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Submit an online Application

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

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. To apply please click on the link below. (Code: GS2018)


  1. Submission of an online application including the two essays (Statement of Purpose & Research Statement)
    • 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 below (2-4) can be emailed to or delivered to the Research Gateway Office, STU 301J:

  2. A resume/CV
  3. 2 letters of recommendation
    • 1st  must be from USC faculty member (with official letterhead)
    • 2nd may be from USC faculty, staff, or current employer
  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: For the faculty member sending your letter of recommendation via email to, please have him/her include the following SUBJECT LINE if possible: “Research Gateway LOR for Student First and Last Name” -ex: “Research Gateway LOR for Tommy Trojan.”

Who Can Apply? What’s the program eligibility?

  • Must be a USC undergraduate enrolled full-time with sophomore, junior, or senior status (only seniors that will NOT be graduating Spring/Summer 2020 are eligible)
  • Cumulative 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
  • Enroll in or attend weekly a Spring 2020 Research Methods Course/Graduate School Preparation Seminar (only on Tuesdays, 12:30 – 1:50 p.m.)
  • Available to participate full-time in the Summer 2020 Research Training & Graduate School Preparation Institute
  • 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 the program is open to all students so long as they meet one of the aforementioned criteria.

First generation college student 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 this criteria.

The US Department of Education considers the following students as underrepresented in higher education: Black/African American, Chicano(a)/Mexican American, Latino(a)/ Hispanic American, Native American, Native Alaskan, and Asian Pacific Islander to be underrepresented in higher education.