Graduate Studies



A student can be awarded a teaching assistantship (TA) for up to three years based on his/her performance. Incoming students are paid a stipend of $15,250 per academic year (9 months). If, after the first year, a grade point average of at least 3.5 (with grades of B or better) has been maintained, $1,000 will be added to the original stipend. If the same performance is maintained throughout the second year, another $1,000 will be added to the current stipend. While departmental support as a TA is possible for a third year; we expect that students will take the Admission to Candidacy Exam no later than the beginning of their third year. Those who pass the exam are expected to seek research assistantships with one of our research groups.

TA positions are available in the summer, but they are limited. We encourage students to seek research assistantships with one of our research groups. This enables them to learn more about the various areas of research offered in our department.


The following information is current for the 2007-2008 academic year. For a complete list of tuition and fees, visit the Office of the Bursar (

  • TUITION: Students who receive a TA qualify for the resident tuition rate. In addition to this discount, the department pays a portion of the tuition for students enrolled in 12 credit hours. Currently, the tuition abatement is $7,398 per academic year. This amount is expected to increase when tuition increases.
    Tuition (per semester) = $4444 - $3699 (abatement) = $745
  • TECHNOLOGY FEE: Graduate students who are enrolled in 12 credit hours are required to pay a technology fee of $200 per semester.
  • ONE-TIME FEES: When students begin their studies, they are required to pay a $50 matriculation fee. This fee is only paid during the first semester of enrollment. International students are also required to pay a $500 International Student Enrollment fee. This fee is also paid only during the first semester of enrollment.
  • HEALTH INSURANCE: All full-time students, graduate assistants, and/or international students are required to have health insurance coverage. Students may either purchase a plan sponsored by USC or provide proof of comparable coverage. The Graduate School gives a $225 abatement to graduate assistants who enroll in the USC-sponsored plan. The following rates (for the USC-sponsored plan) are for the current academic year:

    Fall (8/15/07-1/5/08) = $394 - $100 (abatement) = $294
    Spring/Summer (1/6/08-8/14/08) = $551 - $125 (abatement) = $426