Graduate School Scholarships

We’ve all heard and read about law school graduate scholarships, it’s the stuff of legends.

However, surely if you want to study at a graduate school for an advanced degree in math, business, science, humanities or arts. there must be an opportunity to apply for scholarships as well?

The answer is a resounding Yes. Graduate school scholarships are definitely available.

American universities are crying out for students to take further studies after they finish their undergraduate degrees.

Universities offer graduate school scholarships

A key scholarship which will cover both the tuition fees and basic living costs for your master's degree or doctorate is offered by universities if you become a research assistant.

You would need to undertake a major research project as part of your graduate degree as well as teaching a few classes for undergraduates at your specific university. You can also apply for a graduate fellowship as a scholarship opportumity.

These fellowships usually require you to work part or full-time for the university whilst studying your advanced degree, but they do cover all living costs as well as your degree fees. Many of these scholarships are available in the education and health sectors.

You may also find that if you studied an undergraduate degree at the same College that you want to study your advanced degree at, their alumni association may be prepared to offer you a graduate school scholarship.

Subject scholarships

Studying a masters or a doctorate is very subject driven and the content of your degree can be very in-depth and have a specific focus when compared to undergraduate degrees. For example, a master’s degree student wouldn’t study engineering, they would study aeronautical engineering.

This means the career path after completion can be very clearly defined and may highlight several large employers.

Many but not all of these employers want to encourage highly qualified graduates to work for them, so they offer scholarship opportunities with the condition that you work for them afterwards, or include their live industry research and development requirements as part of your doctorate/masters.

It maybe that you’re already working for an employer but you’re thinking of returning to graduate school to help speed up your career progression/promotion. Have you considered asking your existing employer if they would give you a scholarship opportunity? If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no!

Very clearly defined scholarships are offered by professional organizations to increase diversity in graduate programmes, from those areas of society which historically have rarely taken up advanced degrees.

For example, there are very few women studying graduate degrees in STEM subjects i.e. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math which is why the Amelia Earhart Fellowships offer graduate school sponsorships.

There are also sports graduate school scholarships as well. The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Program grants scholarships to athletic graduates who are also very bright academically.

Supporting diversity

As you would expect there are scholarships offered to help graduates in masters and doctorates if you have a disability or health issue or are classified from a minority group.

The American Foundation for the Blind and Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation are just two examples.


It’s also worth mentioning Fulbright programs, which offer scholarships to US graduate degree students who are academically bright, to study their graduate degree abroad in one of over 100 different countries.

Applying for scholarships

Rather than searching individual employers, professional associations or university websites, which can take time, determination and persistence, national graduate search sites such as Petersen’s and Find a Masters are a great idea to start with.

They should help you in narrowing down exactly what you’re looking for.

Other useful websites include:

Further information

For more tips and advice on applying to graduate school, please see: