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 is recruiting students for the 2017-2018 Cohort. Students selected for the program become eligible for competitive stipends/scholarships. The program prepares students for graduate school, research experiences, faculty mentorships, symposiums and conferences, and publishing opportunities. The program provides professional development and invaluable networking experiences. Since 1996, the inception of the McNair Program, more than 300 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 300 USC undergraduates that have gone through the program. Become part of this Trojan legacy of success!

Submit an Online Application. We are now accepting applications!

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

  • 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:
    1. A resume/CV
    2. One faculty letter of recommendation (with official letterhead)
    3. Copies of 2016 Tax Information that shows Gross & Net Income (entire official document)
    4. 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! (Fall 2017)

Learn about program benefits, interact with current program undergraduates and staff, and enjoy refreshments. Refer to the flyer below for details. RSVP for an information 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 2018) are eligible. In other words, you will need to graduate in Fall 2018 or beyond. “Eligible-Seniors” must still be considered Full-time students during the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2018 semesters. If you are finishing your studies this Spring 2018, 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

Prior Experience:

  • Participate during the Spring 2018 Semester in a Research Methods Course/Graduate School Preparation Seminar
  • Participate during Summer 2017 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:

Click on the PDF or link under each document to access the file.

  • Research Methods Course & Graduate School Preparation Seminar:


  • Summer Institute:


  • Research Symposium:

2015 USC Gateway-McNair Research Symposium Program Booklet (1)

  • 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 & Director;

Kimberly Serpas, Administrative Coordinator & Advisor; or

David-James Gonzales, Academic Coordinator & Advisor