Bennis Scholars Online Application

Applications for the spring 2020 recruitment cycle are now open and will close Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.


Online Application

All candidates must create an account and complete the online application through the SurveyMonkey Apply portal. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.

Resume / List of Activities

Your application must include a one-page list of academic and extra-/co-curricular activities.  Activities from high school may also be included.

Three Essays

Essays should be double spaced, in 12-point font answering the following questions:

  • Essay 1 (250-word limit): Give us an example of when you took a leadership role. What motivated you to lead?
  • Essay 2 (250-word limit): Imagine waking up 20 years from now. What does your professional life look like?
  • Essay 3 (250-word limit): Tell us about an experience when your personal values were tested and how you resolved that dilemma.


Students: Please select a recommender, preferably a USC professor or administrator, who can speak to your leadership capacity.  We understand that you are early in your college career and may not as yet have formed any close relationships with professors.  If you do not have a professor or administrator who can submit a recommendation, please ask an individual who has seen you in a professional or leadership setting — perhaps an internship or job supervisor or club adviser. Recommenders should not be students. Once you log into the application portal, please add your recommender and send them a request for recommendation email. Recommenders will be asked to answer a series of short-answer questions rather than submit a letter of support.

Recommenders: We are looking for students who display an exceptional capacity to lead and have community impact over the course of their careers. You should receive an automated email once the student sends you the recommend email via the application portal. The recommendation will consist of a series of brief questions; a formal letter of recommendation is not required.

Interview Availability

Candidates selected for interviews will be notified by the end of February. Interviews will take place in March.

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