Our faculty inspire, guide and drive the engines that move the university forward in knowledge and research. With a focus on diverse, multidisciplinary skills and engaging ideas, our faculty embody the university’s mission.

USC’s esteemed faculty members ardently participate in tackling contemporary challenges and fostering societal change. They lead the charge in devising inventive solutions to pressing dilemmas in vital domains like healthcare, technology, sustainability, social justice and beyond. Moreover, USC faculty’s expertise extends beyond academia, with many serving as advisers to government bodies, industry leaders and nonprofit organizations, shaping policies and practices worldwide.

Scholar Spotlight

USC’s award-winning faculty and researchers look beyond the ordinary to bring new, much-needed insights and developments to a rapidly changing world with complex needs.

Elyn Saks

Elyn Saks has worked for more than 30 years to examine the intersection between mental health and law. She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” in 2009 and the prestigious Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health 2012. Elyn Saks is Orrin B. Evans Distinguished Professor of Law and director of the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics.

Steve A. Kay

Steve Kay, having been named by Thomson Reuters as one of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds,” is a leading expert on the complex genetic networks of circadian rhythms in animals and plants. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Kay is director of the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience and USC’s MESH Academy.

Shaun Harper

Shaun Harper is one of the nation’s most highly respected experts on racial equity. His numerous distinctions include being inducted into the National Academy of Education in 2021 and appointed by U.S. President Joe Biden to the National Board for Education Sciences in 2022. At USC is founder and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center and his research focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion in educational, corporate and policymaking contexts.

Flag bearers wearing graduation regalia process at a USC commencement ceremony.
Faculty Honors

A Community of Scholars

At USC, we deeply value faculty excellence. Our faculty come from a vibrant network of individuals, each with unique knowledge and invaluable wisdom. Many are Nobel laureates, MacArthur Fellows and National Academy winners — all who contribute invaluable research discoveries to the world’s body of knowledge.

Nobel Laureates

The Nobel Prize, an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden, has been awarded every year since 1901 for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace. Additionally, in 1968 the Sveriges Riksbank established the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize.

MacArthur Fellows

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships (often called “genius grants”) to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

National Academies Members

Members of the National Academies are recognized for outstanding achievements and contributions in matters of science, engineering and medicine. Academy members are leaders in their field and represent the world’s most distinguished scientists, engineers, physicians and researchers.

Researchers studying Alzheimer's apply brain scanning devices to a patient's head as he sits smiling in a chair.

Faculty Research

As a prominent research institution, USC places great importance on rigorous academic inquiry and innovative exploration. Our faculty members across all our campuses have access to cutting-edge research facilities, resolute resources, and funding, allowing them to conduct revolutionary research across diverse fields.