Getting Funding For Your Doctoral (PhD) Degree

Graduate ProgramsWhat is a doctoral program?

A doctorate is the highest academic degree you can achieve. Earning a doctoral degree is a requirement for many high-level professions. For instance, you must hold a doctorate to become a researcher, specialist, doctor, or professor. Doctoral degrees are also very expensive, so many students want to find ways to earn funding for their doctoral degree before embarking on this next step in their education.

If you are considering becoming a doctoral student, check out these tips to learn how you can secure funding for your degree:

Scholarships for Doctoral Programs

Scholarships are coveted and highly prestigious. Doctoral students can find scholarships through private organizations or through their academic institution. Often, you can apply for scholarships when applying to your desired university or college. Scholarships are usually based on merit, so be sure to perfect your paperwork, essays, and references before submitting to your prospective school.

Grants for Doctoral Programs

In addition to scholarships, you can also look for grants to help fund your degree. Some universities offer grants to candidates in a particular field of study. Check your university website to see if your interests align with any of their financial aid offerings.

Additionally, you may look to the United States government for grant opportunities. There are some agency-specific grants that give support to doctoral candidates in certain fields of study. Agency-specific grants are quite inclusive, with offerings ranging from social studies to public health. Moreover, the government’s grants are allocated for different purposes, including study support and dissertation research ventures.

You can also apply for a government-sponsored Fulbright grant to fund your doctoral degree. The Fulbright Program is a grant-providing organization that promotes international education and collaboration. Even though the organization does not specifically advertise doctoral funding, it supports a number of programs that can be used to help a doctoral student’s academic career (including his or her dissertation).

Fellowships for Doctoral Programs

If you have already begun your doctoral studies, you may also consider a dissertation research fellowship. Dissertation research fellowships provide funding for doctoral students who are in the stages of conducting research and writing their dissertation. Often, these fellowships are sponsored by national organizations in a particular field (for instance, the American Educational Research Association offers a fellowship for dissertations that analyze data from National Center for Education Statistics). The funding from a fellowship can be used for practically anything that supports your dissertation, including travel, field work, supplies, and living expenses. More often than not, dissertation fellowships are open-ended, meaning that you do not have to produce a tangible result at the end of your studies. The funding from dissertation fellowships is merely meant to encourage innovative, scholarly pursuits, not yield a product or exact conclusion.

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