Cost and Financial Aid

Investing in Your USC Education

When you decide to pursue graduate studies, you are making a major investment in your personal and professional future. USC offers 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. Most graduate-level funding will be provided in the form of loans.

Please visit the Financial Aid website for estimated program costs and for more details about the types of funding you may qualify for.


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 Degree 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 or check with the Graduate School for additional scholarship opportunities.

Loans, Work-Study and Student Employment

U.S. Students (Citizens and Permanent Residents)

The USC Financial Aid Office administers a variety of federal 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 or 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 and corporations to 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 the USC Awards and Fellowships database.

ROTC and Veterans 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, interest free, over each semester. For more information, please visit the Student Financial Services website.