Prospective Students

Join the USC Research Gateway Scholars Program

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! The USC Research Gateway Scholars Program will be recruiting students for the next cohort (2019-2020) in the Fall of 2019. 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!

Submit an Online Application 

Application submission period for the next cohort (2019-2020) will open in the Fall of 2019

You will be asked to use your USC login information (username and password). Applying early is highly recommended.

Application Suggestions:

We recommend that you review all sections of the online application before beginning to work on it. Note the two essay prompts and all the other important information that you will be asked to fill in before submitting. Prior to entering your information online, we recommend that you copy and save the application as a PDF or Word document so that you can easily reference while not online. Doing this will allow you to prepare and gather all necessary information.

A Completed Application Includes:

Apply Now, Click Here to Begin Your Application (Code: GS2018)

  • Submission of an online application including the two essays: Personal Statement and Statement of Research
    • Personal Statement: In 1000 words or less, please discuss your personal background, academic progress to this point, as well as your academic and professional goals for the future. Be sure to explain how participation in the USC Research Gateway Scholars Program will help you achieve your personal, academic, and professional aspirations.
    • Research Statement: In 500 words or less, please discuss your academic research interests and explain how your participation in the USC Research Gateway Scholars Program will assist you in furthering these interests and developing as a scholar.

  • The following supplemental documents can be emailed to or delivered to the Research Gateway Office, STU 301J:
    • A resume/CV
    • 2 letters of recommendation
      • 1st  must be from USC faculty member (with official letterhead)
      • 2nd may be from USC faculty, staff, or current employer
    • Copies of USC STARS Report (entire document)

Applicants: For supplemental documents being emailed as part of your application, please include the following SUBJECT LINE:
“Research Gateway Application: First Name, Last Name” -ex: “Research Gateway Application: Tommy Trojan”

Faculty Member: Have your faculty recommender send your letter (must have official letterhead) of recommendation to
Please have him/her include the following SUBJECT LINE:
“Research Gateway LOR for Student First and Last Name” -ex: “Research Gateway LOR for Tommy Trojan”

Attend an Information Session! 

2019-2020 Gateway Scholars recruitment & information sessions will take place in Fall 2019

RSVP for an information session by submitting an email to

Who can apply? What’s the program eligibility?

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

Attention SENIORS: Only seniors that will NOT be graduating Spring/Summer 2020 are eligible. In other words, you will need to graduate in Fall 2020 or beyond. “Eligible-Seniors” must still be considered Full-time students during the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2020 semesters. If you are finishing your studies in Spring 2020, you are not eligible to apply.

  • 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 2020 Semester in a Research Methods Course/Graduate School Preparation Seminar
  • Participate during Summer 2020 in an Institute with a focus on Research Training, Graduate School Preparation, & Professional Development

AND must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. First-generation College Student;
  2. From a Low-income background (using federal income guidelines);
  3. From an Underrepresented background in higher education (Black/African American, Chicano(a)/Mexican American, Latino(a)/Hispanic, Native American, Native Alaskan, & Pacific Islander).

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

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.

Low-income guidelines are established by the federal government.
Please refer to to determine if you meet these criteria.

**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.**

Detailed Program Component Descriptions, Examples of What You May Experience While Participating:

  • Research Methods Course & Graduate School Preparation Seminar: 

AMST 392 aims to initiate and cultivate each student as a future researcher and scholar who will consider entry into doctoral study. The program prepares students who have self-selected themselves for participation in a summer undergraduate research program at USC or another leading research university. (2-units, course takes place on Tuesday’s from 12:30-1:50pm)

Course Objectives:

-Developing a relationship with a faculty mentor

-Organize a research topic and question

-Learn how to write a research proposal

-Composing a literature review

-Learn to use technology in library research, data collection, and analysis procedures

  • Summer Institute: The Summer Research Institute (SRI), is an intense ten-week program designed to promote research skills and graduate school preparation. During the SRI, scholars work on the research projects that they propose and design under the guidance of faculty mentors and graduate student advisors. Scholars come from virtually all academic disciplines, such as the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, public health, and business. Each Scholar is awarded a $2800 research stipend that is disbursed accordingly over the course of the SRI as program requirements are fulfilled. Scholars are also eligible for program-sponsored summer housing scholarships. Scholars culminate their SRI experiences by completing a final research paper and presenting their research at the USC Gateway Research Symposium.
  • Research Symposium:

2017 USC Gateway Symposium Program Booklet[6]

  • Latest update on Graduate School Admission Offers:

Graduate School Admission Offers, 2012 thru 2015

For questions & additional information

Email or call (213) 740-8702 and direct your inquiry to

Dr. David Glasgow, Assistant Vice Provost & Program Director;

Yesenia Aldapa, Administrative Coordinator & Advisor; or

Dr. Hugo Burbano, Academic Coordinator & Advisor