25 Fully Funded Ph.D. Programs

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Many Ph.D. programs are fully funded.

Students interested in graduate research in various fields, from public health and English to computer science and engineering, have numerous options for Ph.D. programs that offer full funding. These programs typically provide students with waived tuition and fees, as well as an annual stipend. Some also offer health insurance and other benefits. But gaining admittance into these small cohorts can be highly competitive, and the programs themselves can be time-consuming.

Ph.D. in business at Rice University

At the Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business, students enjoy full financial assistance upon admission to the Ph.D. program. Aiming to prepare students to teach in fields like accounting, finance and marketing, the program provides students a research assistantship to earn a $40,000 stipend per year and tuition waiver. The assistantship is merit-based and requires no more than 20 hours of work per week.

Ph.D. in business at the University of Iowa

The University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business offers Ph.D. degrees in accounting, economics, finance, management, business analytics and marketing. The college says it provides full funding to "virtually all admitted students." This includes full tuition and fees, a minimum 9-month stipend of about $18,800 and comprehensive health insurance. Some departments also offer funding for research presentations at major conferences, summer fellowships, additional departmental scholarships and paid time off to pursue independent research.

Ph.D. in management at Binghamton University

All students admitted to the interdisciplinary management Ph.D. at the Binghamton University--SUNY School of Management in New York receive a combination of a full-tuition scholarship and a teaching or research assistantship for an academic year. This business doctoral degree prepares students for careers in academia and work in the public and private sectors, according to the university's website.

Ph.D. in computer science at Brown University

Brown University's Ph.D. students have access to computer clusters and labs -- in addition to five years of guaranteed financial support. In fact, doctoral students at the university in any program are guaranteed financial support, which includes a stipend, tuition remission, health-services fee, and health and dental insurance subsidies. Students can use teaching assistantships, research assistantships, fellowships or proctorships to pay for tuition and may use the stipend to pay for living expenses.

Read more about the Best Computer Science Schools.

Ph.D. in computer science at Washington University--St. Louis

Ph.D. students in the computer science or computer engineering program at Washington University--St. Louis receive full tuition support and health insurance. According to the university's website: "As a doctoral candidate, you will also receive a generous stipend to cover living expenses and a new, high-end Apple laptop computer. This support is guaranteed as you continue to make satisfactory progress towards your degree."

Read more about the Best Computer Science Schools.

Ph.D. in computer science at Georgetown University

Georgetown University's Ph.D. program in computer science provides merit-based scholarships and research assistantships that cover all tuition and include a stipend and health insurance for five years. All applicants are eligible for this aid, but it is not guaranteed. Once enrolled in the program, students must write a dissertation proposal and defend the proposal, as well as a dissertation that must be defended in a seminar open to the public.

Read more about the Best Computer Science Schools.

Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Columbia University

Students enrolled in Columbia University's Ph.D. program in clinical psychology at the Teachers College receive fully funded tuition and a $25,000 stipend annually for four years. These doctoral fellows may work as a graduate teaching or research assistant. The program prepares students to work in academia, at research institutes, in hospitals and in community agencies. Students typically complete the program in five to seven years.

See the Best Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programs.

Ph.D. in counseling psychology at the University of Wisconsin--Madison

While not all Ph.D. students enrolled in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin--Madison receive full funding, according to the university's department of counseling psychology website, "the vast majority of Ph.D. students are fully funded for their years on campus." Funding for a stipend and tuition remission comes from in-department and out-of-department assistantships and fellowships. Doctoral students also receive a benefits package that includes health insurance.

See the Best Social Sciences and Humanities Schools.

Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Minnesota--Twin Cities

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program to study psychology at the University of Minnesota--Twin Cities are guaranteed five years of full funding as long as they maintain satisfactory performance and degree progress. This funding includes full-time tuition, subsidized health insurance and a nine-month stipend. Funding comes from some combination of teaching assistantships, research assistantships and fellowships. Students in the program can specialize in areas like cognitive and brain science, industrial/organizational psychology, biological psychopathology and social psychology.

See the Best Social Sciences and Humanities Schools.

Ph.D. in education at Stanford University

Stanford University's Graduate School of Education allows students numerous fellowship and assistantship opportunities, along with a "five-year funding guarantee which provides tuition aid, fellowship stipend and assistantship work," the program website reads. At the Graduate School of Education, doctoral students can choose from a range of academic areas like curriculum studies and teacher education, developmental and psychological sciences, and cross-area specializations.

