American Psychological Association Logo

This page has been archived and is no longer being updated regularly.

Cover Story

Free money for education

Check out these oft-overlooked sources of funding for psychology graduate students.

By Amy Novotney

Print version: page 36

Most students who are training to be psychologists don't choose the field in search of a big salary. For many, their degree will also come with a heavy debt load. According to 2009 data from APA's Center for Workforce Studies, recent graduates in health-service-provider subfields face an average debt of more than $88,000, with 78 percent reporting some debt upon graduation.

Students with a research bent tend to fare better, reporting average student loan debt of nearly $50,000, with just over half graduating with no debt at all, thanks to traditional academic sources of support, such as teaching and research assistantships.

But no matter what area of psychology you're interested in, there are many ways to finance your education, including awards to help you fund your dissertation research, tuition tax credits, and travel grants that allow you to attend conferences to publicize your research interests and meet potential employers.

Here's a wrap-up of the money you may be missing out on.

Your School

Programs/awards: Most graduate schools, including many PsyD and master's degree programs, offer scholarships. Eligibility factors include a student's financial need, merit, community involvement or minority status. Key information: Many scholarships are made available only to new, incoming students, though some awards are open to current students. Deadline: Varies by school For more information: Check your program's website for more information, or contact a financial aid officer.

The Federal Government

Programs/awards: National Science Foundation Key information: The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program provides three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based master's or doctoral degrees. Recipients receive a $2,500-per-month stipend, plus $10,500 a year is sent to their educational institution for tuition and fees. Deadline: Mid-November, though specific dates vary by field of science For more information:   National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

Programs/awards: National Institutes of Health Key information: The NIH provides National Research Service Awards training grants and fellowships, as well as loan repayment programs, through its Office of Extramural Research. The grants provide partial tuition and fees; a stipend; and an allowance for such costs as books, travel to scientific meetings and health insurance. Deadline: Varies For more information:   Extramural Training Mechanisms

Programs/awards: Department of Defense Key information: The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship is awarded to U.S. citizens and nationals who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in one of 15 supported disciplines, including cognitive, neural and behavioral sciences. Recipients receive full tuition and mandatory fee payment for three years, a monthly stipend, and up to $1,000 a year in medical insurance. Deadline: December For more information:   National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship

Programs/awards: Tax credits and tax deductions Key information: The federal government provides several tax incentives to help defray the cost of post-secondary education. Many graduate students are eligible for the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which can be claimed for tuition and certain expenses for the first four years of post-secondary education. Students are eligible for the full $2,500 credit if their modified adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less ($160,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return). The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels. Deadline: April 15 For more information:   IRS

State Psychological Organizations

Programs/awards: Many state psychological associations offer scholarships to graduate students to offset research costs, reward advocacy work or help students attend the association's annual conference. Key information: Most scholarships require the recipient to be a member of the state association. (Student membership dues are often significantly reduced or even free for the first year.) Deadline: Varies by association For more information: Contact your state psychological association for more information. A list of state association websites is available.

Programs/awards: APA's Science Directorate sponsors several research-based awards, including an annual competition for dissertation research funding. Each year, the group also provides 100 student travel awards to help psychology graduate students travel to the annual APA convention to present their research. Key information: Dissertation funding ranges between $1,000 and $5,000, while travel award recipients receive $300 for convention-related expenses. Deadline: Varies For more information:   Awards, Honors and Research Funding

Programs/awards: Minority Fellowship Program Key information: The program provides career development and financial support to promising doctoral and pospoctoral students in areas related to ethnic minority behavioral health research or services. Deadline: Varies For more information:   Minority Fellowship Program

Programs/awards: The student arm of APA offers several scholarships, grants and awards, including a $1,000 Basic Psychological Science Research Grant, which may be used for thesis, dissertation or other research, and the APA/APAGS Award for Distinguished Graduate Student In Professional Psychology, which honors a graduate student who has demonstrated outstanding practice and application of psychology with an underserved population. Key information: Most of these awards require applicants to provide a detailed summary of past and current research, leadership experience or information on a student's work with underserved populations, and an abbreviated curriculum vita. The prize committee may also request a letter of recommendation. Deadline: Varies For more information:   APAGS Scholarships, Grants and Awards

American Psychological Foundation

Programs/awards: The foundation sponsors several scholarships, fellowships, dissertation awards and grants for research and travel, aimed at helping graduate students further their education in psychology. Key information: Prize amounts range from a $300 travel grant to a $25,000 graduate student fellowship for work related to the psychological understanding of gifted and talented children and adolescents. Deadline: Varies For more information:   APF

APA Divisions

Programs/awards: Many APA divisions sponsor scholarships and travel grants to fund graduate students pursuing work in a division's area of interest. Key information: These awards can range from $200 to allow a student to attend a division's annual meeting to a several thousand dollars to offset graduate school expenses or dissertation research. Deadline: Varies by division For more information: Visit each division's website for more information about the student awards it offers. A list of APA divisions can be found online.

Niche Organizations

Programs/awards: Organizations such as the Association for Psychological Science and the Society for Neuroscience provide funds to students in a variety of research areas and for travel to conferences. Key information: Winners of the APS Student Research Award, for example, receive $250 and are invited to present their research at a symposium at the annual APS convention. Recipients of an SfN Neuroscience Scholars fellowship receive annual support for career development and professional networking activities outside the student's home institution. Deadline: Varies For more information: Visit your professional organization's website for more details. Association for Psychological Science ; Society for Neuroscience

Programs/awards: Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology, sponsors a variety of award competitions and grants each year for student research, leadership and travel to conferences. Key information: Most awards and grants are offered to Psi Chi members, leading to a smaller applicant pool than with awards from other organizations. In fact, some programs, such as the Hunt Research Grant, which provides up to $3,000 to three students, often receive fewer than 10 applicants annually. Deadline: Varies For more information:   Psi Chi Awards & Grants

Private Foundations

Programs/awards: The International Dissertation Research Fellowship Program Key information: Sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the IDRF awards 75 fellowships annually to full-time graduate students in the humanities and social sciences who are enrolled in U.S. doctoral programs and conducting dissertation research outside the United States. The award amount varies depending on the research plan, with a per-fellowship average of $18,750. Deadline: November For more information:   International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)

Programs/awards: The Beinecke Scholarship Program Key information: Sponsored by The Sperry Fund, this program annually provides 20 college juniors in the arts, humanities and social sciences more than $30,000 to attend graduate school. Deadline: Feb. 14 For more information:   The Beinecke Scholarship Program

Programs/awards: The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowships Key information: Ten $20,000 fellowships are awarded annually to PhD candidates pursuing dissertation research concerning violence and aggression in relation to social change, intergroup conflict, war, terrorism, crime and family relationships. Deadline: Feb. 1 For more information:   Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowships

Programs/awards: The Russell Sage Foundation Key information: The Russell Sage Behavioral Economics Roundtable supports a small grants research program to support high-quality research in behavioral economics and to encourage young investigators to enter this developing field. The maximum grant amount is $7,500. Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis For more information:   Russel Sage Foundation

Article Sidebar

Letters to the Editor

20 Great Doctoral Psychology Grants

A PhD in Psychology or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) can be expensive. Doctoral psychology grants can make your graduate studies more affordable. Doctoral psychology programs either take a research-based or practice-oriented approach. These are two different ways to study human behavior and mental processes. There are 379 APA-accredited doctoral programs in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Psychology is a diverse profession. You will find doctorates in every discipline of psychology, including:  

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 6% increase in the profession through 2031. However , psychology is a challenging field. Any doctorate is expensive. Enduring the long educational journey to licensure can be challenging financially . 

Financial aid can be scarce for PhD students. Almost all of the best financial aid is offered through educational institutions or research grants. Since financial aid is so scarce, it’s important to find what sources you can. That’s where articles like this come in. The financial aid we spotlight in this article includes grants that range from $1,000 to $25,000. Some of these vital sources of financial aid are one-time deals. Others will last multiple years as you conduct your research and write your dissertation. Even if you have a solid source of financial aid through your university’s program, you might find you need more financial aid to cover your research costs. Universities usually help with this, too, but it never hurts to secure external sources of financial aid.

Below are 20 great PhD psychology grants for students to build their professional future.

