Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs

General Fellowship Advice

Including things you can do now for a more successful application to a major fellowship:

Engage in the Process And Build Yourself Up.

Our ultimate goal is to see you and other USC students awarded prestigious scholarships and fellowships. Yet the preparation process, in and of itself, enhances academic and personal skills.

Why should you consider applying for a national fellowship?
Students who engage in the process typically gain:
  • a better sense of professional interests, strengths and talents, career goals, and graduate school options
  • stronger interpersonal skills and interview techniques
  • experience and maturity in presenting and defending ideas in writing and before panels of critics
  • improved ability in preparing applications for competitive positions
  • individual guidance from faculty and recognition from USC for outstanding efforts and accomplishments.
  • Develop relationships with faculty members.
  • Involve yourself in research activities.
How can you get started?
  • Attend one of our scholarship workshops, held during the fall and spring semesters. The workshops introduce you to faculty members from a wide range of academic and administrative areas. They will become your mentors and advisors should you choose to engage in the process of becoming a national scholar. We especially encourage first-year students and sophomores to attend a workshop and discover the exceptional opportunities. Find our current schedule here.
  • Stop by OFSP to talk with an advisor about your particular background and interests, to see if there’s a scholarship or fellowship that would be a good fit.
    Click here for our hours and contact information.
What can you do now to develop a competitive profile?
  • Develop relationships with faculty members. Get to know them outside of class. Make good use of their office hours. They will be the ones writing your letters of recommendation, so the more they know you, the better their recommendation will be.
  • Participate in meaningful co-curricular activities. Sustained involvement with a couple of activities is more impressive than a huge list of things you are only tangentially involved with. Look here for a list of research, community services and other campus resources and opportunities.
  • Maintain a high grade point average.
  • Enter writing and essay contests.
  • Participate in summer learning experiences.
  • Practice speaking in front of groups.
  • Keep current by reading newspapers and news magazines such as US News & World Report, The New York Times Sunday Edition (especially Living Arts), National Review, The Nation, Newsweek, etc.


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