PhD Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

What types of financial support are available to PhD students?
Our financial support is among the most generous of all social work doctoral programs. We provide a fellowship award package totaling more than $200,000 for four years, which includes a stipend and tuition remission. The fellowship award is provided to all admitted students who remain in good academic standing. However, domestic applicants are also encouraged to apply for financial aid at the same time they apply for admission to the school. Visit the USC Financial Aid Office website for more information about financing graduate education, to download forms and to find a listing of helpful resources.

Does the fellowship award for PhD students cover living expenses and tuition?
Yes, the fellowship award offered to all PhD students covers living expenses and tuition.  For the first two years, doctoral students in good academic standing will receive a yearly living stipend of $40,000 paid over 10 months (August to May), in addition to tuition remission for up to 24 units in the academic year (for required courses). During the third and fourth years of the PhD program, students in good academic standing will receive a $30,000 living stipend paid over 10 months (August to May), in addition to tuition remission for two to four units a semester (for required courses). The fellowship award requires a 10-hour per week work commitment for all four years on research collaborations with faculty.

Can I work part-time as a full-time doctoral student?
We do not encourage substantial research or work outside the school except during summer months because our doctoral curriculum is rigorous and time-consuming. You also will need to allow time for fulfilling your weekly research commitment with faculty. Extracurricular commitments might slow your progress in the program and curtail your time at the school. Interactions with fellow students, as well as faculty, are a central part of your doctoral education.