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Scholarships for PhD Studies in the United States

We've gathered scholarships you can apply for if you'd like to get a PhD in the United States as an international student.

Aug 8, 2023
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United States

Scholarships are a great way to make your studies more affordable, enabling you to concentrate on your academic program without the added stress of tuition and living expenses.

Here's a list of scholarships you can apply for if you'd like to get a PhD degree in the United States as an international student:

University scholarships

A Better Life Scholarship

University: Boise State University, USA

Period: A Better Life Scholarship is renewable for four years for Doctoral degree students.

Scholarship Award: Up to $26,566

Scholarship Requirements: To be eligible for the A Better Life Scholarship, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Nationality: Hold a passport from mainland China.
  • Admission: Be admitted to a Master’s or Doctoral program at Boise State University.
  • GPA: Have and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  • Preference: Preference is given to female applicants, but all students who meet the above criteria will be considered for this award.

CalArts Scholarships for International Students

University: California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), USA

Scholarship Awards: CalArts Merit Scholarships are awarded to the top 30% of the incoming class based on their admissions portfolio or audition. The scholarship amount is $10,000 per year, and students who receive this scholarship in their first year of enrollment will retain it for each year of their degree program.

Scholarship Requirements: Students are considered for Merit Scholarships based on their admissions portfolio or audition. Faculty evaluate the following criteria to identify merit recipients:

  • Outstanding academic and artistic potential
  • Strong personal aesthetic and sense of originality in the work
  • Alignment with CalArts' focus on experimentation, diversity, and interdisciplinarity
  • Prior academic and artistic achievements and evaluation within their peer group

Courses or subjects: visual, performing, media and literary arts.

The Reid L. Norman & Cynthia A. Jumper Excellence in TNP Scholarship

The Reid L. Norman & Cynthia A. Jumper Excellence in Pharmacology and Neuroscience Graduate Student Scholarship is awarded to a Ph.D. student in the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience/ Translational Neuroscience and Pharmacology Graduate Concentration.

University: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Scholarship Award: The recipient of the scholarship will receive a $10,000 scholarship and will also be eligible for a one-year extension of the award.

Scholarship Requirements: Scholarship requirements: The scholarship is available to all Translational Neuroscience and Pharmacology (TNP) Ph.D. students. The selection is based on criteria such as:

  • Academic and research performance
  • Leadership and/or community involvement
  • Financial need, and other relevant factors.

Diversity & Community Fellows Program

University: University of California, Berkeley

Scholarship Award: Diversity and Community Fellows will receive a stipend of $7,500 per academic year, paid at the start of each semester. This is in addition to any other awards, stipends, and fellowships that students may be receiving, and it does not limit eligibility to hold academic appointments.

Scholarship Requirements: All graduate school students are welcome to apply. Students should be registered for the academic year for which their duties will occur and should remain in good academic standing. Priority will be given to students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ students, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, undocumented students, and other marginalized groups who have demonstrated experience with anti-racism work.

Courses or Subjects: The fellowship program focuses on advancing and implementing Diversity and Inclusion goals at the Office for Graduate Diversity and the Graduate Division and supporting an inclusive graduate community.

Betty Foster McCue Graduate Scholarship

University: University of Oregon (UO)

Scholarship Award: Up to three awards of $5,000 each will be granted to selected doctoral students.

Scholarship Requirements: Dissertation interests should primarily revolve around topics related to human development and performance. Related fields include but are not limited to Counseling Psychology, Human Physiology, Special Education, Education, Sociology, Human Biology, and Psychology.

Courses or Subjects: The scholarship is for doctoral students pursuing research and studies related to human development and performance in various fields like Counseling Psychology, Human Physiology, Special Education, Education, Sociology, Human Biology, and Psychology.

Scholarships funded by governmental bodies and external organizations

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG)

The DoD National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Program is a competitive fellowship that is awarded to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and U.S. dual citizens who intend to pursue a Doctoral degree aligned to the DoD services Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) in research and development at a U.S. institution of their choice.

University: The NDSEG Fellowship Program supports individuals pursuing advanced training in science and engineering at accredited institutions within the United States.

Period: The NDSEG Fellowship Program is an ongoing program, with new three-year fellowships awarded each fiscal year (subject to the availability of funds).

