Are you interested in pursuing graduate-level studies, perhaps even a Ph.D. program one day? Are you interested in learning how to conduct formal research and having the opportunity to engage in a real-world research project? Are you interested in receiving mentoring from USC’s outstanding professors and graduate students? Would you like to know what it’s like to be a professor and/or a Ph.D. student?

If so, consider this program! Students selected for the program become eligible for competitive stipends/scholarships. The program prepares students for graduate school, research experiences, faculty mentorships, symposiums, conferences, and publishing opportunities. The program provides professional development and invaluable networking experiences. Since 1996, more than 350 USC undergraduates have participated. Many of these former participants have acquired a graduate-level degree, a good number of them are still pursuing studies at the graduate level, and several have become accomplished professionals.

Now we challenge you to take the next important step in your USC experience by becoming a USC Research Gateway Scholar. We want you to experience the incredible level of academic and professional success that has been experienced by 350 USC undergraduates that have gone through the program. Become part of this Trojan legacy of success!

2016-2017 Cohort

Who can apply? What’s the program eligibility?

USC undergraduates enrolled full-time with sophomore, junior, or senior status

  • Cumulative USC GPA of at least 3.0
  • All USC undergraduate majors are eligible. Yes! ANY MAJOR!
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident status
  • Strong desire to pursue graduate-level studies, especially at the Ph.D.-level
  • Strong desire to learn about how to conduct formal research and to engage in a real-world research project

Must be able to:

  • Participate during the Spring 2022 Semester in a Research Methods Course/Graduate School Preparation Seminar
  • Participate during Summer 2022 in an Institute with a focus on Research Training, Graduate School Preparation, & Professional Development

AND must meet one of the following criteria:

  • First-generation College Student. First generation college is defined by the federal government as a student who has not resided with or received primary support from a parent who has received a BA degree or equivalent.
  • From a Low-income background. Low-income guidelines are established by the federal government. Please refer to to determine if you meet these criteria.
  • From an Underrepresented background in higher education. The US Department of Education considers the following students underrepresented in higher education: Black/African American, Chicano(a)/Mexican American, Latino(a)/ Hispanic American, Native American, Native Alaskan, and Asian Pacific Islander.

Please note that all students are eligible so along as they meet one of the aforementioned criteria.

Application Overview

Please go to “Learn more” tab listed below to access details regarding the Gateway Scholars application.

Information Sessions

Please go to “Find an Info Session” listed below to access dates and times of scheduled meetings.


Please go to “Read FAQ” tab listed below to access frequently asked questions about the USC Research Gateway Scholars Program.