Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarships

How financial aid works

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Graduate student tuition, financial aid and scholarships


For master’s programs, estimated tuition per unit for the 2021-2022 academic year is $2,035* in addition to mandatory fees. Please see below for the number of units required for each master’s degree program.

Additional expenses include living and travel expenses, books, and supplies. To calculate your estimated total cost of attendance, visit the USC Office of Financial Aid website.

Master’s Program Units
Communication Data Science (MS) 32 units
Communication Management (MCG) 32 units
Digital Social Media (MS) 32 units
Global Communication (MA) /
Global Media (MSc)
24 units**
Journalism (MS) 36 units
Public Diplomacy (MPD) 32 units
Public Relations and Advertising (MA) 36 units
Specialized Journalism (MA) 34 units
Specialized Journalism (The Arts) (MA) 34 units

* All costs on this page depend on university tuition rates. For semester-specific university tuition rates, click here. All costs listed on this page are subject to change without notice. No estimate may be considered a bill of expenses for USC. For questions on tuition and fees, please contact the USC Office of Financial Aid.

** Global Communication students spend their first year at the London School of Economics (LSE), completing 4 LSE units, which is the equivalent of 18 USC units. At USC, students complete 24 units during their second year in the program. For more information, visit the Global Communication program’s curriculum page and LSE’s website for first-year tuition information.

Financial Aid

United States citizens and permanent U.S. residents may be eligible for federal financial aid. Submit the FAFSA to initiate the process. For more information, visit the USC Office of Financial Aid.

Scholarship consideration for master’s students

Scholarship consideration is given to all graduate students who complete their USC online graduate admission application. There is no separate scholarship application. 

For International Students

The USC Financial Aid Office website provides resources for international students. Information regarding required financial documentation is available here.

Undergraduate student tuition, financial aid and scholarships


The USC estimated cost of attendance is an average figure used to determine your financial aid eligibility. It includes average amounts for standard expenses — including tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, board and other living expenses for two semesters of study. You can view a full estimated cost of attendance here.

Financial Aid

The USC Office of Financial Aid provides valuable information about estimated costs of attendance, merit scholarships and need-based financial aid. Actual tuition, fees and personal expenses may be higher or lower depending on your course load and living arrangements.

Scholarship information for undergraduate students

The USC Undergraduate Admission website provides information regarding undergraduate scholarship opportunities. USC Annenberg departmental scholarships are awarded as part of the USC Admission merit scholarship award process.

For international students

The USC Financial Aid Office website provides resources for international students.

Communication (PhD) funding 

The USC Annenberg School of Communication provides funding to all doctoral students for up to five years, contingent on satisfactory academic progress.

Funding packages include up to 12 units of tuition per semester, payment of all required health care fees (access to University health services as well as medical and dental insurance premiums), a monthly stipend totaling $34,000 annually, support for conference travel, and, upon reaching candidacy, support for dissertation research.

Doctoral students at Annenberg are funded in one of two ways:


Students who are awarded fellowships are not given work assignments but are expected to become involved in the work of the School.

During the first year of doctoral studies, students are supported by the Graduate School as Annenberg Graduate Fellows. Advanced doctoral students also have the opportunity to apply for fellowships through the Graduate School.

Graduate Assistantships

Starting in their second year, students are funded as Graduate Assistants (GAs). Students who serve as GAs will work as Teaching and/or Research Assistants.

Current student scholarships

For current USC Annenberg students, see additional scholarship information here.