Scholarship Award: The NDSEG Fellowship provides a stipend, prorated monthly based on a 12-month academic year. The monthly stipend for fellowship tenure is $3,200 ($38,400 annually). In addition to the stipend, the fellowship covers full tuition and required fees (excluding room and board) as billed by the matriculating institution. It also includes health insurance coverage up to a total value of $1,200.

Scholarship Requirements: To be eligible for the NDSEG Fellowship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Citizenship Status: Applicants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. Dual Citizens, or U.S. Nationals (designating citizens of the United States or natives of a U.S. possession such as American Samoa). Permanent residents are not eligible to apply.
  • Undergraduate Studies: Applicants must have completed their undergraduate studies before the commencement of the fellowship in September 2022.
  • Graduate-Level Institution: Applicants must be applying to, accepted to, or currently enrolled at an accredited graduate-level institution within the United States.
  • Research Alignment: Applicants must be pursuing research in alignment with one or more specific topics identified in the Department of Defense's Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs).

International Bioethics Research Training Program

The funding opportunity is organized by several components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the Fogarty International Center (FIC), the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Scholarship Award: Predoctoral Trainee/Fellow: $27,144 per year or $2,262 per month

Scholarship Requirements: The scholarship aims to support mentored doctoral and long-term postdoctoral research training for ethics experts from low and middle-income countries (LMICs) to conduct original empirical or conceptual ethics research in health research and research policy in these countries.

Courses or Subjects: The focus of the research training is in the area of bioethics, and the mentored research projects conducted with funding from this award should focus on ethical issues faced in current research involving human subjects in LMICs. The research training may cover various thematic bioethics areas that are of high significance to the LMIC or are specifically related to research supported by the participating NIH Institutes and Centers.

Fulbright Foreign Student Program in the US

University: The Fulbright Foreign Student Program allows recipients to study and conduct research at various U.S. universities and academic institutions.

Scholarship Award: The Fulbright Foreign Student Program generally funds tuition, airfare, a living stipend, health insurance, and other expenses. The scholarship provides funding for the duration of the study.

Scholarship Requirements: The Fulbright Foreign Student Program is open to graduate students, young professionals, and artists from 155 countries around the world. Eligibility and selection procedures vary by country, so applicants must check the country-specific websites for the Fulbright Program in their home country to find information about eligibility requirements and application guidelines.

Courses or Subjects: The Fulbright Program encourages applications from all fields, including interdisciplinary ones. The scholarship supports study and research in various academic disciplines offered by U.S. universities and academic institutions.

NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship (NSTRF)

The fellowship supports space-technology research in various fields, including engineering, environmental and geosciences, life sciences, physical sciences, and statistics.

University: The awards are made in the form of training grants to accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing doctoral degrees. The fellows will perform their space-technology research at their respective campuses and at NASA Centers or nonprofit U.S. Research and Development (R&D) laboratories.

Period: The duration of the award is for a full year or more, depending on the individual's academic program and research.

Scholarship Award: The NSTRF sponsors U.S. citizen and permanent resident graduate students who show significant potential to contribute to NASA's goal of creating innovative new space technologies. The award is provided in the form of training grants to accredited U.S. universities. It includes financial support to cover research-related expenses, such as tuition, living stipend, and other research costs.

Scholarship Requirements: The fellowship is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are pursuing master's or doctoral degrees and show significant potential to contribute to NASA's space technology research goals.

GEM Fellowship Program

University: Various universities participating in the GEM Fellowship Program

Period: The GEM Fellowship Program offers doctoral fellowships for up to five years, depending on the individual's progress in their graduate program.

Scholarship Award: The GEM Fellowship provides financial support and benefits based on the type of fellowship the recipient receives.

  • Employer Fellows:
  • $16,000 stipend applied to one academic year
  • Additional stipend (assistantships, grants, other stipend dollars) support from GEM Member University to bring the stipend amount up to the funding level of other funded PhD students in that department
  • A minimum of one paid summer internship with a GEM Employer Member
  • Full tuition and fees up to the fifth year of the PhD program
  • Associate Fellows:
  • Full tuition and fees provided by the GEM Member University
  • At least $16,000 stipend per year provided by the GEM Member University for PhD students

Scholarship Requirements:

  • Must be a senior, master's student, or graduate of an accredited engineering or applied science program at the time of application.
  • Must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0/4.0.
  • Must contractually agree to intern with a GEM Employer member during the Summer immediately after sponsorship.

