Application Materials

Applicants will be evaluated on their academic accomplishments, the significance and intellectual merit of their research project, and their potential to contribute to the intellectual life of the Society of Fellows, their affiliated department, and the community of scholars at USC.

The application for the 2024–2026 cycle is closed. Check back in fall 2024 for information on the next cycle.


Applicants should submit:

  • A complete application form.
  • A cover letter (up to three pages single-spaced). The letter should indicate the applicant’s primary field of research and desired departmental affiliation. It should also outline in brief the research the applicant intends to complete at USC. Scholars working across disciplines may indicate the various fields their research addresses and, if desired, additional possible departmental affiliations. In addition to the Society of Fellows in the Humanities, the University of Southern California is home to multiple institutes, centers, and programs in the humanities (see If an applicant’s research interests align with those of any of these programs, please indicate this in the cover letter. If the dissertation has not been completed, the letter should detail its progress, timeline to completion, and scheduled or proposed defense date should the fellowship be awarded.
  • A C.V.
  • A writing sample from the dissertation/book project, such as a chapter or article, published or unpublished The writing sample should be in English, double spaced, and between 20–40 pages excluding notes and bibliography. Please do not submit more than 40 pages. 
  • Evidence of completed Ph.D. or progress-to-degree letter signed by an appropriate supervisor at same institution. This should be separate from any letters of recommendation. It can be signed by the dissertation advisor, department chair, or director of graduate studies. 
  • The names of two recommenders. The recommenders will receive links inviting them to upload their letters, which are due at the same time as the application. Recommendation request links can be sent before the application is submitted.

Please submit PDF files. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that all accompanying documents are properly uploaded. Once submitted, applications and documents cannot be changed or updated. If a candidate changes their mind or accepts an offer elsewhere after applying, they should contact the Society of Fellows over email to withdraw their application as soon as possible.