Getting Involved as an Undergrad

Receiving Funding

You are always welcomed to volunteer at your research lab if they don't provide funding. However, here are some ways to receive funding:

Research and Work Study

Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.

  • Viterbi students may have their Federal Work Study applied towards their research wages.
  • Work-study funds will cover a portion (75%) of research wages.
  • Contact the faculty you are interested in working with. You may already know their name, or you can find faculty here.
  • The faculty with whom you work will cover your remaining research wages (25%).
  • Contact your department undergraduate advisor once you have all this information in order to set up your research appointment.
  • You may only work up to 20 hours a week. First year students should not work more than 10 hours a week during their first semester.
  • Students should track their hours and Work Study balance.

Additional Funding Sources

  • USC Provost’s Undergrad Research Fellowships
    • The Office of the Provost will provide a limited number of fellowships for undergraduate research each academic year in the fall, spring and summer terms. Each undergraduate student funded by the program will receive a stipend in the amount of $1000 ($3000 in Summer) to support research in any academic field for a period of not less than ten weeks at 8-10 hours per week for Fall and Spring, and 20 hours per week in the Summer (no less than eight weeks) during the awarded term. All full-time USC faculty engaged in research are eligible to serve as faculty supervisors.
  • USC Dream Dollars Scholarship
    • This program provides a scholarship to students interested in gaining work experience from an unpaid summer internship. The internship must be with a non-profit or government organization. Undocumented students regardless of work-authorization are also eligible to receive funding for an unpaid internship.
  • USC First-Generation Scholarship
    • This scholarship supports first-generation students who secure unpaid summer internships in receiving funding. Undocumented students regardless of work-authorization are also eligible to receive funding for an unpaid internship.
  • Summer Work Study
    • Apply to receive additional federal work study for the summer so you can use it to help fund your internships. You DO NOT need to be taking summer courses to apply. Apply through the financial aid office.
  • Departmental Funding
    • Ask your faculty you would like to do research with if they have funds to aide you in your pursuit of research.

Published on August 31st, 2021

Last updated on December 13th, 2023