Courses or Subjects: The GEM Fellowship Program supports underrepresented minority students pursuing doctoral studies in engineering or applied science fields. The program allows fellows to pursue their Ph.D. studies at any participating GEM Member University in various engineering disciplines and related applied science fields.

Major-specific scholarships

APA Dissertation Research Award

The purpose of the APA Science Directorate's Dissertation Research Award program is to assist science-oriented doctoral students of psychology with research costs.

Scholarship Award: The current program offers 3 grants of $10,000 and 7 grants of $5,000 to students whose dissertation research reflects excellence in scientific psychology. Awardees will also receive travel funds of up to $1,500 to present their work at the APA convention.

Scholarship Requirements:

  • Applicants must have psychology as the primary focus of their graduate studies.
  • Applicants must be in good standing in their graduate programs.
  • Applicants must be enrolled full-time or working on their dissertation research for an equivalent of full-time enrollment regardless of actual registration status.
  • Applicants may be citizens or residents of any country, and their institutions may be located and accredited/recognized in any country.
  • Applicants must be graduate student members of the American Psychological Association.
  • Applicants must have had their dissertation proposals approved by their dissertation committees prior to application.
  • Applicants must not have yet successfully defended their dissertations at the time of the application deadline.

Graduate Fellowships for STEM Diversity (GFSD)

The fellowship covers fields of study in the physical sciences or related engineering fields, including Astronomy, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Materials Science, Mathematical Sciences, Physics, and their subdisciplines, as well as related engineering fields like Chemical, Computer, Electrical, Environmental, and Mechanical.

University: The fellowship is open to any qualified U.S. citizen who has the ability to pursue graduate work at a participating GFSD University or College.

Period: The initial support may be for two or three years, or for a full six years, depending on the employer-sponsor. Fellowship renewal will be reviewed annually in partnership with the employer-sponsor.

Scholarship Award: The charge to the employer for each student supported is $27,000 annually, with $20,000 allocated as the fellow's expense allowance and $7,000 as GFSD's fee to support its operations. The charge is subject to change at the discretion of the GFSD Board of Directors.

Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Scholarship

SWE Scholarships provide financial assistance to women pursuing degrees in various engineering, engineering technology, and fields related to engineering. The specific courses or subjects will depend on the engineering program and the applicant's chosen area of study.

Scholarship Award: The scholarship award amounts and details vary based on the specific scholarship category and the applicant's level of study.

Scholarship Requirements: Eligibility: To be eligible for SWE Scholarships, the following general requirements apply:

  • The applicant must identify as a woman.
  • Undergraduate and community college applicants must plan to study an ABET-accredited program in engineering, technology, or computing in the upcoming academic year.
  • Master's and Ph.D. candidates must be enrolled or accepted at a school with ABET-accredited programs in engineering, computing, or technology.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP)

The GRFP supports graduate students in various STEM fields, including Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

University: The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) supports outstanding graduate students pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

Period: Five year fellowship period with three years of financial support.

Scholarship Award: The GRFP provides selected fellows with a three-year annual stipend of $37,000. Additionally, they receive a $16,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution).

Scholarship Requirements: To be eligible for the GRFP, applicants must be graduate students pursuing research-based master's or doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Applicants should be attending accredited academic institutions in the US, its territories, possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The fellowship is highly competitive, and applicants are encouraged to devote sincere effort to their application.

International Dissertation Research Fellowship Competition

The IDRF focused on supporting graduate students pursuing research in the humanities and humanistic social sciences with a specific emphasis on non-US or US Indigenous cultures and societies.

University: Various universities and institutions in the US.

Period: The IDRF offers six to twelve months of financial support.

Scholarship Award: The fellowship amounts varied depending on the research plan, with an average of $23,000 per fellowship.

Scholarship Requirements: Graduate students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences enrolled in Ph.D. programs in the United States were eligible to apply.

Dissertation Research: The fellowship was intended to support students conducting dissertation research focused on non-US or US Indigenous cultures and societies.

Underrepresented Institutions: The IDRF program particularly highlighted applicants from underrepresented institutions.

Privately funded scholarships

Ford Foundation Fellowship Program

University: The Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs support individuals who plan to pursue research-based Ph.D. or Sc.D. programs at various college and university faculties in the United States.

