NOTE: The following information applies to the 16th Annual USC Undergraduate Symposium, which will take place on April 16, 2014. Information for this year's Symposium is subject to change, so please contact us at ugp@usc.edu with any specific questions you may have.

When and where will the Symposium Judging take place?
Again, this year, the Symposium judging and viewing will occur on two separate days. The judging process will provide more time for faculty review. All projects will be reviewed over the course of one day on Tuesday, April 15th, from 9:00am – 5:00pm at Ronald Tutor Hall Campus Center Ballroom. The judging will be closed to presenters and visitors. This will provide more time for faculty judges to carefully review each project at a steady pace. Presenters are not allowed on site while judging takes place on Tuesday. You will have an opportunity to interact with judges and answer questions on Wednesday, April 16th, from 11:00am – 2:00pm at the Symposium Viewing. 

How do I need to prepare for judging?
You will be required to bring your poster or creative work to Ronald Tutor Hall Campus Center Ballroom by no later than 12:00 pm on Monday, April 14th. Again, the judging portion will be closed to presenters, and students will not be allowed to interact with judges on Tuesday. All posters and student work will be stored securely each night at the Ballroom through the Symposium Viewing, on Wednesday, April 16th. 

What should I expect on the day of the Symposium?
On Wednesday, April 16th, you will return to Ronald Tutor Hall Campus Center Ballroom for the Symposimm. The Ballroom will be open at 8:00am on Wednesday morning. The Symposium viewing will be from 11:00am – 2:00pm. Faculty judges will ask any questions they might have with regard to your work. 

Will there be an awards ceremony and reception?

Yes. In addition to the awards ceremony and presentation of certificates, a dinner reception honoring all student projects will be held at Town and Gown. Please invite your faculty sponsor to both the awards ceremony and the reception. The ceremony will be held from 6:00 – 7:00pm, with a dinner reception immediately following.

When is the deadline to register for the Symposium? 
The deadline to register for the Symposium is Friday, March 28th, 2014.

What is the purpose of the Undergraduate Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work?
The Undergraduate Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work provides undergraduates with the unique opportunity to exhibit and share examples of their significant research and creativity with the university community. Students may present work in a variety of ways, such as through poster/panel sessions, art exhibits, and electronic media. All undergraduates are encouraged to participate. An award ceremony recognizing the most outstanding works will take place at the end of the symposium and include First Prize awards of $1000 and Second Prize awards of $500 in each category. Over $10,000 in prizes will be awarded. 

Who is invited to participate?
The Symposium is open only to USC students who are enrolled as undergraduates. 

In what categories can I participate?
You can participate in only one of the following five categories: 

• Arts
• Humanities
• Social Sciences
• Physical Sciences, Mathematics & Engineering 
• Life Sciences

If you are unsure of the category, please contact the staff at the Office of Undergraduate Programs at 213-740-1741. 

Who are the judges?
Judges are USC faculty members and doctoral students who are recognized experts in their disciplines. A selected number faculty judges will serve as a panel for each respective category. Faculty judges are nominated and serve based upon their expertise in each of the categories. 

How many prizes will be awarded?
The faculty judges will award one $1000 First Place Prize and one $500 Second Place Prize in each of the five categories. In addition, a $1000 First Prize and $500 Second Prize will be awarded to significant entries that demonstrate interdisciplinary work. These interdisciplinary awards, which will be determined by faculty judges, may be awarded to students in any of the five categories. Similarly, a $1000 First Prize and $500 Second Prize will be awarded to significant entries that demonstrate the “most innovative” student research project. 

If I win, when will I receive my check?

If you win, congratulations! A check will be sent to your permanent address (unless otherwise requested) by the beginning of fall 2014. If a group wins a prize, the individuals within the group will split with award evenly. A total of 14 prizes will be awarded. 

Must my submission be a scholarly or creative work that was completed while attending USC?

No, you may submit work that you completed at other institutions or on your own. However, please ask a member of the USC faculty to review and sponsor your work prior to the Symposium. You should list this faculty member as your sponsor on the registration form.

Is there a limit on the number of words in my abstract when I submit it online?
Yes, the field with "abstract" that is listed on the online application must not exceed 300 words. There is no set minimum number of words for your abstract.

How will my work be publicized?
A description of your work, including your name, the title of your presentation, your academic unit, faculty sponsor, and abstract will be published in the Undergraduate Symposium Program Booklet, which will be made available to the University community in print and on the web. You may wish to review this year's Program Booklet for further information.

How do I exhibit a computer-based application, such as a PowerPoint presentation or website? 
A computer-based application or website submission is an acceptable and appropriate exhibit for the Symposium. As the presentation format is unique, all computer- and web-based presentations will take place at Ronald Tutor Hall Campus Center Ballroom. You will be required to upload your work and provide the URL to the judges at least one day prior to the Symposium Viewing on Wednesday, April 16th. On the day of the Symposium Viewing, all computer and web-based exhibitors will have no more than 10 minutes to present their work to the judges in their respective categories. An accompanying poster is not required. PowerPoint presentations are not an accepted form of presentation.