1. AAFP Dissertation Grants

Deadline: March 31st

The American Academy of Forensic Psychology awards $10,000 Dissertation Grants each year. Grants provide financial aid for students pursuing a forensic psych PhD at an accredited U.S. graduate school. Eligible doctoral candidates must be in the dissertation writing stage. They must be devoting their research to any area of applied law/psychology. For consideration, applicants must include a current CV. They must provide one letter of support. They must submit a brief personal statement outlining their proposed dissertation.

AAFP Dissertation Grants 1200 Prince Street Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 229-2422 [email protected] Grant Link

2. APS Student Grant Competition

Deadline: November 17th

The Association for Psychological Science Student Grant Competition awards eight grants each year. Qualified individuals must be master’s or doctoral students pursuing research in psychological science. Applicants must be current APS Student Affiliates. They must attend an accredited U.S. college and write a 3,000-word project proposal. Studies in fields like clinical, cognitive, and developmental psychology qualify for this financial aid. Also welcome are:

APS Student Grant Competition 1133 15th Street NW Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20005 (202) 293-9300 [email protected] Grant Link

3. Arc of Washington Trust Research Grants

Deadline: August 3rd

The Arc of Washington Trust distributes Research Grants for $25,000 to PhD students. Research into the causes, prevention, and effective treatment of intellectual disabilities qualifies. T o qualify for this financial aid, g rantees must attend an accredited college in:

Interested doctoral candidates must write a 500-word abstract. They must include:

Arc of Washington Trust Research Grants 2638 State Avenue NE Olympia, WA 98506 (360) 357-5596 ext. 107 [email protected] Grant Link

4. Basic Psychological Science Research Grant

Deadline: January 13th

The Basic Psychological Science Research Grant awards $1,000. The grant must be used to cover direct costs of research. The grant is for master’s or PhD students in psychology and neuroscience. The research eligible for this financial aid must be related to diversity. Eligible recipients must be APAGS members. They must be enrolled in their program at least half-time. They must attend a regionally accredited university. Applicants must be in good standing. All must submit an abbreviated research proposal, and a letter of faculty recommendation.

Basic Psychological Science Research Grant 750 First Street NE Washington, DC 20002 (800) 374-2721 [email protected] Grant Link

5. Clara Mayo Grants Program

Deadline: May 15th and October 15th

Twice each year, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) hosts the Clara Mayo Grants Program . These grants can be used by PhD students to fund pre-dissertation research. That research must examine aspects of:

To qualify for these $1,000 grants, applicants must be SPSSI members. They must be matriculated full-time at an accredited U.S. university. They must:

Clara Mayo Grants Program 208 I Street NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 675-6956 [email protected] Grant Link

6. Eileen Coly Student Research Grant

Deadline: Varies

The Eileen Coly Student Research Grant is awarded by the Parapsychology Foundation. The grant gives $1,000 to doctoral scholars conducting original research in parapsychology. Eligible PhDs must be affiliated with an accredited university. They must exhibit research competence. They must have sincere interest in the paranormal. Applicants submit two letters of recommendation. They must write a 1,500-word essay titled “The Challenge of Parapsychology.”

Eileen Coly Student Research Grant P.O. Box 1562 New York, NY 10021 (212) 628-1559 [email protected] Grant Link

7. Head Start Dissertation Grants

Deadline: Contact Organization

The federal government’s Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation offers many research grants. The Head Start Dissertation Grants are among those offered by the office. Students with an interest in early childhood development and education are perfect for this program . This grant is for students working with local Head Start or Early Head Start programs. The grant seeks to fund research that will inform early care and education policy. The area of interest is low-income families. This grant has many requirements. Follow the link below for details.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services 330 C Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201 Grant Link

8. James L. Outtz Grant for Student Research

Students applying for this grant must receive approval from their advisor or committee chair . The grant is for a not yet conducted diversity-related research project. The research must be empirical and include theory and application to I/O psychology. It can be applied to any area of I/O psychology. This includes, among others:

Regardless of the area of I/O psychology, the focus of the research must be diversity. The grant is for $3,000.

James L. Outtz Grant for Student Research 440 East Poe Road Suite 101 Bowling Green, OH 43402 (419) 353-0032 [email protected] Grant Link

9. Jennifer Ann Crecente Memorial Grant

Deadline: August 15th

This grant is given in honor of an 18-year-old homicide victim in Austin. She had intended to study psychology. The Jennifer Ann Crecente Memorial Grant awards $5,000 every year. To qualify, candidates must be currently enrolled master’s or PhD psychology students in good standing at an accredited U.S. university. Grant money must fund research focusing on the potential causes and/or prevention of violence against women .

Jennifer Ann Crecente Memorial Grant 1464 East Whitestone Blvd. Cedar Park, TX 78613 (512) 528-8400 [email protected] Grant Link

10. Lizette Peterson-Homer Injury Prevention Grant

Deadline: October 15th

The Lizette Peterson-Homer Injury Prevention Grant provides up to $5,000 to doctoral students . The student must be engaged in original research. The research subject must be psychological aspects of the prevention of youth injuries through:

Qualified recipients must be committed to child psychology. They must show research competence. The must attend an accredited university. They also must have IRB approval and create a four-page project proposal.

Lizette Peterson-Homer Injury Prevention Grant P.O. Box 3968 Lawrence, KS 66046 (785) 856-0713 [email protected] Grant Link

11. Mamie Phipps Clark Research Grants

Deadline: Oct. 15th, Jan 15th, May 1st

This grant was named for the first African American woman to earn a PhD in psychology at Columbia in 1943. The Mamie Phipps Clark Research Grants are awarded for $1,500 to graduate student members of the Psi Chi Honor Society . Applicants must be conducting research focused on diversity issues. They must attend an accredited institution with a Psi Chi chapter. Online applications won’t be complete without a maximum six-page project proposal. The proposal must be in APA style. The proposal must feature a budgetary outline. Applicants must submit a letter of faculty recommendation.

Mamie Phipps Clark Research Grants P.O. Box 709 Chattanooga, TN 37401 (423) 771-9968 [email protected] Grant Link

Related:  20 Great PhD Scholarships and Doctoral Grants for Minorities

12. NASP Graduate Student Research Grants

Deadline: September 22nd

The National Association of School Psychologists supports doctoral candidates studying school psychology. The school must be in the United States. NASP awards three Graduate Student Research Grants for $1,000 each. PhD or EdD students must display exceptional ability to conduct high-quality research. The subject improves academic, social, or mental health functioning for diverse school-aged children. There’s also a $500 WPS Travel Grant offered for attending the NASP Convention.

NASP Graduate Student Research Grants 4340 East West Highway Suite 402 Bethesda, MD 20814 (301) 657-0270 [email protected] Grant Link

13. Norine Johnson PhD Psychotherapy Grant

Deadline: April 1st

Worth $10,000, the Norine Johnson PhD Psychotherapy Grant is awarded via the APA. Eligible PhD or PsyD candidates must attend an accredited U.S. institution. They must have good standing. They must conduct research pertaining to psychotherapist factors that may impact treatment effectiveness. They must be APA members, and have IRB approval. Applications must include:

Norine Johnson PhD Psychotherapy Grant 6557 East Riverdale Street Mesa, AZ 85215 (602) 363-9211 [email protected] Grant Link

14. Oglesby-Snyder Grant for Equity

The Association for Applied Sports Psychology (AASP) funds the Oglesby-Snyder Grant for Equity. The grant provides $7,500 to PhD-level scholars who propose innovative original research. The research must have the potential to lead to understandings that advance equity and cultural diversity in sports . Eligible applicants must be continuous AASP members for at least 3 years. They must be affiliated with an accredited U.S. university. They must show genuine commitment to sports or exercise psychology. Finally, they must agree to present at the AASP conference.

Oglesby-Snyder Grant for Equity 8365 Keystone Crossing Suite 107 Indianapolis, IN 46240 (317) 205-9225 [email protected] Grant Link

15. Positive Psychology Young Scholars Grant

Deadline: January 15th

The John Templeton Foundation and the Positive Psychology Network administer Young Scholars Grants. The award gifts $10,000 to PhD students and early-career psychologists from all disciplines . They must be engaged in research that transforms psychology in a positive direction. Topics of interest include:

Other subjects include:

Successful U.S. applicants must display future promise as positive psychology researchers.

