Strengthening Graduate Programs

By virtue of their achievements and influence, excellent faculty help draw the best graduate students to USC, particularly those pursuing Ph.D. degrees. In turn, top graduate students are imperative for attracting the most distinguished faculty to the university, as well as and retaining them.

USC has made significant inroads by establishing generous Ph.D. fellowships—such as the Provost’s Fellowships, Annenberg Fellowships, and Rose Hills Fellowships—to recognize and reward exceptional graduate students. Our many professional schools provide other support for talented graduate students in their flagship programs. But we must aggressively expand our commitment to achieve our potential. In the years ahead, we must create endowed fellowships for all of our Ph.D. and leading professional degree programs and provide endowment support for outstanding postdoctoral fellows in all disciplines, from science and engineering to arts and humanities. We must also invest in programmatic enhancements for faculty and graduate students— such as conferences, research, and travel—to support their continued professional development and provide them with visibility for their work.

USC’s extraordinary concentration of arts programs and our location in one of the world’s most dynamic arts capitals provide us with a unique opportunity. During the Campaign, we will seek gifts to endow graduate fellowships in the arts to attract distinguished artists and performers from Pacific Rim countries and India who are interested in immersive educational experiences at USC and opportunities to collaborate with other artists in Southern California and the United States.

Another important component in attracting the highest caliber graduate students and postdocs is the development of a congenial campus environment that meets the needs of these outstanding scholars. Support is needed to build graduate student housing on the University Park and Health Sciences campuses. These projects are essential to USC’s continuing evolution as a full-fledged residential university.