What if my presentation requires special needs, like electricity? 
If you have additional applications that require electricity, you must specify your needs explicitly in the needs-portion of the registration form. We will provide a display table and electricity (if requested) for both the day of judging and viewing.

Will I receive academic credit or other recognition by exhibiting during the Symposium?
Some of the academic units are requiring students to exhibit at the Undergraduate Symposium as part of their programs of study. You should check with your advisor to learn if you must meet this requirement. All participants in the Symposium will receive an official and personalized Certificate of Participation with the embossed university seal. Whether you are a prize winner or not, participation in the Symposium is a distinguished academic activity that will help you prepare for a professional career or graduate school.

What are the requirements for entering a poster?

If you are entering a paper or exhibiting the results of a project for your research, we encourage you to present your work using a poster. Please review our link on “How to Prepare a Poster presentation for additional information.” A table will be provided during the Symposium for your poster. Unless you have made other arrangements, the maximum amount of space that you will be allowed to occupy on the table is 3 feet wide by 2.5 feet deep. It is likely that you may be sharing space on the table with another participant who will also be exhibiting a poster. In addition, please keep in mind that you must be present at your poster between 11:00am and 2:00pm during the Symposium Viewing for faculty questions.

What if I want to submit work in the Arts Category?
The panel of faculty judges in the arts category will have an entire day (9:00am-5:00pm) to review all entries on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Students will not be present for the closed judging. All performers, composers, and artists will be required to put their performances on video tape, DVD, or compact disc (and artists to have their displays, artwork, etc.) ready and available for viewing by 12 noon Monday, April 14th at Ronald Tutor Hall Campus Center Ballroom. All necessary equipment (tables, table easels, CD, cassette, VHS, and DVD players) will be available so judges can review all submissions at their convenience when they arrive on Tuesday the 15th. The abstract you submit as part of your on-line registration will be displayed, along with other information you have already provided.

What are the requirements for entering an artistic work?
If your work is a painting, sculpture, or other type of art work, please identify the nature of your exhibit and any "special needs" you may have in the appropriate boxes on the registration form you submit. Please note that we will not be able to provide you with extraordinary equipment, such as computers, projectors, or screens. We can only provide you with space on a table, easels, space on the ground, electricity, or shared use of 1/2" or 3/4" videotape equipment and a monitor to play a 5 to 15 minute submission.

What are the requirements for entering a film, videotape, or musical composition?
If you are presenting a musical composition or a film, your submission must be on cassette, CD, videotape, or DVD. All audiotape, videotape, and DVD presentations will be held at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Ballroom. If you are presenting your work on audiotape or videotape, you will be asked to introduce your presentation to the audience and judges, who may have questions and/or comments about your presentation. If you require other needs, space, or if you need electricity for equipment that you will provide, please let us know the details of your requirements in the "special needs" box on the registration form you submit. Please note that you must provide your own laptop or monitor for viewing during the exhibit.

What are the requirements for a performing arts entry?
If you are submitting a performing artistic work, such as a dance, musical performance, or dramatic presentation, your submission must be on 1/2" or 3/4" videotape, DVD, or on cassette audiotape. Audio, videotape, and DVD presentations will be held on stage at the Ronald Tutor Center Ballroom. If you are presenting your work on audiotape or videotape, you will be asked to introduce your presentation to the audience and judges, who may have questions and/or comments about your presentation.

May I compete in more than one category?
No, you must select one category in which to compete. You may not submit work as a group and submit a second work individually. In other words, you must choose between the two types of submissions. If a group submission wins a prize, the individuals within the group will share the prize.

I have to attend class for an hour during the time the Symposium is underway. Does that mean I am automatically disqualified from participating or winning a prize?
No, faculty panel members will have ample time to review your work thoroughly on Tuesday, April 15th and speak with you either before or after your class on the day of the Symposium. We suggest that you identify the times when you will be away from your exhibit in the "special needs" section of the registration form. We will provide this information to the faculty panel for the day of the Symposium. 
In addition, we strongly recommend that you ask a friend or another Symposium participant to watch your exhibit during your absence. This is especially important if you are exhibiting valuable art or are using, a lap-top computer to present your work. If you are unable to find an individual who will watch your exhibit while you are away, then you should take your valuables with you.

When are prize winners announced?
Prize winners are announced during an award ceremony immediately following the Symposium beginning 6:00pm at Davidson Conference Center (Embassy Room). A dinner reception will follow.

Is there a deadline to register?
The deadline to register for the Symposium is Friday, March 28, 2014. The online registration form is currently available. A confirmation of your registration will be emailed back to you within a few days.

Where do I get more information about the Undergraduate Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work?

To find out more about the Symposium, visit our links throughout this web site, including the links at the top of this page. You may also call the Office of Undergraduate Programs at (213) 740-1741 or email us for more information.