Investing in Your USC Education

When you decide to pursue graduate studies, you are making a major investment in your personal and professional future. At USC, we offer our students an interdisciplinary and globally oriented graduate education of the highest caliber. Once you graduate, you will gain the networking advantages of membership in the Trojan Family. It is therefore important to assess the benefits you will receive throughout your career as a return on your investment.

The cost of earning a graduate degree from USC, as well as funding opportunities, vary by school and degree program. We encourage you to thoroughly research your program of interest and plan your finances accordingly. USC’s Office of Financial Aid also provides additional information regarding the estimated cost of attendance for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Assistantships, Fellowships and Scholarships

PhD students
The Graduate School works with doctoral programs at USC to support a vast majority of our PhD students with fellowships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships, or some combination of these funding sources.

Master’s students
USC also offers a variety of merit scholarships for students seeking to earn master’s degrees. However, award amounts and distribution vary by program and are subject to the availability of funds. Please contact your intended school directly to learn more.

Loans, Work-Study and Student Employment

U.S. students (Citizens and Permanent Residents)
The USC Financial Aid Office administers a variety of financial aid programs for graduate students, including the Federal Direct Loan and Graduate PLUS Loan programs and the Federal Work-Study program.

International students
Though international students (non-U.S. citizens and permanent residents) are not eligible for federal need-based aid programs, they may receive scholarships, assistantships and fellowships and can seek other on-campus employment opportunities or apply for private loans with a qualified endorser (co-signer).

External Fellowships

Graduate students are encouraged to apply for external funding — funds from sources not affiliated with USC. Sponsors range from government agencies, corporations and private institutions. Funds may be limited to a single year of enrollment or may be renewable for multiple years and may be paid to the student or directly to the university. It is important for recipients to thoroughly understand the terms and conditions of such fellowships when planning for graduate studies. For more information about external fellowships, please refer to this USC database.

ROTC and Veteran Benefits

ROTC and U.S. military veterans should contact the Veterans Certification Office and the Financial Aid Office to determine how their G.I. benefits will be coordinated with their financial aid.

USC Payment Plan

The office of Student Financial Services also offers graduate students the option to pay their university expenses in five monthly installments over each semester. For more information, please visit the Student Financial Services website.