Positive Psychology Young Scholars Grant 3815 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104 (215) 898-4100 [email protected] Grant Link

16. Qualtrics Behavioral Research Grants

The Qualtrics Behavioral Research Grants range from $2,000 to $3,000. They are designed to help support PhD student researchers in psychology who use Qualtrics for data gathering . Recipients can use the grant to pay for:

 Recipients must be conducting their research with a U.S. university. Selections are based on research’s:

Qualtrics Behavioral Research Grants 400 Qualtrics Drive Provo, Utah 84604 (800) 340-9194 Grant Link

17. National Science Foundation Social Psychology Grants

NSF social psychology grants support research intended to advance social psychology. The mission of the organization is to promote the progress of science. Research must carry strong potential for transforming the basic understanding of social behavior. There are many potential areas of research that qualify. These include but are not limited to:

Applicants should contact a program director before submitting a proposal.

18. SSSS Student Research Grant

Deadline: March 15th

At its Annual Meeting, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) awards the Student Research Grant . The $1,000 goes to two exemplary graduate psychology students. They must be conducting their doctoral dissertation on human sexuality. Qualified recipients must be enrolled full-time. They must be in a degree-granting program in the United States. They must also have student-level SSSS membership. Applications must be accompanied by an abstract. Also include:

SSSS Student Research Grant 881 Third Street Suite B-5 Whitehall, PA 18052 (610) 443-3100 [email protected] Grant Link

19. Walter G. McMillen Memorial Grant Award

Deadline: June 1st

APA Division 20: Adult Development and Aging offers the Walter G. McMillen Memorial Grant Award . The award encourages graduate psychology students to research Parkinson’s disease. The $1,000 grant is for PhD students researching the assessment, treatment, and management of Parkinson’s–pa rticularly the disease’s impact on caregivers. Research proposals should include a 400-word abstract. Also include:

Walter G. McMillen Memorial Grant Award 750 First Street NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 336-5500 [email protected] Grant Link

20. Wayne F. Placek Doctoral Grant

The American Psychological Foundation established this $15,000 social and behavioral sciences grant. The grant is awarded to graduate students in the behavioral and social sciences, especially psychology . Eligible candidates must be affiliated with accredited non-profit universities. They must intend to begin empirical research studying sexual orientation and LGBT issues. Proposals should have a cover letter. They must also include:

Wayne F. Placek Doctoral Grant 750 First Street NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 336-5500 [email protected] Grant Link

Becoming a licensed psychologist requires investing in a lengthy stay in graduate school. Most doctoral psychology students spend five to six years full-time completing their degree. The NCES reports that the average graduate tuition cost is $16,435 per year. In comparison, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists bring home a mean yearly salary of $74,030 . Finding scholarships and grants is important to maximize the ROI for your PhD or PsyD degree. Fund your tuition and research expenses by applying for some of these 20 great doctoral psychology grants .

GCD Staff, Updated November 2022

This concludes our coverage of doctoral psychology grants to make your training easier to pay for.

You May Also Like

Financial Aid

Clinical Psychology Scholarships

A complete guide to clinical psychology programs financial aid and scholarships.


It is possible to apply for financial aid to attend both undergraduate and graduate clinical psychology schools.

You can choose from fellowships, scholarships, grants or subsidies, work study programs, federal loans and teaching or research assistantships.

If you are seeking financial aid for a graduate degree, you should plan to get advice as early as possible before going to school. Consult with both the psychology office and the office of financial aid at the school to which you are applying.

Psychology Funding Programs

American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS)  Scholarships and Awards

Students and Early Career Psychologists

An A – Z of  Funding Opportunities for Students and Early Career Psychologists

Women and Ethnic Minorities in Psychology

The APA provides a  directory  (PDF) of detailed information on scholarships, fellowships and other funding sources for students and researchers at the graduate, undergraduate, predoctoral, doctoral, and postdoctoral levels. There is also a section on grants and special awards for institutions.

Dissertation Research Awards

The  Dissertation Research Award  program is to assist science-oriented doctoral students of psychology with research costs.

Minority Fellowship Programs

Minority Fellowship Programs  improves the quality of mental health treatment delivered to ethnic minority populations by providing financial support and professional guidance to individuals pursuing doctoral degrees in psychology.

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

The  Woodrow Wilson International Center  awards approximately 35 residential fellowships annually in an international competition to individuals with outstanding project proposals representing the entire range of scholarship, with a strong emphasis on the humanities and social sciences.

APA Scholarships

The APA provides a detailed listing of  scholarships, grants and awards  for psychologists and students.

Psi Chi Research Grants

Psi Chi is a national honor society in psychology who offers research awards to graduate and undergraduate students. A listing of all available awards and grants is  here .

Student Travel Awards

APA’s Science Directorate  sponsors an annual competition for graduate student travel awards to help psychology graduate students travel to the annual APA Convention to present their research.

General Financial Aid Resources

There are thousands of scholarships, loans and grants available for undergraduate and graduate students. Here are the most common, available through the Student Loan Network:

Psychology Scholarships for Women

Like all students, psychology majors are continually on the lookout for psychology grants and scholarships. The best sources for grants and scholarships are those funds, organizations and institutions that are tailored directly to students like you.

To get the most out of your search for scholarships and grants, look for those on offer that cater to women psychology majors. This narrows down the applicant pool and helps ensure that you have a good chance of getting the money you need to continue your education.

The best way to go about your search for scholarships and grants is to look everywhere. Apply for as many scholarships and grants as you can find. Apply for as many as apply to your personal circumstances. You may not win all of them but if you cast a wide net you may still get the money you need. Here is a list of several scholarships and grants for women studying psychology.

Women who excel in academics can always find scholarships and grants no matter their chosen course of study. The most common place that high achievers seek psychology scholarships and grants is through the school they are applying to. But in addition to their academic institution, women who excel in academics can apply for grants from the National Honor Society in Psychology.

psychology phd grants

Many of the Psi Chi awards are only available to members of the National Honor Society in Psychology. Membership is inexpensive and available to most current undergraduate or graduate psychology students.

The Allyn and Bacon Award

The Allyn and Bacon Award is a research grant sponsored by Allyn and Bacon Publishers. Applicants turn in an empirical research paper. The best research paper wins $1,000. Second place wins $650, third place wins $350. In addition to the small grant, the winners have their photograph and a brief biography published in Eye on Psi Chi, the organization’s periodical. The application deadline for the Allyn and Bacon Award is May 1.

The Diversity Article Awards

Every year, Eye on Psi Chi — Psi Chi’s periodical — gives four awards in the amount of $300 for the best articles submitted by psychology students on the topic of diversity issues. Subjects include but are not limited to ethnic minorities, LGBTI, physical disabilities and other similar issues. The application deadline for the Diversity Article Award is July 1st.

The Guilford Awards

Like the Allyn and Bacon Award, the Guilford award is a research grant. First place winners are awarded $1,000. Second place receives $650. Third place receives $350. Winners and their faculty research advisers are also awarded a certificate. The abstract of the paper and a photograph of the winners will be published in Eye on Psi Chi. The application deadline for the Guilford Awards is May 1.

The American Psychological Association of Graduate Students/Psi Chi Junior Scientist Fellowship

This fellowship is earmarked for graduate students who excel in research. Any graduate students entering their first or second year are encouraged to apply. Awardees receive funding for their research project for the year.

In addition to this research grant, awardees receive coaching to strengthen their application for a larger graduate research fellowship from the National Science foundation. The award is based on the expenses associated with the research project. Applications must be received by June 30th.

The American Psychological Foundation

The Psi Chi honor society is only one of many psychological foundations that provide substantial grants and scholarships to women who major in psychology. There are many places that women can look to find supportive networks of professionals that are more than willing to provide aid. One of the largest foundations geared toward helping women in the field of psychology is the American Psychological Foundation .

The American Psychological Foundation was founded in 1953. The association’s sole purpose is to provide funding and financial support for research projects that have the potential to “elevate the human condition and advance human potential both now and in generations to come.” The American Psychological Foundation provides grants to women beginning their career in psychology who are interested in advancing the same goals that the foundation espouses.

In the past, the American Psychological Foundation has awarded research grants for research projects intended to prevent violence, understand prejudice, connect mental and physical health and combat homophobia. The American Psychological Foundation provides a number of grants totaling in several hundred thousand dollars in awards every year. Their grant program is competitive, designed to award the best in their field.

