University of Southern California
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The USC Graduate School

The USC Graduate School is responsible for those academic and professional affairs of the university which relate to degree programs offered through the Graduate School. The Graduate School also participates in general university affairs relating to graduate and professional education and research.


Jean Morrison, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Graduate Programs

Julena Lind, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Graduate School


Graduate studies had their formal beginnings at the University of Southern California in 1910, and 1923 marked the official constitution of the Graduate School of the university.


The university's core values of free inquiry, the Trojan dedication to service and respect, the spirit of informed risk-taking and ethical conduct underpin the mission of the Graduate School. As the university positions itself to become one of the most influential and productive research universities in the world, the Graduate School's mission is responsive to an external environment for higher education which is quickly changing in significant ways.

The Vice Provost for Graduate Programs has academic oversight responsibility for all graduate programs at the university. Excellence in graduate and professional education is critically dependent on the exchange of scholarly ideas by way of interchange among a community of faculty and students representative of the increasingly diverse and global world. The values that characterize these interactions include dedication to excellence, mutual respect, fairness, collegiality, honesty and integrity.

The Graduate School, a key component of the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs, adheres to that vision and those values. Its mission is to perform a complex of efforts targeted at promoting a distinguished Ph.D. educational experience, to celebrate graduate student achievements and to provide leadership in the establishment and communication of policies, standards and processes related to all graduate education.

Two common threads in all Graduate School activities are: advocacy on behalf of graduate students; and the fostering of the sense of community (composed of students, faculty, staff, alumni and administrators) that characterizes graduate education at USC as a place for students of all backgrounds. Facilitating the participation of under-represented groups in all areas of research and graduate studies is critical to the mission. Through its Provost's Fellowship program, the Graduate School partners excellent students with excellent faculty across the spectrum of disciplines and awards fellowships to incoming Ph.D. students who show outstanding promise for academic careers in research and teaching, and who serve to increase the representation of under-represented groups in their disciplines.