USC Scholarships For Graduate Students – An Overview

By David Olisedeme

The USC Graduate Scholarship is a financial aid program offered by the University of Southern California (USC) to assist graduate students with the cost of their education. This scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership potential, and commitment to community service.

The USC Graduate Scholarship covers tuition,  fees, and  stipend for living expenses, however, the  amount awarded  varies according  to the student’s program of study, academic merit, financial need, and other considerations. 

To be considered for the USC Graduate Scholarship, students must first apply for admission to a graduate program at USC. Once admitted, they may be automatically considered for the scholarship based on their application materials or may need to submit a separate scholarship application.

It is important to note that the USC Graduate Scholarship is highly competitive, and not all students who apply will receive it. However, USC offers a wide range of financial aid options, including grants, loans, and work-study programs, to help students fund their education. 

USC Financial Aids for Graduate Students

For graduate students, USC offers the following funding programs:

  • Fellowships:

Fellowships are a type of financial aid that typically provide a stipend and/or tuition waiver in exchange for academic or research work. USC offers a range of fellowships to graduate students, including departmental fellowships and prestigious national fellowships like the Fulbright and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship opportunities to eligible graduate students.

  • Assistantships:

Assistantships are part-time employment opportunities within a student’s academic department. Graduate assistantships may involve teaching, research, or administrative responsibilities and typically provide a stipend, tuition waiver, or both.

  • Loans:

Graduate students may be eligible for federal and private loans to help fund their education. Graduate students may be able to borrow more than undergraduate students and may have different repayment options. 

  • Work-study programs:

Graduate students may be eligible for work-study programs, which provide part-time employment opportunities on or off campus to help fund their education.

  • Scholarships:

USC offers a variety of scholarships to eligible graduate students. These scholarships may be need-based or merit-based and may be awarded by the university, the student’s academic department, or outside organizations. An example of one of the merit based scholarships at USC is the USC presidential scholarship.

Graduate students need to research and apply for all financial aid options for which they are eligible, as each option may have different eligibility requirements, application processes, and deadlines. That said, here are two scholarship programs for graduate students of USC. 

USC Rockwell Dennis Hunt Scholastic Award

 The Rockwell Dennis Hunt Scholastic Award is offered to USC graduate students who earned their undergraduate degrees from USC. This scholarship is awarded annually, and applications are open during the fall semester.

The award is open to international students from any discipline, and there are no requirements to demonstrate financial need. The award ranges from $1,000 to $4,999. 


To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must: 

  1. Be enrolled in a graduate program at USC 
  2. Have obtained their undergraduate degree (Bachelors) from USC within five years at the time of application
  3. Have completed no less than three years of undergraduate work at USC.

How to Apply

To apply for the Hunt Award, students must submit an application, including the following materials:

  • An essay (500 words or less) addressing the student’s academic achievements and leadership potential
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from a USC faculty member
  • An official USC transcript. 


The deadline for this scholarship is December each year. Since there is no specific date for submissions,  ensure you complete  your applications on or before December 1, 2023.   

Dr. Rodolfo Montes Scholarship

The Dr. Rodolfo Montes Scholarship is a master’s program that is available to students who have either demonstrated a need for financial aid, possess outstanding academic records, or have a record of community service. It is available to USC students in the School of Cinematic Arts, Gould School of Law, Herman Ostrow School of

Dentistry, Price School of Public Policy, and Keck School of Medicine. 

Upon the donor’s request, the scholarship prioritizes candidates who showcase leadership skills or potential in the nearby Hispanic community. 

Applications are accepted each year during  the spring semester.


To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must meet the following requirements: 

  1. Applicants must be USC master’s students enrolled in the following disciplines: Art and Humanities, Life, Health or Social Sciences, Law, Cinema, Medicine, Dentistry, Planning, and Public Administration. 
  2. Preferred or required applicants should be first-generation college students, Minorities.
  3. Applicants must have a record of community service, and academic excellence, or must have demonstrated leadership potential. 

How to Apply 

Application to this program is based on endorsement by USC. Online application is available from the USC Graduate School in the Spring semester.

To apply, email for further information. 


All applications must be submitted during the Spring semester. The start and end dates of the spring semester at the University of Southern California (USC) may vary slightly from year to year. However, the spring semester at USC typically  starts in early January and ends in early May.

For the academic year 2022-2023, the spring semester at USC started on  January 10, 2023, and ends  May 5, 2023. It’s important to note that specific dates for classes and events may vary depending on the individual academic department, so it’s always a good idea to check with your academic advisor or the USC academic calendar to confirm specific dates. 

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