Fully Funded MBA Alternatives: Graduate Degrees and Fellowships

Feb 02, 2021

Fully Funded MBA Alternatives: Graduate Degrees and Fellowships

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. Scholarships range from $2,000 to $19,000. Over 50% of the MAC class typically receives a graduate assistantship position.

University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA): Historically, over 90% of MAc students at Tippie receive a financial award in some form. Common forms of financial aid are teaching assistantships and scholarships. TAs receive a $10k scholarship plus a tuition discount. Depending on the responsibility level, students will also receive an annual salary between $10,000 to $20,000.


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.


Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona, Spain): Funding is available for top candidates. Each year, they provide merit-based funding to Master’s students. Around 36% of matriculated students have received full or partial funding for their studies. Waivers covering 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% of tuition fees. A limited number of fully-funded scholarships (100% of fees and some additional stipend, depending on the scholarship)


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 exceptional skills required by the academic area.


Ohio State University (Columbus, OH): About half of the master’s students are funded through a Fellowship, Graduate Teaching Associateship (GTA or TA), or Graduate Research Associateship (GRA or RA).  Students who are offered the funding at the time of admission are typically guaranteed to fund for two years for a master’s student.  Monthly stipend (2020-2021 stipend is $2,178 for incoming master’s students.

Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, Ohio): Assistantships for Master’s students are currently $12,500 for the nine-month academic year. Summer support ranging from $1,000-$2,000 is also available. In most circumstances, a tuition scholarship is given to students receiving a stipend from the department. About two-thirds of our full-time graduate students are fully funded.

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 in 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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