The Division 29 Early Career Award

The Division 29 Early Career Award is given to psychologists making novel and promising contributions to psychotherapy. Applicants must have an EdD, PsyD or PhD from an accredited university and be no more than 7 years postdoctoral. Each selected applicant is awarded a $2,500 grant.

Esther Katz Rosen Early Career Research Grant

The Esther Katz Rosen Early Career Research Grant is one of the largest grants awarded by the American Psychological Foundation. The award is earmarked for research psychologists conducting research to better understand the psychology of gifted and talented children and adolescents.

Applicants must have an EdD, PsyD or PhD from an accredited university and be no more than 7 years postdoctoral. Each applicant may request up to $50,000 to fund their research.

The National Association of School Psychologists

Women pursuing degrees in psychology can find many options for funding based on their career goals. Many psychological associations are established by organizations or professionals interested in supporting a specific profession within the field of psychology.

These associations are not just of interest to like-minded psychology students. If the scholarship is large enough and financial support is a big enough factor, the award may help an unsure student decide what profession they wish to pursue.

One such organization is the National Association of School Psychologists. This association was established in 1995 to aid minority graduate students in psychology who face financial barriers to continuing their education. Today they offer scholarships open to minority women graduate students pursuing a Specialist Degree or its equivalent in School Psychology.

It is a bit of a mouthful to say, but applicants who are awarded the National Association of School Psychologists Minority Scholarship Program for Graduate Training in School Psychology are expected to enter the work force as school psychologists. By encouraging minority school psychologists to enter the field, the National Association of School Psychologists hopes to encourage diversity and cultural awareness in school communities.

Every year the National Association of School Psychologists awards several applicants with $5,000 each in scholarship funds. The scholarship is open to both full-time and part-time undergraduate students. Applicants must be in good academic standing and maintain an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must also be members of the National Association of School Psychologists at the time their application is reviewed. The application deadline is November 15th.

The American Psychological Association

To find the biggest scholarships and grants available for women pursuing careers in psychology, it’s a great idea to go to the largest organization for psychologists. The American Psychological Association is the largest association of psychologists in the world. To date they have over 154,000 members.

One of the ways that the APA promotes psychology is to provide scholarships and grants to women studying psychology in undergraduate or graduate programs. This professional research organization provides most of its support to undergraduate psychology majors, graduate-level researchers and professional psychologists who are making important inroads into the field of psychology through their research.

The Carol Williams-Nickelson Award for Women’s Leadership

This award is reserved for women currently pursuing their doctorate in psychology whose research focuses on women’s issues. Applicants must be members of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students. The amount of the scholarships depends on several factors including the type of research conducted. Applicants may apply at any time during the year.

The Deborah Partridge Wolfe International Graduate Fellowship

This grant provides $1,000 for African-American women currently enrolled in graduate school with the intent to study abroad. Applicants may apply at any time during the year.

The Career Advancement Scholarship

This variable scholarship is awarded to undergraduate women currently studying psychology at a 4-year accredited university in the United States. Applicants must be under the age of 25. The amount awarded depends on the academic standing and financial need of the applicant. Since the establishment of the Career Advancement Scholarship over $6 million has been awarded to over 8,000 women. Applicants may apply at any time during the year.

The Nancy B. Forest and L. Michael Honaker Master’s Grant for Research in Psychology

This grant is open to women conducting Master’s thesis research in psychology. To be eligible, applicants must be enrolled in graduate school and belong to the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students. The chosen applicant will receive $1,500. The deadline for application is May 1.

The Basic Psychological Science Research Grant

This grant is designed to fund innovative research in psychology. The $1,000 grant is open to women pursuing graduate-level research in psychology. The funds must be used to support the research or dissertation. Applicants must join the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students. The deadline for application is May 1.

Minority Grant Program

psychology phd grants

Predoctoral Scholarship in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

This scholarship is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It is open to women currently planning to enroll in a full-time APA-accredited doctoral program in the fall following the application deadline.

The scholarship is open to everyone; however, African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are specifically encouraged to apply. The award provides up to three years of funding. The scholarship must be annually renewed. On average, 200 to 300 applications are received and five to six percent of those applicants are granted awards. The application deadline is January 15.

Health Organizations

Not all scholarships for women in psychology are provided through psychological associations. Many health organizations have branches that focus specifically on students studying psychology. Some awards are available to all applicants as long as their major is psychology. Some, like the United Health Foundation and PacifiCare Foundation ’s Latino Health Scholars Program, focus specifically on students of a specific gender, race and background.

The United Health Foundation and the PacifiCare Foundation came together to fund and administer the Latino Health Scholars program to encourage the proliferation of Latinos in the field of psychology. This program is open to women currently enrolled in high school who speak both English and Spanish fluently and are interested in entering the field of psychology.

Each year, the fund awards 75 scholarships that total to roughly $2,000,000. Out of that applicant pool, the foundation will select two of the most worthy applicants and award them with the Freedom Award scholarship worth $25,000 each.

To be eligible, applicants must be high school seniors who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Students must be in good academic standing with a G.P.A. of at least 3.0. Transcripts and a letter of recommendation from a teacher on school letterhead must accompany the application.

Applicants must also write an essay enumerating their academic and personal achievements, academic goals, community involvement and the reasons why they want to enter the health care field. The essay must be completed in English and then translated into Spanish.

Federal Government & Local Funding Sources

Federal opportunities.

The government is another great place for women to look for scholarships and grants for women. Psychology may sound like a field that governmental institutions have no interest in funding, but assuming so is a good way to miss out on money. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a number of scholarships to men and women who are pursuing careers in a number of medical fields, including psychology.

One popular scholarship offered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services offers scholarships to graduate students concentrating in Clinical Psychology. This scholarship is special because it does not provide funds to all psychology students, but focusses on applicants whose only restriction is financial. Specifically, this scholarship is earmarked for applicants who come from disadvantaged background or families with limited income.

“Disadvantaged background” is defined as “one who comes from an environment that has inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skill, and abilities required to enroll in and graduate from a health professions school, or from a program providing education or training in an allied health profession; or comes from a family with an annual income below a level based on low income thresholds according to family size published by the U.S. Bureau of Census.”

In addition to a disadvantaged background, applicants must have good standing in school and be full-time students currently enrolled in an accredited graduate school. The amount of assistance given to each student is determined by the student’s available resources, the amount of his tuition and his living expenses.

The scholarship is also available to undergraduate students who are attending school full-time and enrolled in any health care program including psychology.

State & Local Programs

A great place for women to search for scholarships and grants is in their own home state or the state they reside or attend school in. The primary reason is because the applicant pool is smaller when it is limited by geography. The second reason is because of the depth of support. Students who receive scholarship funds from the state they reside in develop connections and support that last a career or longer.

For example, the Washington State Association of School Psychologists offers a scholarship to minority women pursuing graduate training in School Psychology. The Washington State Association of School Psychologists started this scholarship to address the problem of excessive financial pressure on minority students in Washington State who desire to pursue a career in school psychology.

By helping overcome this financial obstacle, the Washington State Association of School Psychologists hopes to encourage diversity in the school psychologist population and accommodate the needs of all the students in Washington State’s schools.

The scholarship is available to minority women who are enrolled full-time or at least half-time in an accredited school psychology program in Washington State. The school must be approved by the Washington State Association of School Psychologists. Applicants must also plan to become a practicing School Psychologist in Washington State soon after completion of their program.

Applicants must be in good standing in their current program in a Washington State school. Only students with a 3.0 GPA or higher should apply. Doctoral students are ineligible. Only students who are enrolled in a specialist level or the equivalent should apply. Every applicant must be a student member of the Washington State Association of School Psychologists during the time that the application is reviewed. The application deadline is November 1.

More Specific Financial Aid Options

Opportunities for graduate students.

Scholarships and grants are not just available for women pursuing their undergraduate degrees in psychology. A great way for graduate women to shrink the applicant pool and increase the likelihood that they will receive an award is to focus on societies and organizations that reserve their awards for women in graduate programs. Contact with these organizations is a great way to network and gain professional as well as financial support.

A great organization for women in psychology is the Graduate Women in Science Society . This society was established in 1921 by graduated students from Cornell University. It was originally a sorority (Sigma Delta Epsilon) established to encourage networking amongst women in the sciences.

Today the Graduate Women in Science Society helps to advance the position of women in science. It awards seven grants to women conducting research in the sciences.

