US Universities PhD Scholarships
US Universities PhD Scholarships

US Universities PhD Scholarships

PhD scholarships are a great way to fund your doctoral education in the USA. Pursuing a PhD is a significant academic pursuit that demands dedication, passion, and careful planning. However, the cost of a doctoral program can be a significant barrier for many students. In this article, we will cover the different types of US universities PhD scholarships available, the application process, tips for securing a scholarship, and a list of US universities offering PhD scholarships. We will also share success stories of students who have successfully obtained PhD scholarships. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive guide to help you pursue your PhD in the USA with a scholarship.

Getting US Universities PhD Scholarships

When searching for PhD scholarships in the US, several key factors should be considered to increase the likelihood of securing funding. Firstly, it’s essential to align the search with your academic field, as many scholarships are tailored to specific disciplines. Additionally, citizenship status can significantly impact eligibility, with some scholarships being exclusively available to US citizens or permanent residents. Furthermore, having a well-defined research proposal and identifying universities that are the right fit for your academic goals and research interests is crucial. Moreover, being mindful of scholarship deadlines is imperative, as late applications are typically not considered.


To find PhD scholarships, it’s recommended to utilize various resources. University websites often provide comprehensive information about the scholarships they offer, including eligibility criteria and application procedures. Additionally, scholarship databases such as FindAPhD and ScholarshipPortal can be valuable tools for identifying a wide range of funding opportunities. Furthermore, exploring funding websites like the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) can provide insights into government-funded scholarships and grants.

To strengthen a PhD scholarship application, it’s important to conduct thorough research on strong programs and faculty within your field of study. Tailoring each application to the specific requirements of the scholarship and showcasing academic excellence and research potential are also essential. By demonstrating a clear alignment between your research interests and the objectives of the scholarship, you can significantly enhance your application’s competitiveness.

Types of US Universities PhD Scholarships

There are many types of US universities PhD scholarships you can apply for and we will take a look at each of them. 

University-specific Scholarships

University-specific scholarships are an excellent opportunity for PhD students to secure funding for their studies. Some prestigious universities, such as Harvard, MIT, and Stanford, offer internal funding and specific scholarship programs. For example, Harvard University offers the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Fellowships, which provide financial support to PhD students in various fields. MIT offers the Presidential Fellowship, which supports PhD students in engineering and science disciplines. Stanford University has the Stanford Graduate Fellowship, which provides funding to PhD students across all disciplines.

Department-specific scholarships and research assistantships are also available at many universities. These scholarships are often tied to specific departments or research projects and can provide funding for PhD students working in those areas. For example, the University of California, Berkeley, offers the Berkeley Fellowship, which supports PhD students in the humanities and social sciences. The University of Michigan offers the Rackham Graduate School Fellowship, which provides funding to PhD students in all fields.

To find university-specific scholarships, it’s essential to research the websites of the universities you’re interested in attending. Many universities have dedicated pages for scholarships and financial aid, where you can find information about the available funding opportunities. Additionally, department websites may list specific scholarships and research assistantships related to their fields.

National Scholarships

When pursuing a PhD in the US, aspiring scholars can explore various national scholarships to support their academic journey. Well-known programs such as the Fulbright Scholarships, the AAUW International Fellowships, and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) offer substantial financial assistance and valuable opportunities for doctoral students. The Fulbright Scholarships, sponsored by the US government, provide funding for international students, scholars, and professionals to undertake advanced research, university teaching, and graduate study in the United States. 

The AAUW International Fellowships, on the other hand, support women pursuing full-time graduate or postdoctoral study in the US. These fellowships provide funding for tuition, living expenses, and other related costs. Additionally, the NSF GRFP is a prestigious program that offers three years of financial support, including an annual stipend and tuition allowance, to outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.

Eligibility criteria, funding amounts, and application timelines are crucial aspects to consider when applying for these national scholarships. The Fulbright Scholarships are open to international students, scholars, and professionals, with application deadlines varying by country. The AAUW International Fellowships are available to women who are not US citizens or permanent residents, and the application period typically opens in August, with deadlines in November. As for the NSF GRFP, applicants must be US citizens, nationals, or permanent residents, and the program has specific application deadlines based on the field of study.

To access these national scholarships, applicants can visit the official websites of the respective programs to obtain detailed information about the application process, eligibility requirements, and funding provisions. Additionally, it is beneficial to review successful scholarship essays and personal statements to gain insights into the application strategies that have proven effective for past recipients. 

By leveraging resources such as sample scholarship essays and personal statement examples, applicants can enhance their understanding of the expectations and best practices associated with these prestigious national scholarships.

Research-focused Scholarships

Research-focused scholarships are an excellent option for PhD students who want to pursue their academic interests while receiving financial support. Some well-known programs include the HHMI International Student Research Fellowships and the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowships. These scholarships are designed to support students in specific research areas and have unique eligibility requirements.

The HHMI International Student Research Fellowships, for example, provide funding for international students to conduct research in the biomedical sciences. Eligibility criteria include being an international student, pursuing a PhD in the biomedical sciences, and having a strong research proposal. The fellowship covers tuition, stipend, and research expenses for up to three years.

The Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowships, on the other hand, support PhD students who are from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the US. The fellowship provides funding for one year of research and writing, with a stipend of $25,000. Eligibility criteria include being a PhD candidate, having a strong research proposal, and demonstrating academic excellence.

To find research-focused scholarships, it’s essential to explore various resources, such as university websites, scholarship databases, and funding websites. Additionally, networking with professors, peers, and professionals in your field can help you learn about potential scholarship opportunities.


PhD scholarships play a crucial role in making US doctoral programs accessible to a diverse range of students. By actively researching and applying for scholarships, prospective PhD students can increase their chances of securing funding for their academic journey. 

By following these guidelines and leveraging the available resources, prospective PhD students can enhance their chances of obtaining funding for their doctoral studies. The potential rewards of pursuing a funded PhD are significant, as it can open doors to numerous academic and professional opportunities. So, take the time to explore the various scholarship options available and make your dream of a funded PhD a reality.