Become a Global Scholar

The Global Scholar distinction recognizes graduating seniors who have excelled in their studies both at USC and abroad. Learn more about the history of the Global Scholar distinction here.

Step 1: Determine Eligibility 
Step 2: Review Project Requirements
Step 3: Apply for Global Scholars

1. Determine Eligibility

To qualify for the Global Scholar distinction, graduating seniors must:

  • graduate with a 3.5 minimum cumulative GPA (with University Honors)
  • graduate within 5 years of matriculation at USC
  • spend at least 10 weeks outside of the U.S. during undergraduate experience. Programs can be combined to reach 10 week minimum as long as they are founded in academic study, work experience, or service learning. Programs must be administered by USC or an outside organization.

In the case of purely student-run international programs, the quality of the program would need to be verified by the student’s school. 

2. Review Project Requirements for Global Scholars

To be considered, applicants must submit a capstone project and reflective essay based on criteria set by each USC School.

Capstone Project or Research Paper

The project must demonstrate learning and validate the depth and quality of the student’s experience abroad.

Tip: School Criteria may be reviewed before traveling abroad to help conceptualize capstone project; however, prospective applicants should avoid using criteria as the sole lens through which to see their experience.

Personal Reflection Essay

  • Brief essay (no more than 3 pages, double-spaced, 12pt font)
  • Student reflects upon international experience and transformative impact it has had on the student’s development and learning at USC. The essay should contextualize experience abroad and include thoughts on how global experiences have had a major impact on student’s academic life at USC as well as future plans for post-graduate study or employment.
  • Consider how experiences might reflect USC Global Scholars Learning Outcomes:
    1. Engage in international activities
    2. Raise global literacy
    3. Increase intercultural competence
    4. Expand awareness of global interdependence
    5. Critique knowledge from global perspective
    6. Develop own global perspective

For general questions about the USC Global Scholar distinction, contact Academic Honors and Fellowships at

3. Apply for Global Scholars

Graduating seniors must apply during the spring semester of their final academic year in order to graduate with the distinction. May and August graduates apply in their final spring semester. December graduates apply after graduation.

Application Opens: October 22, 2018

Final Deadline for Distinction and Prize Competition: February 11, 2019


PDF Preview of Application

After submitting an application, students should closely review emails from Academic Honors and Fellowships for notifications regarding status of distinction, follow-up for prize nominations, and instructions for receiving a medallion at the beginning of May.

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For general information only – see above for School Criteria & School Coordinators
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