Diversity, Inclusion & Access (DIA)

The DIA initiative ensures that diversity, inclusion, and access are part of the very fabric of USC.

The objectives of DIA are to help USC schools and programs increase diversity, build new pathways to attract highly qualified underrepresented students to USC graduate programs and to support graduate students as they progress toward their professional goals.

DIA support is provided through PhD student funding, recruitment and professional development.

Diversity, Inclusion & Access (DIA)

DIA Initiatives

Pathways to the PhD - DIA JumpStart Program

USC's Graduate Initiative for Diversity, Inclusion, and Access (DIA) aims to increase the pool of diverse PhD applicants by providing academic and financial support and professional development opportunities.

DIA JumpStart works with USC schools and programs to invite diverse candidates from outside institutions to apply for 10-week summer research opportunities in various PhD disciplines. Available opportunities range from lab-based research to mentored participation in other types of faculty projects

  • Program Benefits
    The Graduate School provides accepted JumpStart students with a stipend and health coverage. Those who successfully complete the program will also have their application fees waived if they apply to USC PhD programs.
    To complement their summer research experience, JumpStart students will participate in Graduate School-sponsored sessions on professional development and PhD funding, and an end of summer research presentation.
  • Applications
    Students completing their sophomore or junior year at outside institutions prior to the summer are encouraged to apply through JumpStart for available research opportunities. Click here for current opportunities for students from four-year institutions.
    In addition, there are research opportunities open to highly motivated, underrepresented community college students who have completed 30 transferrable units. Click here for current opportunities for students from community colleges.
    Applications for research positions through DIA JumpStart are available here. Applications generally open in November and close in January. Please reach out to Ashley Brooks at GradDIA@usc.edu to get exact dates.

Academic Support, Professional Development, and Diversity Inclusion Programs

Please check the Graduate Events Page for upcoming academic support, professional development, and diversity inclusion programs.

  • The PhD External Fellowship Boot Camp is a writing-intensive 10-day workshop geared toward incoming and first-year PhD students applying for Ford Pre-Doctoral. GEM, Soros, NSF GRFP and other major external fellowships. Participants will receive stipends and supplemental research awards based on specific performance goals

  • The PhD External Fellowship Boot Camp Boosters are one-day skill-building workshops for alumni of the Boot Camp. The workshops will provide opportunities for students to continue to pursue external funding and develop additional professional and academic skills

  • Academic Professional Networking Events provide professional development and community building opportunities, include lunches with the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs, PhD Careers Series, skill-development seminars and other networking events.

DIA PhD Fellowship Stipend Top-Offs

The Graduate School provides DIA top-offs to the stipends for DIA-qualified incoming PhD students nominated by their programs. These top-offs, along with the Provost's Fellowship top-offs, represent the university's highest award for incoming students.

Additional USC Programs

The USC Women in Science and Engineering Program (WiSE)
The USC Women in Science and Engineering Program (WiSE) is a groundbreaking effort to increase the representation and success of women in science and engineering at USC through a series of creative programs that enable women to thrive at every stage of their careers.
The USC Research Gateway Scholars Program
The USC Research Gateway Scholars Program is a student academic services initiative sponsored by the University of Southern California, Office of Undergraduate Programs.
The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program
The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program is an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation initiative geared to increase the commitment to diversity in the faculty ranks of colleges and universities. Fellows work with faculty mentors to develop their scholarly interests into research projects.