Research Access & Funding
Viterbi Fellows can not only get involved in research with our faculty from their first semester, they will get paid for it as well. Each Viterbi Fellow receives a Merit Research Award to get paid for hours worked in a lab earning up to $2,500 during the academic year.Learn More
Priority Consideration & Special Events
As a Viterbi Fellow, you are granted priority consideration for many of the Viterbi School programs, including iPodia, the Viterbi Summer Overseas Program, and the Viterbi Student Innovation Institute (VSI2) Fellows. Additionally, each semester will bring unique event invitations to your inbox such as Dinner with the Dean, Employer Networking Events, Leadership Seminars, and more.Learn More
Honor Without Elitism
Fellows are not separated into different classes, or live in different dorms. Fellows take advantage of the Viterbi community by building their path to leadership from day one. The staff and faculty of the Viterbi school recognize their potential and create pathways and opportunities for the Fellows to maximize their potential by engaging in what they want.
Meet the Fellows
Opportunities + Advantage
As a Viterbi Fellow, students are positioned to take advantage of their momentum from high school and expand their horizons to great dimensions
Viterbi Fellows want more than just an engineering education; they want to start their future, now.
Each year, the Viterbi School names a small number of our top students as a Viterbi Undergraduate Fellow. Fellows receive guaranteed research funding, priority consideration for special opportunities, early access to our graduate degree programs and a number of other special benefits.
Research Access & Funding
Viterbi Fellows can start research right away with a Viterbi School Merit Research Award. The award allows you to work with faculty as early as your first semester. The Merit Research Award allows for each student to get paid for hours worked and earn up to $2500 during the academic year. The award is renewable for an additional three years provided the Fellow maintains a at least a 3.0 average GPA overall, makes progress towards an engineering degree and complete a short renewal form by March 1st of each year.
NAE Grand Challenges Scholars Prep Program
We expect Fellows to not only make a difference at USC, but to affect change across the world. As part of our efforts with the National Academy of Engineering to solve the 14 Grand Challenges, Viterbi Fellows will have the option to participate in a preparatory program with the ultimate goal to be named a NAE Grand Challenges Scholar at graduation. The NAE-GCS Prep Program will advise students on appropriate curricular and co-curricular options towards scholar recognition.
Special Event Invitations
Fellows will have the opportunity to meet distinguished guests, interact with the Dean and Faculty, and network with potential employers through special event invitations. Dinners with the Dean and Faculty are currently slated for once per semester where you can create closer bonds with those who teach your classes and conduct research. Each semester the Viterbi School hosts speakers from around academia and industry. Fellows will have the most opportunities to meet and learn from these innovative leaders in their respective fields.
In addition to our career-focused events dedicated to recruiting, Fellows will be invited to network with company recruiters more frequently. Our Industry Networking Event will teach you how to build your network while providing a more casual atmosphere to learn about internship and employment opportunities.
Viterbi Fellows are granted priority consideration for many of the Viterbi School programs, including but not limited to:
Apply Early to your Master’s Degree
The Progressive Degree Program (PDP) provides continuing USC undergraduates an accelerated path to earning a BS and MS degree from USC in reduced time, typically five years. PDP students have the option to start graduate-level classes during their senior year and reduce by up to 1/3 of the total units required for the Master’s Degree. Viterbi Fellows receive earlier access to the program and can apply as early as their sophomore year.
W.V.T. Rusch Honors Program Acceptance
The W.V.T. Rush Undergraduate Engineering Honors Program (EHP) adds another opportunity for Viterbi Fellows. Fellows are guaranteed acceptance to the program beginning in their first year at USC. You have a unique opportunity to participate in a new, dynamic academic structure focusing on the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges. Beginning in fall 2017, participants will choose between three thematic tracks:
- Innovation & Entrepreneurship
- Service Learning
Each will have a culminating experience similar to that of a senior thesis. In addition to your chosen track, you may enroll in the Honors Colloquium, a class that affords students the opportunity to attend weekly lectures and network with leaders in the field of engineering.
The program also includes the annual fall retreat, a mentorship program, additional lunches with guest speakers, and special events including the end of semester BBQ and the senior brunch. Students who successfully complete the Honors Program will receive special recognition at commencement.
Viterbi Fellows can do more, without worry.
Additional Living Stipend
Viterbi Fellows receive an additional living stipend of $3,000 on top of all other scholarships and awards. The award will be allocated across two semesters.
We understand that participating in all the activities can you want to participate in may have expenses. Our hope is that Viterbi Fellows have less to worry about with this renewing awards for your continued years as a Viterbi Undergraduate Fellow.
Stipends can be used to cover any other living or academic expenses you incur such as:
Stipends will be coordinated with other scholarships and financial aid. Stipends are renewable during a student’s time as a Viterbi Undergraduate Fellow provided they maintain a 3.0 average GPA overall, make progress toward an engineering degree, and complete a short renewal form by March 1st of each year.
Meet the Fellows
Take a moment to get to know some students who have been awarded the fellowship in the past and how they are taking advantage of the opportunities.
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Class of 2021
Our favorite part of the Fellows program is that there is no “one way” Viterbi Fellows go about finding success at USC. Each student’s story is unique with diverse backgrounds and interests. One thing is for certain, Fellows take the “fast track” to becoming involved and invested in the Viterbi community.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Viterbi Undergraduate Fellows are an exclusive group of students selected from the incoming class. As an engineer, we believe you shouldn’t be limited in the number of experiences available to you in college. We want you to maximize your potential by engaging in what you want!
The Viterbi Undergraduate Fellows are chosen from our top scholarship finalists each year. While there is no application for the Fellows or scholarships, students must apply to USC by the merit scholarship deadline, typically December 1st of each year. There is no need to indicate interest or complete any forms. We will consider all of our top students for scholarship and fellowship awards.
Yes, and no. The Viterbi Fellows are chosen from our scholarship finalists. And while the university scholarships are notified in the you.usc.edu portal at the end of March, the Viterbi Fellows are named just a few days immediately afterward. So, if you have been awarded a scholarship, watch that mailbox as Fellow Appointments arrive in the mail a few days later. Only those who are chosen for the fellowship receive notification.
Fellows are chosen as part of our scholarship award process. All students who applied to USC for merit scholarship consideration will have their applications carefully reviewed. Of those, some will be selected as merit scholarship finalists and required to interview during on-campus events (typically in February-Early March of each year). Once we have selected our final scholarship recipients, a small number of those students will be named a Viterbi Fellow above and beyond any scholarship they may have received.
There is no renewal process for the Viterbi Undergraduate Fellows. Once you have been named a Fellow, you will always be a Fellow. Your status as a Viterbi Fellow is assured for each subsequent year of your undergraduate engineering degree program, up for a maximum of four years, as long as you remain in good standing with the university.
If a student is looking to continue receiving funding for undergraduate research and/or the additional living stipend, these awards have a renewal process due by March 1st of each year. Additionally, the Rusch Engineering Honors Program maintains its own minimum GPA requirements to complete the program.
That is completely fine. Each student adjusts and acclimates to campus life in different ways. Many students will opt not to utilize research funding during certain semesters (the first one being the most common). Know that you have the funding for the entire year and can start in your spring semester if you like. Renewal forms are required as listed above for continuing years.