5 Ways to Finance Your Doctorate in Psychology Degree

If you are thinking about pursuing your doctorate in psychology, you know that it can take you several years and cost you a good deal of money. While it is worth it for most professionals, the costs can definitely pile up quickly between tuition costs, travel, completion of your dissertation and living expenses. Most Ph.D.’s will cost you $100,000 or more for the entire 5-7 years of the program.

Fortunately, there are several ways that you can pay for most or all of your doctoral expenses. These are five of the best ways:

#1 Nongovernmental Research Grants

There are many types of research grants that are open to Ph.D. students in psychology who are doing research. There are many scientific foundations that offer awards and grants based upon scientific research. To receive a research grant, you will need to do an application and research proposal. Also, many arts and science foundations have many types of grants that are based upon empirical research on many types of psychology-based studies and topics.

#2 University Assistantships

Many universities will provide almost full funding for their Ph.D. students in many fields, including psychology.

There are many universities that will offer fully funded assistantships that often cover books and tuition as well as a stipend. Many universities will waive a portion of the tuition, or waive out of state tuition fees. In return for these benefits, you often serve as an assistant to a professor, helping him or her with office hours, grading papers and teaching classes.

You also may do some research for certain professors in the psychology department of your university. Professors at universities usually love to have Ph.D. students working for them because they can help them to collect a lot of data and research, which the professors can then use to write more articles.

Stipends for most of these programs are in the range of $18,000-$30,000. You will hardly be able to live high on the hog, but you will be able to survive for the duration of your Ph.D. program.

#3 Government Fellowships

There are a number of fellowship funds that are open to Ph.D. students in psychology who are doing research in areas that are of interest to the government. Some agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs often have fellowships that they will provide if you will do a research report on a certain subject for the agency, and if you will commit to working for that agency after you graduate.

This type of financial assistance is not as common as an assistantship, but if you look hard, you probably can find a government fellowship program.

#4 Employment Assistance

Many companies will provide you with tuition assistance and other types of funding to current employees who are earning their master’s or doctoral degree. Depending upon the policies of the organization, these funds can be either loans or grants. Note that many of these programs are highly competitive and you will need to have a stellar application to earn such assistance.

#5 Loans

Many types of student loans backed by the federal government are available to Ph.D. candidates. These loans can be either subsidized or unsubsidized by the feds, meaning that the government will pay the interest on the loan in some cases. These types of loans do not require good credit to obtain, unlike most private loans.