What is a Fellowship?

A fellowship is a short-term opportunity (few months to a year) with the focus of providing professional development for the fellow. Fellowships are sponsored by specific association or organization seeking to expand leadership in their field. Fellowship programs are designed to support a range of activities such as graduate study in a specific field, research to advance work on a particular issue, develop a new community-based organization or initiative, and opportunities to explore a particular field of work. Traditionally, fellowships have been awarded to graduate and post-graduate students but an increasing number of fellowships are available to recent graduates in public policy, the arts, education and nonprofit fields.

Benefits of a Fellowship:

Students are provided an experiential learning opportunity with significant work experiences that are not typically available to someone starting out in an entry-level position. Fellowship programs are known for their commitment to the professional development of individual fellows and training often includes academic seminars to develop frameworks and apply theory, research and analysis of a particular area, and skills development: leadership, community organizing, public speaking, grant writing and media relations.

How to Find Fellowships

Some of the resources available to find fellowships include:

  • CARL (Career Access Resource Library) – An online library of hardcopy and online resources. Fellowships resources are found under category “40 Internship and Financial Assistance” and subcategory “40.05 Fellowships”
  • USC Office of Academic & International Fellowships – Provides a list of available fellowship opportunities and information sessions.
  • USC Graduate School – Coordinates the internal distribution of fellowships for incoming and advanced PhD students and also support graduate students applying for external fellowships.