First Year

Spend your first year creating a strong foundation in academics, extracurricular activities, and research.

How to Prepare

Fellowship applications are not one-size-fits-all. The following are suggestions for building a portfolio in your first year:

Develop academic, career, and personal goals

Take foreign language courses

Attend classes and start with a strong GPA (go to office hours!)

Get involved with research through professors

Join student organizations and/or volunteer – stay involved

Start and continue to update a resume/CV and visit the Career Center for resume coaching

Visit the Writing Center to help with essay drafts

Apply for summer abroad opportunities

Attend Research and Fellowships Week

The goal of the week is to discuss opportunities that support research, graduate study, language learning, teaching, and internships within the U.S. and abroad.

Open to students of all academic levels, staff and faculty, attendees participate in interactive panels and workshops to explore USC programs and external post-graduate possibilities.

Applications to Consider

First-year applicants may be eligible for the following opportunities:

USC Africa Student Fund

Funding to support USC undergraduate student traveling to African countries for study, research, internships, or service-based learning.

first-year – senior

Boren Scholarship

Up to one year of study abroad, with focus on language study and future career paths in national security or the federal government.

first-year – senior

Critical Language Scholarship

8-10 week summer overseas intensive language and cultural immersion program to learn one of 15 critical-need languages.

first-year – graduate student

Fulbright UK Summer Institutes

3-4 week summer academic and cultural immersion programs at universities in the United Kingdom.

first-year – sophomore

Gilman International Scholarship

Year-round study abroad funding for Federal Pell Grant recipients.

first-year – senior