Three of those grants are earmarked for women conducting research in the field of psychology: the Eloise Gerry Fellowship, the Vessa Notchev Fellowship and the SDE Fellowship. The Graduate Women in Science Society’s awards are competitive. They are reserved for women who currently hold a degree in psychology and are currently conducted research at a recognized institution.

Applicants to each of the three psychology fellowships may request up to $10,000 per application. The Eloise Gerry Fellowship traditionally awards two grants per year totaling $6,000. The Vessa Notchev fellowship awards one grant, usually around $3,000. The SDE fellowship traditionally awards $4,000 to one applicant.

The due date for each application is January 15. The winners are announced on or before July 1. Applicants do not have to be members of the Graduate Women in Science Society to be eligible.

Blended Opportunities

Sports psychology.

The more specific their career and study goals, the more awards women pursuing psychology will find. Often times, this means searching outside of the traditional places for scholarship awards. If your goals are to blend psychology and sports medicine for example, it is beneficial to look for scholarships and grants with organizations or funds that provide scholarships to students studying sports medicine.

For example, the Dorothy Harris Endowed Scholarship provides scholarships for women in sports, including those studying sports psychology. The Dorothy Harris Scholarship was established in September 1990 by the Women’s Sports Foundation . The award was established in honor of Dr. Dorothy Harris who spent her career battling for equal rights for women in sports. Every year, two scholarships are awarded to women who are pursuing a full-time master’s or doctoral program in sports psychology. Each award is up to $3,000.

The amount of the award depends on several factors including but not limited to financial need, G.P.A., the nature of the applicant’s research and career goals and their level of participation in the sport of their choice. Applicants apply for the award through the Women’s Sports Foundation website .

Niche Scholarship Programs With Limited Competition

Psychology is a broad field. Students and professionals working on the fringes of psychology often assume that because supporting organizations are few, that funds are few as well. But pursuing a niche section of psychology can result in lots of financial support. Because the applicant pool is quite small, there are lots of awards to go around and a small community to provide lots of support during all aspects of a career.

For example, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology provides support solely to psychologists pursuing studies or research in the field of transpersonal psychology.

Transpersonal psychology is a holistic approach to psychotherapy. Instead of just dealing with the mind as in traditional psychology, transpersonal psychology treats all six aspects of human existence: intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual, creative and relational. Students in this field enjoy being at the forefront of psychological research and integrating many disciplines into one.

The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology offers full and partial scholarships to African-American PhD candidates who intend to pursue the field of transpersonal psychology. Students must be currently enrolled as full-time students taking online courses working with a PhD mentor or taking courses on campus. Applicants must exhibit significant financial need.

Applicants must also be in good academic standing with a grade point average of at least 3.0. A number of awards are provided every year. Most awards provide $1,000 in scholarship funds per quarter. Applicants may apply every quarter they are enrolled full-time in a PhD program. However, only $3,000 total may be awarded to any one applicant. The application deadline is June 1 each year.

Political Opportunities

Women who pursue degrees in psychology in order to aid the general public and the health of the country will always find awards available to them. A great way to approach a search for scholarships and grants is via the benefit that your future career goals will have for your local and national community. For example, women who pursue degrees in psychology in order to provide drug and alcohol counseling often find funding from national programs to end drug abuse.

The National Federation of Republican Women National Pathfinder Scholarship was established in 1985 to commemorate First Lady Nancy Reagan’s campaign against drug and alcohol abuse. Once a year, three scholarship awards of $2,500 each are awarded to the three women conducting research on drug and alcohol abuse in psychology or related fields.

To be eligible, applicants have to be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in psychology and intend to pursue a career related to the study of drug and alcohol abuse or the counseling of drug and alcohol abusers and their families.

To apply, applicants must submit a complete application to the National Federation of Republican Women representative in your state by June 1. Applicants may apply every year, but they may only receive the scholarship once.

Religious Opportunities

Women pursuing degrees in psychology rarely look to their religious organization for support. However, overlooking these institutions is a good way to miss out on a valuable source of support. Many religious institutions in a variety of faiths provide support specifically for women who are pursuing studies in the field of psychology. Often these studies do not have to be pursued at a religious school.

For example, the Bethesda Lutheran Communities is a Lutheran organization that aims to aid and support children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through Christian-centric services. Part of the way they support children and adults with disabilities is to encourage Lutheran students to pursue careers in psychology. Once they matriculate, these students will be in an ideal position to offer Christian-centric services with a medical background.

Each year, Bethesda Lutheran Communities offers two scholarships for $3,000. The scholarships are open to women currently enrolled in at least their sophomore year in college or university and pursuing or intending to pursue study or a career in the area of developmental disability.

The college or university must be a four-year and accredited institution, but does not have to be a Lutheran institution. Applicants must be active members of a Lutheran church. The scholarship is not necessarily merit-based. However, students must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0.

Applicants must turn in application packages that include a short essay about their career and study goals, evidence of 100 hours of paid or volunteer work with people with disabilities and letters of reference. The deadline for application is April 15.

Other Places to Look

No online list of scholarships and grants is exhaustive. And you need to be exhaustive to get the money you need to make sure that you get school paid for. Always check with your school. Virtually every school has a scholarship program. Many schools have funds earmarked specifically for psychology students or for women.

Call the financial aid office and ask for a list of available scholarships offered by the school. Peruse the list to find the scholarship most suited for you. Ask the guidance counselor for help if necessary. They can evaluate your school record and help you get the largest amount of available funds.

The key to finding funding for a career in psychology is to leave absolutely no stone unturned. At the same time that students apply to schools and programs, they should make a list of all the possible scholarships that they may qualify for.

Don’t stop the search just at scholarships for women or scholarships for psychology students. Think outside of the box. Scholarships based on economic need or on related fields like sports medicine or school counseling open up entirely new areas of scholarship and grant opportunities.

Applicants must devote as much time to the search for scholarships and grants as they devote to searching for worthy educational institutions. With diligence and perseverance, women can find funding for their programs no matter how small and esoteric or large and fraught with competition.


Hello, I am a 59 year old elementary arts educator in the Louisiana public school system. I am also a single grandmother, raising an 8 and 11 year old. Many of the African American students that I work with are suffering from loss, grief, and stress. My goal is to return to graduate school at Southwestern College for a master’s degree in art therapy so that I can better serve children. I am seeking a way to pay for this continuing education, as I am still in dept for other college loans. Because I am committed to raising my 2 grandchildren as well, I continue to work until they graduate from college…any ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Why is this process so difficult? I just want to find a scholarship for black females pursuing a degree is Psychology and eventually a Master for counseling. I’ve been searching for over two hours; I have a disability that only allow me so much time at the computer…PLEASE, can you make this an easier process. I just want an opportunity to apply for a scholarship.

Hello Carol, I realize it is three years ago. I am unsure whether you are aware that because of your disability Vocational Rehabilitation will cover the cost of a Master’s. Unfortunately, there are certain degrees that require a Master’s in order to get hired and psychology is one of those fields. Much success!

Looking for scholarships in Christian Counseling. I’m currently a student at Liberty University Online. Pursuing a masters in Christian Counseling emphasis on Family aand marrige

I would like sponsorship to study my masters program at Felician college, NJ . I am an international student from Kenya. Thank you. Gladys.

Hi. I want to make a research work in psycology and i want to help people.

would like to know how to apply for a scholorship for myself. Thank you.

I’m a second year undergraduate Psychology major pursuing a scholarship that would allow me to further my education. At the moment I am focusing on childhood development as well as abnormal childhood development. I am not a minority, which unfortunately gives me a huge disadvantage when it comes to scholarships and grant opportunities. Any advice would be appreciated.

I am an psychology undergraduate at Liberty University and am in the process of internship; however, still have five more classes to go before graduating. I am hoping to obtain a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and am in desperate need of money to continue, as financial aid is coming close to the cap amount. Any information is greatly appreciated.

I am looking for scholarships for beginning undergraduate students in their 50’s. If anyone has any information please forward them to my email address.

I am a first-generation female returning to school for my MS in general psychology following a year and a half hiatus, with hopes to obtain my Ph.D. or MD. I aspire to use my degree to contribute to research and teaching that focuses primarily on women’s issues, as well as behavioral methods for treating ADHD in children. As a dumb undergrad, I managed to amass a large amount of student loan debt, the fear of which has kept me from continuing my education until this point. I am seeking opportunities to repay my debt while funding grad school.

