Open to prospective graduate students in any doctoral or MFA program, the fellowship provides a stipend in addition to that which is offered by the academic department. Renewal of the stipend each semester is contingent upon participation in professional development seminars and adequate progress towards degree completion.
$40,000 over four years
$25,000 over five semesters
- Have been admitted to a doctoral or MFA program for the Fall 2023 semester.
Submitting a Nomination
Graduate Directors can only nominate prospective Fellows after they have been admitted to their graduate program.
Graduate Directors must submit a nomination letter on behalf of the nominee. In the case that the nominee will be advised by the Graduate Director, all Department nominations should come from the Department Chair. In the case that a prospective Fellow may be advised by the Department Chair, all Department nominees should come from a neutral third-party Department representative. The nomination letter must include the following table indicating the specific anticipated funding package from the program. Failure to provide this information will disqualify the student from consideration.
|Academic Year||% Tuition to be Abated1||Stipend from Program||Additional Guaranteed Funding from Outside the Academic Program2||Total Stipend3||Standard Level of Funding for PhD/MFA Student in Program4|
1 Tuition abatement from the academic program. Abatement provided by the student (from USC employment or the military, for example) does not count.
2 Must identify the source.
3 Sum of 'Stipend from Program' and 'Additional Guaranteed Funding' columns.
4 Provide for informational purposes. Write 'N/A' if your program does not have a standard funding level.
The program must provide the fellow with whichever is greater:
- 50% tuition and fee abatement plus an $8,000 annual stipend OR
- The standard level of funding for a graduate assistant in the academic unit
Fellows will be selected based on the following criteria, so it is imperative that the nomination letter highlights this information: the qualifications and characteristics of the student; including linkages between the prospective Fellow, potential advisor, and other entities on campus; the student's potential contribution to the mission of the University/College/Program; unique qualities of the incoming student that make them an outstanding addition to the Presidential Fellowship cohort; track record of significant accomplishments and special interests; exceptional creativity; commitment to improving the lives of others; and capacity for leadership. We especially encourage programs to nominate students from diverse backgrounds and underserved populations.
The Fellowships and Scholarships Committee of the Graduate Council will only review the student's personal statement, CV or resume, and letters of recommendation from the Graduate School application package. These items, along with the nomination letter, must be included as part of the nomination packet submitted by the Graduate Director, who must email all documents as one PDF to Wright Culpepper at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Presidential Fellowship Nomination’ in the subject line. The Graduate Director should not provide any other documents, except for those listed above. Programs may submit a maximum of two nominations. Nominations should not be ranked, but must be submitted in the same round.
- Round 1: January 27, 2023
- Round 2: March 3, 2023
How Nominations Work
Selections for the Fall 2023 cohort will be made throughout the Spring 2023 semester. The two nomination periods are provided to accommodate the wide range of application deadlines across our doctoral and MFA programs.