Scholarship Award: The exact stipend amount and benefits may vary depending on the specific fellowship.

Scholarship Requirements: The Ford Foundation Fellowships aim to increase the diversity of college and university faculties by promoting ethnic and racial diversity. To be eligible for a Ford fellowship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Citizenship Status: All U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. permanent residents (holders of a Permanent Resident Card).
  • Academic Achievement: Applicants should demonstrate evidence of superior academic achievement, which can be determined by factors such as grade point average, class rank, honors, or other designations.
  • Career Commitment: Individuals must be committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level in the U.S.

Hertz Fellowship

University: The Hertz Fellowship supports graduate students pursuing a Ph.D. in the applied physical and biological sciences, mathematics, or engineering at more than 40 top universities in the United States.

Period: The Hertz Fellowship provides up to five years of funding for selected fellows.

Scholarship Award: The Hertz Fellowship offers a compensation package valued at up to $250,000.

Scholarship requirements: To be eligible for the Hertz Fellowship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be college seniors, first-year graduate students, or in a gap year preparing to apply to graduate school
  • Intend to pursue a Ph.D. in the applied physical and biological sciences, mathematics, or engineering
  • Intend to direct their studies toward understanding and solving major, near-term problems facing society
  • Be citizens or permanent residents of the United States

Courses or subjects: The Hertz Foundation does not award fellowships based on a specific field of study, but applicants are required to direct their work toward understanding and solving major, near-term problems facing society. Fellows are encouraged to advocate for their specific field of study and demonstrate how it will be applied to address real-world challenges with significant impact.

Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans (PD Soros) support New Americans— immigrants or the children of immigrants— who are pursuing graduate school in the United States.

University:The fellowship supports full-time degrees at accredited institutions in the United States.

Period: Each fellowship supports one to two years.

Scholarship Award: Each award is for up to a total of $90,000. The financial breakdown includes $25,000 in stipend support per year (capped at $50,000 per year), and 50 percent of required tuition and fees, up to $20,000 per year, for one to two years.

Scholarship Requirements: To be eligible for the PD Soros Fellowship, you must be a New American— immigrant or child of immigrants— who is 30 years old or younger as of the application deadline.

Courses or Subjects: Any field and any advanced degree-granting program in the United States.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) American Fellowships

University: The AAUW International Fellowships support full-time study or research at accredited U.S. institutions.

Scholarship Award: Doctorate Fellowship funding amounts to $25,000 per student.

Scholarship Requirements:To be eligible for the AAUW International Fellowships, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Citizenship: Applicants must have citizenship in a country other than the United States or possess a nonimmigrant visa if residing in the U.S. Dual citizens with the U.S. and another country are not eligible.
  • Academic Degree: Applicants must hold an academic degree (earned in the U.S. or abroad) equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree completed by 15 November 2022.
  • Full-Time Commitment: Intend to devote themselves full-time to the proposed academic plan during the fellowship year.

Courses or Subjects: The AAUW International Fellowships support graduate and postgraduate studies at accredited U.S. institutions in selected fields of arts, humanities, and social sciences. The specific fields of study are available on the AAUW website.

ACLS Fellowships

University: ACLS Fellowships are open to scholars from various institutions.

Period: The fellowship tenure is for six to twelve months.

Scholarship Award: The maximum award is $60,000 for a 12-month fellowship. Awards of shorter duration will be prorated at $5,000 per month, with the minimum award set at $30,000. Independent scholars and adjunct faculty will receive an award supplement of $7,500 for costs incurred during the research term.

Scholarship Requirements:

  • Applicants must be untenured scholars who have earned a PhD in the humanities or humanistic social sciences on or after September 29, 2015.
  • Applicants must be US citizens, permanent residents, Indigenous individuals residing in the United States, DACA recipients, asylees, refugees, or individuals granted Temporary Protected Status in the United States. Foreign nationals who have been living in the United States or US territories for three or more years before the application deadline are also eligible, provided they do not establish permanent residence outside the United States during the fellowship period.
  • Applicants must not hold a tenured faculty position.

Courses or Subjects: The fellowship supports research proposals from scholars in all disciplines of the humanities and interpretive social sciences. The topics can be grounded in any time period, world region, or humanistic methodology.

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