Getting Started at USC

Before getting started on the process below, you must know your 10-digit USC NetID. Contact your hiring representative (local business unit or HR Rep).

*The following only applies to Postdoctoral – Research Associates and Postdoctoral – Teaching Fellows. If you are a Postdoctoral – Fellowship Trainee or Postdoctoral – Visiting Fellow, please scroll to the next section below.

Activate your USC NetID 
The university will assign you a 10-digit USC ID, which should be emailed to you by your department’s HR before your first day, along with the link to allow you to activate your USC NetID. This is a combination username/password that you will use for numerous log-in systems throughout the university, including Workday, which is the university’s comprehensive employee self-serve system that tracks payroll, benefits, time off, performance management, and more. Your USC NetID is sometimes referred to as the “shibboleth” (or “Shib“) password. If you have your 10-digit USC ID, activate your USC NetID at our IT website. If you have any questions about USC NetID activation, contact the HR Service Center.

Set up your USC Email

Sign in to your email using this link. Postdoctoral Scholar – Research Associates and Teaching Fellows will use the Sign in to Office 365 link and access email through Outlook. Postdoctoral Scholar – Fellowship Trainees and Visiting Scholars will access email through Gmail.  Some schools and units administer their own email systems and provide additional email accounts for postdocs. These emails will be @[school] For more information, contact your local IT support.

While postdocs are free to use school emails as primary, please monitor your email for any correspondence with the USC Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

Finalize your Benefits Enrollment

Your postdoc benefits enrollment is through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. You can enroll here. If there are any questions about the enrollment process, please direct to us at

Set up “Duo” – USC’s extra layer of protection
The Duo system provides additional security for your personal information in Workday and other USC systems. After you enter your USC NetID, Duo sends a notification to your cell phone requesting you confirm the log-in. It’s simple to install and use! If you don’t have a cell phone, you can set Duo up to ring a landline phone for confirmation. You also activate Duo at our IT website.  Use of Duo 2FA is required.

Log in to Workday
Postdoctoral – Research Associates and Postdoctoral – Teaching Fellows will have access to Workday.  Workday is completely in the “cloud” so you can sign in from anywhere that has an internet connection, using your USC NetID. To log in, just look for the Workday icon in the popular links on the Employee Gateway’s front page (you’re on the Gateway now!). Here’s a helpful guide – Getting started with Workday – to help you begin.

Check your personal information in Workday
Workday maintains personal information relative to your employment, and USC relies on you to ensure your information is correct and that you’ve provided all information required to meet our payroll and regulatory requirements. Follow these steps in our personal information guide to complete your review.

Get your USCard
Once you have your USC NetID, have set up Duo, and confirmed your Workday information, you’re ready to submit an online request for your USCard, which serves as your university ID – and quite a bit more! The online process will ask you to upload a photo and provide a mailing address for your card to be sent directly to you.

Familiarize yourself with USC Policy
All employees are required to adhere to all university policy. Visit the policy website.  Additionally, you may find Postdoctoral Scholar Policy here.

Postdoctoral – Fellowship Trainee and Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow

To activate your affiliation with USC, you must have your 10-digit ID. Login to the guest Registration system and enroll in PDF999. There are no fees or tuition associated with your enrollment. However, your monthly stipend is dependent on enrollment. You will need to enroll each semester at USC (including Summer) to maintain active status and receive your monthly stipend disbursement. Allow the system 24-48 hours to update and then you may proceed with onboarding steps above.

Download a how to guide here.