Fully Funded MBA Alternatives: Graduate Degrees and Fellowships

Feb 02, 2021 • Views -

An MBA can open up a lot of doors for your future career, but it can be prohibitively expensive for recent graduates and young professionals. However, paying the sticker price is not your only option!

There are similar master’s programs that fund their students, fellowships that fully-fund MBA programs, and hands-on fellowship programs that would give you experiences and knowledge that rival those of a costly MBA.

Master’s Programs that Fund Their Students

A master’s degree in fields related to business would prepare you to advance in your career much as an MBA would. The programs offer significant funding to their students, so you would be able to get a graduate degree without taking out student loans in the process!


North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC): Fellowships are awarded based on merit by the Department of Accounting and sponsoring CPA firms and companies. Thanks to the strong support of CPA firms, the NC State Graduate School and NC State’s Department of Accounting can offer financial support to outstanding MAC candidates. A fellowship provides full tuition and also may include an offer of employment upon graduation (firm-sponsored option).

University of North Carolina- Kenan-Flager Business School (Chapel Hill, NC): The UNC Master of Accounting Program provides fellowship awards to highly qualified students enrolled in either the online or on-campus format. About half of the MAC students receive a fellowship, which is valued at up to $25,000.


Ohio State University (Columbus, OH): The School of Communication offers full funding to every student we admit to our M.A. and Ph.D. programs in the form of either a Graduate Associateship or Graduate Fellowship.  These funding packages allow students to focus all of their energies on better understanding communication theory and research without the need for outside employment while enrolled in course work or completing a thesis or dissertation.

University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY): The Graduate Program in Communication offers several opportunities to finance your education. Most funding is provided in the form of teaching assistantships, although research positions are occasionally available.  Teaching or research assistantships are offered for four semesters of master’s work and eight to ten semesters of doctoral work, provided the student is making sustained progress toward the degree.  Typically, all students accepted into the program are fully funded.

Data Science

Fordham Graduate School of Arts and Science (Bronx, New York): Typically, students receiving our GSAS financial aid packages may expect to receive one year of such aid at the master’s level. The distinguished fellowships and certain prestigious external fellowships can extend a student’s funding eligibility by one year.

University of North Carolina Hussman School of Journalism and Media (Chapel Hill, NC): We strive to make our program as affordable as possible for all of our students through generous fellowship packages.


University of Utah David Eccles School of Business (Salt Lake City, UT): Full and partial scholarships are available to support founders participating in the MBC program. The scholarships are designed to allow founders to use their resources on their startup idea instead of financing their education. Scholarship availability will be determined during the application process.

University of Washington Foster School of Business (Seattle, WA): At the University of Washington, there are three types of graduate student assistantships: Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, and Staff Assistant. Teaching Assistantships at Foster are offered by departments. TAs across the UW campus are approximately 16 hours per week, usually earning a monthly stipend around $3,000.


Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona, Spain): Applicants who receive an offer of admission to the Barcelona GSE have demonstrated their potential to succeed in our rigorous, intensive Master’s programs. The most talented candidates also receive a financial offer that covers all or part of their tuition fees. This merit-based funding comes from generous public and private sponsors as well as the Barcelona GSE’s own resources.

Massachusettes Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management (Cambridge, MA): MIT Sloan offers a number of MFin students teaching and research assistantships that vary in workload and compensation. While helping students cover their expenses, these competitive positions offer outstanding exposure to the school’s educational research programs. A limited number of fellowships are available and are awarded to admitted candidates of all citizenships and academic backgrounds. Fellowships are awarded to individuals with outstanding academic records, personal achievements, and professional promise.


University of Southern California Marshall School of Business (Los Angeles, CA): The Master of Science in Marketing Program offers a limited number of partial tuition scholarships to qualified students, both domestic and international. Scholarships are need-based and merit-based. In addition, many professors at the Marshall School of Business hire students for teaching and research assistantships.

University of Texas at Dallas Jindal School of Management (Dallas, TX): The Jindal School of Management (JSOM) provides research and teaching assistantships to currently enrolled JSOM graduate students who are highly qualified and would like to be considered for employment in JSOM. Assistantship requirements may include, but are not limited to: academic performance in UT Dallas courses, prior experience and special skills required by the academic area.


Ohio State University (Columbus, OH): Approximately 90 percent of our students are funded each year, typically through a Fellowship, Graduate Teaching Associateship (GTA or TA). About half of our master’s students are funded currently. Students who are offered funding at the time of admission either via a Fellowship or Graduate Teaching Associateship are typically guaranteed funding through the duration of their program (up to five years if needed for a PhD student or two years for a master’s student) provided that the student continues to make appropriate progress toward the degree and carries out assigned duties satisfactorily.

University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IL): Almost 100% of students in the Graduate School receive full-tuition scholarships that include all fees except for a small student activity fee. Master’s programs offer varying levels of support, ranging from tuition assistantship to full tuition plus a stipend.

Full Tuition MBA Scholarships and Fellowships

If you have your heart set on getting an MBA, have a look at these full-tuition MBA scholarships and fellowships. These programs would let you get your degree without taking on student debt, and there are opportunities all over the world, including Spain, Germany, and the United States.

Business and Marketing Fellowships

If you’re recently out of college and looking for an opportunity to get some hands-on experience in business and marketing, check out these business and marketing fellowships for recent graduates, which would give you hands-on experience in the business world without the pressure of taking out loans for an MBA. These programs take place all over the world – including opportunities in Russia, Germany, and Japan, and include opportunities for further business education, leadership training, and consulting with international businesses.

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