See the Best Education Schools.

Ph.D. in education at New York University

New York University Steinhardt offers more than 30 degree programs in 10 departments. With a focus on evidence-based research and practice, many of the programs can be pursued on campus or online. Ph.D. degrees are offered in areas like developmental psychology, educational leadership and childhood education. Full-time students without alternative funding are eligible for a "basic full-time PhD funding package" that includes an annual stipend, tuition remission for required course work and student health insurance for four years.

See the Best Education Schools.

Ph.D. in special education at Vanderbilt University

Funding is guaranteed for all admitted doctoral students enrolled in the special education Ph.D. program at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. This includes full tuition, a "competitive" monthly stipend and health insurance for up to five years. Students may also be nominated for additional honor scholarships and fellowships awarded by the college and graduate school. Programs within the Ph.D. range from early childhood to severe disabilities. Students can submit grant proposals while enrolled, and many have received funding from the U.S. Department of Education, according to the university's website.

Ph.D. in engineering at the University of Michigan

Doctoral students in engineering at the University of Michigan can choose from numerous areas of specialization. These areas fall under umbrella categories like aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, engineering sustainable systems and macromolecular science and engineering. All engineering doctoral students are guaranteed full funding. The exact amount can vary, according to the program's website, and funding comes from a range of resources including graduate student instructor positions and external fellowships.

See the Best Engineering Schools.

Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering at Northwestern University

All Ph.D. students studying civil and environmental engineering at Northwestern University can anticipate full funding for the duration of their studies. This funding comes from internal and external fellowships, grants, and teaching and research assistantships. Most Ph.D. fields are very research-focused. The geotechnics Ph.D., for example, prepares students to go into engineering practice or to pursue careers in research or teaching.

See the Best Engineering Schools.

Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at Duke University

Doctoral students at Duke University studying materials science and engineering receive full tuition, a stipend and fee support for the first five years. Students also receive up to six years of health insurance if they are on the Duke student medical insurance plan. The doctoral program aims to help students publish with a faculty adviser and develop research skills, with the opportunity to present research at professional conferences.

See the Best Engineering Schools.

Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Cornell University

According to Cornell University's website, "Nearly 97% of Ph.D. students are fully funded through fellowships, assistantships, and generous supplements for certain types of external funding that the students may receive." This includes students enrolled in engineering doctoral programs at the Ithaca, New York university. The chemical engineering Ph.D., for example, has a listed tuition of $29,500. But various funding sources cover tuition, fees and health insurance as well as some living expenses. Subject concentrations range from heat and mass transfer to classical and statistical thermodynamics.

See the Best Engineering Schools.

Ph.D. in English at the University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame doctoral students in English receive full-tuition scholarships and stipends for five years. Doctoral students may continue to receive funding into a sixth year if they provide evidence that they applied for at least two external fellowships, one of which must be for a year of funding. The first year of the doctoral program does not require teaching, but according to the university's website, second-year students generally teach a writing course and students in the remaining years can teach undergraduate literature and writing courses, work as research assistants and teaching assistants, and serve as managing editor for any of several department journals.

See the Best Social Sciences and Humanities Schools.

Ph.D. in English at Boston University

Annually, doctoral students studying English at Boston University receive an annual stipend of about $28,000 plus full tuition, fees and basic health insurance. This funding is guaranteed for five years, with two of those years being free from teaching requirements due to fellowship support. Some funding is typically available in the sixth year, according to the university's website, but it's not guaranteed. Students may also apply for various prizes, fellowships and short-term research and travel grants.

See the Best Social Sciences and Humanities Schools.

Ph.D. in English at the University of California--Los Angeles

The Ph.D. in English at the University of California--Los Angeles is fully funded, and applicants are automatically considered for various funding options. With more than 300 applications each year, each entering class is just 10 to 12 students -- making the program very competitive. Once enrolled, doctoral students can expect "critical rigor and historical breadth with flexibility and individual focus. Seminars include both the traditional values of the discipline and the exciting innovations that are reshaping its future," according to the program's website.

See the Best Social Sciences and Humanities Schools.