This is my first time looking for scholarships. I want to go back to school online for my masters in psychology. Most of the scholarships you have to already be enrolled in the program. I do understand that, but does that mean I have to pay for my first classes or are there any scholarships you can apply for before hand? Thank you!

I have searched many sites about scholarships, and many of them are confined to one particular genre of student, with understanding. However, I’m a 33 year old single mother, who is returning to school in Psychology – as an undergraduate. I have approximately one year left to obtain my first Bachelors degree and then I plan to enter a Masters degree program, followed by a Doctoral program in Psychology. I haven’t been able to find any scholarships that I would be eligible for. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you for posting this site. It has been very helpful.

I am a 38 years old women graduated my first degree in general psychology and my masster degree in coucling pschology .and by now i want to study my PHD by conucling pschlogy and help me the acsess how i get this chance . thank u so much

I am a 40 year old woman and so much wish i went back to school online for a Bachelor’s in Counseling Psychology, I hold a University Certificate in Counseling. I would like to help individuals who seem to have lost meaning to life it pains me to see them live a hopeless and helpless life.

I am in my last class of pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

My next endeavor will begin in September ’14, as I begin my Master’s Program. Not bad for a 54 year old, who is interested in fullfilling her desire to assist homeless women develop their fullest potential.

please am a 30 years Tanzania woman, am also asking for the scholorship

Hi! am a student at Makerere university pursuing a degree in Community Psychology. i need help am tied up. no tuition yet. any on hear to stand with me please!

I am a 51 year old female. When I went into the field of psychology, I thought that once I graduated, it would be easy to get a descent job. I was told to return to graduate school and i did. I earned a MA in psychology (MFT concentration). I am also currently registered with the BBS. What I have discovered, is that without a Psy D, Ph.D or MD, you will not make a living that is comfortable. I have been unemployed for several months and have literally sent out to date 150 applications, and received 2 calls. Needless to say, once I have had the opportunity to ask questions, I realize, employers are wanting to exploit me by offering $12/hr. I have so much to offer and would like to offer my services in underserved areas. I have spent the past several working for little o no money just so that I can keep my skills current. SCHOLARSHIP PLEASE!!!!

Respected Sir/ Madam,

I am presently pursuing my M.A degree program in Psychology (last semester) from India.

I have a desire of pursuing my career in Psych-D.

Due to financial constraints, I may not be able to pay for the full course fee and would be glad if you could offer me a scholarship.

I have excellent academic scores throughout my Graduate as well as my post graduate studies.

Warm regards Jane Baker

This has been really informative . I’m a 32 year old lady from Namibia currently doin my honors thru a south African university. I would love to do my masters abroad in counseling or clinical psychology. Namibia has been experiencing high levels of crimes lately especially in the crimes of passion., this has spurred interest in me to try n figure this huge rise.

Please advice kindly and thank you Marcella Katjijova

I am a violently abused woman, I left my marriage seven years ago, God has helped me to all my three children to university, I want to be assisted to study PhD in Counseling Psychology so that I can make a difference in the lives of abused women and neglected children especially the youth. I REALLY REALLY NEED HELP, i HAVE A MASTER DEGREE IN COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY

Seeking grants and/or scholarships to obtain a master’s in drug and substance abuse to help ex-offenders improve life after being charged with drug convictions. Enrolled at Liberty University. Thanks

Hello my name is Gabriela I am pursuing a dream of study psychology to help children and adolescents, I am attending to Los Angeles Community College, and I would like to know if someone could help me with a scholarship. I don’t have the resources to continue but I have faith .

Hi! My name is azeb worku i am 24 years old . Iam psychologist and teacher i have Ba in psychology i want specialize my education by child hood psychology so am asking you to give me the chance? Thank you!

September 19 .2015 9:52 pm Dear friend, my name is Adrean a Ugandan Female aged 40 years, married with 3 children. I have a bachelors degree in counseling and my dream is to get a masters in community psychology with a passion of helping the the community handle the social, physical, economic and spiritual needs. I kindly request for a scholaship. Thank you.

I’m a 40 year I completed my masters degree at kwame nkrumah university in zambia I special education I have interest in working with people with learning challange I believe they are also like us the can do what a so called a normal person can do. I will be a happy person if you can offer me this opportunity because I will be able to implement to to the learning challenging people especially a woman

Hi Sponsor. My name is MARGARET NJOKI MBUGUA from Kenya. I am a BA student in Counseling Psychology with only one semester to go in order to complete my study. I am interested in pursuing a Masters degree in Chemical Dependency. My aim is to help those who are struggling with drugs and substance abuse. Your full scholarship will be highly appreciated. Thank you.

I would like sponsorship to study my masters program at any USA university,. I am an student of social woork and psychology. In my master degree i want to study clinical psychology. Thank you.

I am a young female from a small country in Africa called Swaziland.Im from a family with a genetic of psychological issues i cannot describe and it affects woman plus in my country theres less awareness or attention to such issues.I would appreciate an opportunity to studyto the highest level of psychology starting from a bachelors degree.Financial assistance would be greatly appreciated.

interested in pursuing a postdoctoral study in career counseling preferably in a German university.kindly advice.

my name is Thandeka and i am currently enrolled in university somewhere in Africa and i a currently studying a Bachelor of Arts degree in hopes of pursing a single major in clinical psychology. i am Zimbabwean by nationality and psychology is not a career that is recognized in my country. i am looking for financial assistance to further my education in clinical psychology as i finish my degree end of 2018. I want to pursue an education in psychology with a focus on forensic psychology, any fully funded financial assistance would be greatly appreciated because i can not achieve what i want on my own.

I’m Silvanti from India.i completed my 12th with bio science and Psychology. Am I eligible for this scholarship? I want to study Psychology. Is it Fully funded?

Leave a Reply Cancel Reply


The 15 Best Scholarships for Graduate Psychology Students in 2023

Find your degree. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

psychology scholarships

Psychology is one of the most popular degrees in the world. According to the National Center for Education Statistics , roughly 110,000 psychology degrees are conferred to graduating students annually. After graduating from an undergraduate program however, the stark reality of paying for a Master’s program and/or a PhD program thereafter represents an overwhelming challenge. In this article, we review some of the most impactful scholarships for students considering these programs–either due to the sheer magnitude of the scholarship prize or due to the low effort needed to be considered eligible.

The Unique Strengths of Psychology Scholarships

One of the most difficult aspects of landing an ideal scholarship is the challenge of meeting application requirements. Many scholarships today are built around niche areas of research or subject matters meant to encourage and promote these topics at a broader scale within academia. For a student in biochemical engineering for instance, it can be incredibly difficult to branch out from graduate curricula in order to meet the topic-criteria of these scholarships.

This is where the freedom and flexibility of psychology education really begins to provide a return on investment. Because many specific topics can be viewed through the lens of analytical psychology, psychology students have the unique opportunity to specifically target certain research topics which offer favorable scholarship options.

Of course, while the caveat here is that students will need to ensure that they can confer a level of quality and competitiveness to their work on the topic, so as to be worthy of said scholarships, the freedom to do so is still of notable value.

Scholarship Ranking Metrics

While we will not be ranking these scholarships by any numerical value, the simple act of including certain scholarships and excluding others acts as a ranking method in itself. So our criteria for including scholarships in this article comes down to the following factors:

i. Whether the program offers an impactful reward commensurate with the effort involved. It will be safe to assume that when a program offers a smaller prize, the level of effort required to apply and be considered eligible is also relatively low. Similarly when the prize is enormous, one should expect a tremendous amount of effort involved–the kind of effort and preparation that requires years of planning.

ii. Whether the program offers particular value to graduate psychology students. Scholarships that reward students in meaningful ways–such as by providing professional connections and academic development–are heavily weighted. We have only included a handful of programs that simply offer the chance at prize money alone.

iii. Whether the program rewards niche topics in research psychology. While some psychology students are free to branch out in their studies, others enjoy less freedom to do so. With this in mind, we have included scholarship programs that benefit psychology students who might be pursuing one of these more rigid routes of study.

iv. Whether the program provides special reward to psychology graduate students seeking doctoral candidacy. Some of the included scholarships reserve their prizes for psychology students who have successfully earned a doctoral candidacy. We have included these scholarships since actively targeting these prizes will require groundwork to be set while enrolled in a Master’s Program or even before.

