enrollment in the fall, spring and summer semesters, health and dental insurance, coverage of the student health center fee for the fall, spring and summer semesters, and all university-wide mandatory fees, including fees for orientation, the student programming fee, the student services fee, and Norman H. Topping Student Aid. Graduate school fellowships also include a stipend for the academic year and opportunities to apply for additional travel or research funds.

Metro passes, parking passes, lab fees, or fees associated with coursework for a particular department, are not covered by graduate school fellowships.

Stipend

Most fellowship stipends are paid once at the end of each month from August through May. Fellowship stipend payments are divided evenly, however fellows may receive a double payment in November, and no payment in December, to ensure that the December check is received before leaving for the winter recess.

As long as you register on time, you should receive your first stipend payment no later than August 26th. Please visit the Schedule of Classes website for more information about registration dates: http://web-app.usc.edu/soc/.

If you are a Domestic Student:

To receive your stipend, you must be registered for classes. We highly recommend that you sign up for direct deposit. The direct deposit from can be found here https://procurement.usc.edu/payments/reimbursements/direct-deposit/. To access the form you’ll need to login with your USC NetID and password. The form can be found on the bottom right hand side of the page under “Related Documents”. If you do not sign up for direct deposit, your stipends will be sent to the local address you have listed on Oasis.Please keep this address up to date.

If you are an International student:

To receive your stipend, you must be registered for classes. Stipends for international students are processed through Payroll. Instructions for signing up for direct deposit can be found here http://workdayhelp.usc.edu/files/2013/11/quick-guide-to-setting-up-direct-deposit.pdf. If you do not sign up for direct deposit your stipend will be sent to your home department or payroll office. Your Glacier account must be up-to-date in order to receive your stipend.

For most multi-year fellowships, the stipend amount will remain the same for all years at USC. Please speak with your Staff Graduate Advisor or refer to your fellowship offer letter for specific details.

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).

The following link, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf contains information regarding tax treatment of fellowship awards. In addition, http://fbs.usc.edu/depts/sfs/page/2115/1098-t/ provides information regarding 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 consult the Office of International Services (OIS) at: http://sait.usc.edu/ois/

Tuition Units

In general, you will receive enough tuition units to cover full time enrollment during the academic year. Please refer to your fellowship offer letter for specific details. These units are split evenly between the fall, spring and summer semesters. If you wish to exceed the number of units stated in your offer letter, please contact your department’s Staff Graduate Advisor who will submit a request to the Graduate School on your behalf.

Most Graduate School fellowships include summer tuition units.

Fellowships are awarded for a precise period of time. Please refer to your fellowship offer letter for specific details.

No. Fellowship tuition units are to be used for courses counting towards the degree for which you received the award.

Travel/Research Awards

Students with a Provost, Annenberg, Rose Hills, Global or Advanced fellowship may apply for the Graduate School’s travel award. Eligible students will have completed at least 24 units of coursework and/or passed departmental screening. There will be one opportunity for students to apply each semester. Students are eligible to receive one travel award during the tenure of their Graduate School fellowship.

If you are not eligible for the Graduate School’s travel award, you may apply for a travel grant through USC’s Graduate Student Government. More information can be found here https://gsg.usc.edu/finance/travel-grants-faq

Miscellaneous

Deferring the fellowship start date may be possible in some cases for some incoming and some external fellowships. Deferring the fellowship start date is not possible for advanced fellowships. Please consult with your department’s Staff Graduate Advisor who will work with the graduate school to determine the best course of action.

No. Fellows 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.

You may accept a summer internship or a summer TA/RA position. Fellows may not undertake employment or other time consuming commitments during the academic year from the end of August through mid- May. If you are an international student and plan to work off campus, we suggest that you contact the Office of International Services (OIS) http://sait.usc.edu/ois/

You may not receive two comprehensive fellowships simultaneously. Any funding that you receive may be taken into account by the graduate school, and we will work with you to coordinate the fellowships. You should contact your department’s Staff Graduate Advisor and the Graduate School immediately if you are offered additional funding.

Any external funding you receive may be taken into account by the Graduate School. You should contact your department’s Staff Graduate Advisor and the Graduate School immediately if you are offered additional funding.

Financial aid eligibility may be affected by your fellowship award and we encourage you to contact a Financial Aid Officer if you are currently receiving USC-administered financial aid.

For financial aid inquiries, please visit: http://financialaid.usc.edu/general/help-contact-us-general.html.

No, you should reject tuition insurance since the Graduate School will cover your tuition as part of your fellowship agreement.

If you have already accepted tuition refund insurance, you can opt out by following the steps in this link http://arr.usc.edu/services/registration/tuitionrefund.html#optingout2/

We hope that you will become a member of our larger community of fellows. As the recipient of a Graduate School fellowship, you will be invited to a number of events and programs, including a reception in the fall, professional development events and workshops. Annenberg Graduate Fellows will be invited to participate in a Micro Seminar Series held at the beginning of the school year and an end of year Research Symposium.

Health

For health insurance information, or to view the USC Student Health Insurance Plan Description, please visit: http://engemannshc.usc.edu/

To receive care, please contact:

  • University Park Campus:
    Engemann Student Health Center
    1031 West 34th Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90089
    Telephone: (213) 740-9355
    http://engemannshc.usc.edu/

  • Health Sciences Campus:
    Eric Cohen Health Center
    1510 San Pablo Street, Suite 104
    Los Angeles, CA 90033
    Telephone: (323) 442-5631
    http://ecohenshc.usc.edu/

All PhD students at USC are automatically enrolled in the health insurance plan. Your fellowship includes health and dental insurance and fees associated with the student health center.

The health care package has two components: one is the payment of the USC Supplemental Student Health Insurance Plan, and the other is the payment of the mandatory Student Health Center fee.

During the summer you are covered by the USC Supplemental Student Health Insurance Plan and dental insurance. The health insurance plan covers services of on- and off-site doctors included in the plan’s network. If you are on campus and registered for classes during the summer, you may also have access to the student health center. Please see you Staff Graduate Advisor for information on how to enroll. The Graduate School will pay the student health center fee for any Ph.D. student who was active on their Graduate School funded fellowship in the previous fall and spring semesters.

Housing

You can find out about university housing options at the USC Housing Website (https://housing.usc.edu/).

You can also find some non-University housing information at http://dailytrojan.com/category/classifieds/.

You can visit the Financial Aid website to print your statement of Financial Aid Eligibility, which should include all fellowships you are receiving, and submit this to your landlord.
Please visit the Financial Aid website at http://financialaid.usc.edu/graduates/admitted/financial-aid-summary.html for a copy of your Financial Aid Summary.

Do you have more questions that aren’t answered here? Please contact gradfllw@usc.edu