Ph.D. in nursing at Duke University

For the first two years of the Ph.D. program in nursing at Duke University's School of Nursing, students receive full tuition and a 12-month stipend. For years three through five, students receive full tuition and a nine-month stipend. According to the nursing school's website, "The goal of the PhD Program in Nursing is to prepare nurse scholars who will build nursing science by leading interdisciplinary research initiatives targeting the interface between chronic illness and care systems. The purpose of these initiatives is to better understand, develop, and test innovative interventions, and to translate research into practice."

Ph.D. in nursing at Johns Hopkins University

The School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University provides most doctoral students with three fully funded years of study. Financial aid available includes graduate assistantships, targeted fellowships and nursing-specific funding. The university aims to "advance the theoretical foundation of nursing practice and healthcare delivery with a Johns Hopkins PhD in nursing," its website reads. "By graduation, most Hopkins nurse scholars have been awarded grants that continue their research and set them well on their way to a successful career."

Ph.D. in nursing at Yale University

At Yale University, the School of Nursing offers full funding to its Ph.D. students. They receive a monthly stipend for four years in addition to paid tuition and health care. Once enrolled, Yale's website says, "select students have the opportunity to participate in the NIH training programs in self- and family-management of chronic illnesses. Students are mentored to seek additional funding for their dissertation, including NIH (F31), Sigma Theta Tau, American Nurses Foundation, among others."

Ph.D. in nursing at the University of Virginia

All students admitted to the University of Virginia's Ph.D. in Nursing program receive four years of free tuition and an annual stipend. Graduates of the program are best prepared for careers as scholars, nurse scientists and academics. With a heavy research focus, students can expect to take courses in qualitative, quantitative and historical research, as well as to submit a research proposal for peer review. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in nursing, and many also hold a master's degree in nursing.

Ph.D. in sociomedical sciences at Columbia University

Tuition, fees and living expenses are covered for students enrolled in the Ph.D. public health program at Columbia University's Department of Sociomedical Sciences. Expenses are covered through a stipend or graduate research assistantship, and funding is offered for five years. The university encourages students to also apply for external funding. In the program, studies are divided among the Mailman School of Public Health and departments like anthropology, history and psychology.

Ph.D. in biological sciences in public health at Harvard University

Harvard University's School of Public Health offers a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences in Public Health that aims to provide students with expertise in disease prevention and treatment. This program is fully funded, which includes a stipend, tuition and health insurance for five years as long as the student maintains satisfactory academic progress. Current research in the school's laboratories includes diseases like malaria, cancer, diabetes and kidney disease.

See the Best Science Schools.

Learn more about paying for graduate school.

Finding a fully funded program isn't the only option to offset the costs of graduate school. See these five strategies to pay for graduate school to learn more. Check out the latest Best Graduate Schools rankings to see the country's top business, medicine and law programs -- and more. For additional grad school tips, follow U.S. News Education on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Ph.D. programs that are fully funded:

-- Ph.D. in business at Rice University

-- Ph.D. in business at the University of Iowa

-- Ph.D. in management at Binghamton University

-- Ph.D. in computer science at Brown University

-- Ph.D. in computer science at Washington University--St. Louis

-- Ph.D. in computer science at Georgetown University

-- Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Columbia University

-- Ph.D. in counseling psychology at the University of Wisconsin--Madison

-- Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Minnesota--Twin Cities

-- Ph.D. in education at Stanford University

-- Ph.D. in education at New York University

-- Ph.D. in special education at Vanderbilt University

-- Ph.D. in engineering at the University of Michigan

-- Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering at Northwestern University

-- Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at Duke University

-- Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Cornell University

-- Ph.D. in English at the University of Notre Dame

-- Ph.D. in English at Boston University

-- Ph.D. in English at the University of California--Los Angeles

-- Ph.D. in nursing at Duke University

-- Ph.D. in nursing at Johns Hopkins University

-- Ph.D. in nursing at Yale University

-- Ph.D. in nursing at the University of Virginia

-- Ph.D. in sociomedical sciences at Columbia University

-- Ph.D. in biological sciences in public health at Harvard University

Emma Kerr is the paying for college reporter at U.S. News & World Report. Prior to joining U.S. News, she covered education in Maryland for the Frederick News-Post and made stops at the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Daily Beast, among others. She graduated from the University of Michigan--Ann Arbor, where she studied English and international studies and began her career as a news reporter at its student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can connect with her on Twitter at @EmmaRKerr.

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