The American Psychological Foundation

The American Psychological Foundation offers about 21 annual scholarship programs that range in prizes from $2,000 to $5,000 for graduate psychology students. These programs typically all require applications to be completed by a deadline of June 30, 2022 . The scholarships on offer are as follows:

$5,000 awarded in the Harry and Miriam Levinson Scholarship $3,000 awarded in the William and Dorothy Bevan Scholarship $5,000 awarded in the Charles and Carol Spielberger Scholarship $5,000 awarded in the Peter and Malina James & Dr. Louis P. James Legacy Scholarship $3,000 awarded in the Ruth G. and Joseph D. Matarazzo Scholarship $2,500 awarded in the William C. Howell Scholarship $2,000 awarded in the Clarence J. Rosecrans Scholarship $2,000 awarded in the Raymond K. Mulhern Scholarship $2,000 awarded in the Dr. Judy Kuriansky Scholarship 12 additional scholarships of $2,000 awarded to runner-ups

These scholarships are awarded to applicants based on a number of factors, the foremost of which is the clarity and strength at which students present their desired area of research. Students with organized designs and research methods and strong visions for the utility of their research will be most likely to succeed. We have included this batch of scholarships first, because most graduate psychology students will be eligible for at least one of these.

Special priority is given to applicants who apply to these scholarship programs to fund their speculative research project, as opposed to applicants seeking the funds for tuition, travel, or school-related expenses. While the direction, scope, and overall organization of one’s presented research goals will act as the primary criteria for evaluating applicants, students’ backgrounds will act as secondary criteria.

Secondary criteria includes: – The breadth of classes taken throughout one’s academic career – The grades earned both in-major and out-of-major – Any distinctive academic achievements such as previous publications, awards, or presentations – Recommendations offered by faculty of the Psychology Department of the school of the applicant

How to apply: For more information on how to apply, please visit this page . Please note that all applicants must be active members of the American Psychological Association. More information on these membership requirements can be found on their web page.

Benton-Meier Scholarships

Up to two annual rewards of $2,500 will be rewarded to one graduate psychology student who demonstrates success in neuroscience. Applications close on June 1, 2022 .

This program requires applicants to be full-time graduate students enrolled in a neuropsychology program who have completed a doctoral candidacy. Applicants will be evaluated by the distinctions earned within their particular specialty. Priority is given to applicants who are able to demonstrate how the prize money would enable a specific project within the field of neuroscience, as well as how that project might further the field as a whole, or the applicant professionally.

The application must be co-signed by the applicant’s faculty director and/or mentor.

Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student Fellowship

The American Psychological Foundation (APF) sponsors up to four fellowships of $25,000 to graduate psychology students working to further the field of Child Psychology with two runner-up fellowships of $5,000 each. Applications must be completed and sent in by November 15, 2022 .

Applicants must have successfully completed their doctoral candidacy while also having demonstrated a commitment to the field of Child Psychology. Special priority is given to students who demonstrate success in the following fields: child-clinical psychology, pediatric, school psychology, and/or developmental psychopathology.

Similarly, candidates will be evaluated by the scale of incremental contribution of their work towards the broader field of Child Psychology. With this in mind, prospective applicants will want to pay close attention to the APF’s special interest in Child Psychology, such as is represented by the Foundation’s most successful research initiatives and funded projects. In other words, interested students will want to work toward participating in exemplary research projects with real, trackable results.

The F. Edward Hébert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)

The United States Army offers one of the most extensive scholarships available in all of healthcare, and thankfully students of the behavioral sciences are included in its scope of eligible applicants. Interested students will want to follow the above link in order to find more specific information on deadlines and application requirements .

Generally, however the requirements are surprisingly loose for the reward on offer–namely a full-ride and a monthly stipend, on top of paid-for academic supplies. Applicants must simply be a U.S. citizen, qualify for the position of a commissioned officer in the United States Army, and maintain full-time enrollment throughout their time in the program. Applicants must also hold a baccalaureate degree from an approved and accredited school and hold either an acceptance letter or proof of enrollment in a medical school or graduate school of the behavioral sciences.

This scholarship provides one of the most robust prizes of any of the scholarships on this list and offers the following: – Full tuition of up to four years based on the applicants specialty – Full expense coverage of all books, equipment, and other education supplies – $2,000 or more monthly stipend – A whopping sign-on bonus of $20,000 – An officer’s salary provided during the span of student breaks – Monthly allowance afforded for food and housing – And additional salary increases commensurate with cost of living, time-in-service, and promotions

The DoD National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Program

The DoD NDSEG Fellowship Program offers an incredibly extensive fellowship program for students seeking advanced education in behavioral science or engineering–with plans to award 500 new graduate fellowships each fiscal year consisting of three-year support packages. Interested applicants will want to keep an eye on the deadline window of August 16, 2022 – November 19, 2022 .

Sponsored by the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force, the DoD NDSEG Fellowship Program was created in 1989 to incentivize the professional development of individuals who might contribute to the defense of our nation. Since then the program has successfully administered a jaw dropping number of 4,000 fellowships.

Applicants need not have any previous relationship or experience in the military or related organizations, with the most prominent requirement being the acceptance or enrollment into a graduate level program. Applicants will be further evaluated as to whether they successfully demonstrate an aptitude in topics related to national defense, as outline in the Department of Defense’s Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs).

Those awarded this fellowship will receive the following extensive benefits: – Pays for the full tuition of the program, as well as an mandatory fees over a period of three years – A monthly stipend that totals out at an annual sum of $38,4000 – Up to $1,200 a year in health insurance – $5,000 in travel expenses paid for over the course of the fellowship’s tenure

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

This merit based fellowship program provides one of the few payouts of any scholarship to reach a six-digit sum, and is awarded to exceptional graduate students in a variety of scientific studies, including the field of psychology. It should be noted though that research-focused STEM programs are excluded from this fellowship’s eligibility guidelines. Prospective applicants will want to note that applications for 2022 opened as of October 2021 (follow the link above for additional information on application timelines).

Applicants are required to have completed no more than one academic year of their graduate education tenure, which applies both to Master’s and PhD programs. Applicants must also be enrolled at an accredited graduate program within the United States. Students will be evaluated on the strength of their academic performances and the overall distinctiveness of their professional backgrounds.

Those who succeed in landing this fellowship will experience tremendous financial support consisting of three annual stipend payments of $30,000 combined with a cost-of-education payment up to $10,500 and a travel allowance of $1,000. Perhaps most importantly, students will be provided the freedom to study at any accredited graduate program in the United States or on foreign soil, as well as be given access to the TeraGrid Supercomputer.

Predoctoral Fellowship in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services – American Psychological Association

This fellowship is awarded to students enrolled in an APA-approved graduate institution that provides an education based on the delivery and improvement of mental health services. Applications for this fellowship open on October 1, 2021 and close January 15, 2022.

Permanent residents, U.S. citizens, and non-citizen nationals are all considered eligible for this fellowship. The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created this fellowship by grant-funding in order to offer fellows full funding of graduate education over three years, in addition to other stipends and financial support. But what makes this scholarships one of the best available is its investment in the professional futures of its fellows.

Those lucky enough to land this fellowship will receive numerous avenues of professional training, networking, and academic development–and in some cases, will even receive support in the development of a dissertation. In other words, this fellowship does what few programs do–and provides its fellows with a substantive network of support, rather than just financial support, though that is by no means lacking either.

Fellows of this program might very well find that the resulting internships and professional opportunities far outweighed the financial incentives offered.

The Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) Psychology Summer Institute – American Psychological Association

This fellowship provides an accelerated, short-term avenue for professional and academic development to minority graduate students in the form of an APA sponsored Summer Program that takes place over one week in Washington, DC. The deadline for applications is in July 2022.

Fellows of this program work closely with mentors to further projects relating to issues faced by ethnic minority communities. Graduate students may work with mentors to develop their thesis, dissertations, or to design a study to be published. In other words, fellowship mentors meet students wherever they are and help to move them successfully into the next stage of their careers–be they academic or professional.

Perhaps the greatest opportunity of this fellowship program is the opportunity to network at the summer conference where fellows can mingle with industry leaders, federal contacts, and specialty experts.

The Rachel Tanur Prize for Visual Sociology

The Rachel Tanur Memorial Prize for Visual Sociology is designed to encourage students of social sciences to represent their findings in a visual medium. Prospective applicants will want to use the following contact information to learn more about applications and deadlines: Phone: 212-377-2700 Email: [email protected]

The contest is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, and the challenge is to present some findings on the social phenomenon of human existence through visual techniques and/or technology. The work of applicants will be judged by the Research Committee on Visual Sociology of the ISA and will award prize money accordingly.

The first place winner will earn $2,500, the second place winner will earn $1,500, and the third place winner will earn $500. This scholarship, while not tremendously impactful to all graduate psychology students, represents a great opportunity for students to present their research in a creative way to earn money towards tuition or living expenses.

The SMART Scholarship Program

The SMART Scholarship Program provides an avenue for the Department of Defense to invest in promising graduate students who are willing to accept a civilian position of employment with the DoD after graduation The application period for this Scholarship closes in December 2021.

The SMART Scholarship Program is open to all graduate students pursuing advanced education in STEM-related fields including behavioral sciences. The proportion the of requirements to attain eligibility status to the proportion of scholarship rewards in this program is highly seductive, and makes it an excellent option for any student open to working in a prestigious civilian capacity for the United States Department of Defense after graduation. Students simply need to maintain a 3.0 GPA and maintain enrollment in an accredited university. Follow the link in the header to learn more about how to become a SMART Scholar.

As a SMART Scholar you will not only be setup with a highly beneficial career trajectory that leads into employment with one of the world’s most prestigious agencies, but you will also receive one of the most generous financial support packages of any scholarship program.

Here is a breakdown of the benefits included in becoming a SMART Scholar:

– Full education expenses paid, including parking, meals, and school supplies – A whopping stipend of $25,000 to $38,000 a year based on degree level – Summer research internships that last 8 to 12 weeks – Health insurance allowance of up to $1,200 a year – An expert mentor provided by a sponsored facility – Employment at a prestigious DoD facility after graduation

Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to a graduate psychology student whose work is recognized for reducing the prevalence and the impact of stigmas against mental health disorders. The application period for this scholarship program ends in May 2022.

Through the generosity of the psychologists Violet Franks, PhD, and Cyril Franks, PhD, full-time graduate psychology students can be awarded up to $5,000 for their scholarly work in the field of mental health. Specifically, projects will be evaluated on how well they either educate others on the issues of mental health and resulting stigmas, or how how well they actively work to reduce the impact of such stigmas.

While this scholarship is not particularly supportive in the long term, it is a scholarship that many psychology graduate students can be eligible for without any real efforts–that is, if there work is already in a related at least. Simply put, for psychology graduate students working on a related subject, this scholarship could be a great way to lessen the financial burden of graduate school.

APF Professional Development Awards for High School Psychology Teachers

The American Psychological Foundation awards a cash prize to those who teach at least one high school psychology class with plans to teach at least one in the following year. The application period for this award ends in April of 2022.

While this program is not particularly rewarding, it is another case where many psychology graduate students will be eligible for this award simply by the nature of common graduate level psychology curriculums. Specifically, many graduate psychology students pursuing a degree in an education-related field will often find themselves teaching a class for either college or high school students.

In this case, doing so could earn up to $500. Eligibility requirements are simple and have more to do with the school where one teaches the class more so than anything else.

Dissertation Research Grant in Developmental Psychology

This grant awards exceptionally functional and progressive graduate dissertations with a cash prize. Prospective applicants will want to pay close attention to the deadline of March 15th, 2022.

This program is another example of low-hanging fruit for the typical doctorate psychology student. If one is pursuing a particularly lucrative line of study or research design, then one should consider applying to this grant. Students who display a particularly successful dissertation will find themselves receiving more than a score at the end of their program–specifically, the best dissertations receive a cash prize of $500.

And as doctorate students will tell you: every single penny counts.

APA Congressional Fellowship Program

This fellowship provides an incredibly unique opportunity for graduate psychology students to learn the inner workings of public policy, while also training to better educate government officials on the troves of knowledge contained in the psychological sciences. Those interested in this fellowship will want to note the program’s deadline of January 3, 2022.

The Congressional Fellowship Program is sponsored by the APA’s Advocacy Office and provides psychology graduate students with the incredibly unique opportunity to pursue a career built around the interactions between government and psychology. Qualified candidates will find themselves working for a member of Congress or congressional committee for the span of a year, a prestigious opportunity that is typically reserved for experienced congressional staff.

This program represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for academic psychologists to make the jump into the public health and government sector, all in the space of one year. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) provides fellows with tasks and training operations meant to familiarize them with the comings and the goings of the executive branch of the United States government.

Not only will students receive such an incredible career-launching experience, but they will also benefit from a generous financial package consisting of $75,000 to $90,000 depending on the experience level of the candidate.

For additional questions about this incredibly unique program, contact Ben Vonachen, MA, APA Advocacy Office .

APF Queen-Nellie Evans Scholarship

This scholarship awards a graduate psychology student who demonstrates financial need and is committed to fighting the disparities between races and societal structures. Students interested in this scholarship will want to complete their applications by the deadline of January 31, 2022.

This scholarship is designed to support a distinguished graduate student who meets several criteria–namely the designation of financial need and having come from an underrepresented population. Additionally the student must be committed to combatting the issues that impact communities of color, particularly African American communities.

While this scholarship might only provide short-term financial support, it is a program which many students potentially qualify for with relatively little or no special efforts needed to apply. Additionally, this Program can work as an effective means of networking to introduce one to like-minded professionals and industry-leaders.

APF Walter Katkovsky Scholarships

This Scholarship Program awards first-year graduate psychology students who enroll in an APA-Designated Psychopharmacology Program. Interested students will want to complete their applications by the deadline of March 1, 2022.

This program is designed specifically for post-doctoral licensed psychologists who are seeking additional education in psychopharmacology. While this is undeniably a narrow slice of the population of graduate psychology students, this represents low-effort financial reimbursement for those that qualify.

Melanie Merola O’Donnell Memorial Scholarship

Psychology graduate students who work in the area of the community and domestic violence may qualify for this cash-reward scholarship. Interested students need to send in their applications by the deadline of March 4, 2022.

Psychology graduate and doctorate students who explore the link between mental illness and community violence can qualify for this cash-award Scholarship. This program was instated due to the sincere generosity of its founder, Ms. O’Donnell. While the Scholarship’s primary method of award is a cash scholarship of $2,500, the beneficiary of this prize also becomes a representative of the Foundation’s mission–to educate and to prevent community violence.

As such, beneficiaries of this Scholarship can expect to make lifelong connections with like-minded professionals and community leaders. So while the cash scholarship is certainly valuable to any student, the professional mentoring and networking that follow might be the truly valuable reward.

Conclusions and Tips for Finding a Graduate Psychology Scholarship

One of the biggest takeaways here is that graduate students should maintain memberships to both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychology Foundation . Many of the best scholarships available to psychology graduate students will only be accessed through a membership to these organizations.

Additionally, one of the best strategies for targeting a specific scholarship and preparing to win it, is to attend the conferences of these organizations to see what topics and lines of research are most successful within the organization and without. What’s more is that students will be able to track which students were able to land these scholarships in previous years if they maintain active memberships and pay attention.

The final major point or suggestion is that students might be unaware that their area of research is one that is heavily supported in a grant, scholarship, or fellowship. Graduate psychology students should schedule the time to speak with academic advisors and mentors to see if they know of any related opportunities, and even if they don’t–it is best to check for yourself because there are many more opportunities than we were able to list in this one article.

Dr. Jared Goff Chief Editor

Warning icon


Fellowship and Funding

Helpful links.

External Funding Opportunities


Research Awards

Graduate Psychology Education Program

Technical assistance.

GPE TA Webinar Tuesday, October 12, 2021 Watch the webinar recording GPE FY22 FAQs

About the Program

Who can apply.

Back to Listing

Grants Toolbox

Manage your grant.

Contact HRSA 1-877-464-4772 (TTY: 877-897-9910) M - F | 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. (except holidays)

Contact Call 800-518-4726 Email support

Report Fraud Submit a Complaint Call: 1-800-HHS TIPS (1-800-447-8477) (TTY: 1-800-377-4950)

Become a Grant Reviewer

psychology phd grants