Fully Funded PhD Programs in Social Work

Nov 16, 2016
Fully Funded PhD Programs in Social Work
Complete your PhD in Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh and receive four years of full funding

Last Updated October 9, 2022

Next in my series on How To Fully Fund Your PhD,  I provide a list below of universities that offer full funding to all students admitted to their PhD programs in social work or social welfare. With the average cost of a doctorate degree exceeding $100,000, gaining acceptance to a fully funded program is ideal.

When a doctoral program indicates that they provide full funding to their Ph.D. students, in most cases this means they provide each admitted student full tuition and a stipend for living expenses for the three to the six-year duration of the student’s doctoral studies. Not all universities provide full funding to their doctoral students, which is why I recommend researching the financial aid offerings of all the potential Ph.D. programs in your academic field, including small and lesser-known schools both in the U.S. and abroad. You can find several competitive, external fellowships in the ProFellow database for graduate and doctoral study, but the best funding strategy is to apply to Ph.D. programs that offer full funding to all admitted students.

Would you like to receive the full list of more than 1000+ fully funded programs in 60 disciplines? Download the FREE Directory of Fully Funded Graduate Programs and Full Funding Awards!

List of Universities offering fully funded PhD Programs in Social Work

Boston College, PhD in Social Work

(Boston, MA): Ph.D. applicants are fully funded with a doctoral fellowship valued at more than $200,000 over the course of four years This includes tuition, an annual living stipend, health insurance, and conference support.

Michigan State University, PhD in Social Work

(East Lansing, MI): The School is pleased to offer five years of guaranteed, graduate assistantship funding to all qualified incoming students. During the first four years, students will receive a graduate assistantship (GA); during the fifth year, students will not receive a guaranteed GA but instead will receive an award of $10,000.

New York University, PhD in Social Work

(New York, NY): Accepted full-time students are typically awarded the Research Fellowship, which includes full tuition and registration fee waivers, graduate student health insurance, and a competitive stipend. Part-time students may be eligible for some support on a case-by-case basis.

University of Alabama, PhD in Social Work

(Tuscaloosa, AL): Students receive three years of funding, which includes tuition, health insurance, and a stipend. Some financial aid is also available from the School of Social Work. Financial aid commonly takes the form of graduate teaching, research assistantships, special grants, or fellowships.

University of Michigan, Joint PhD in Social Work and Social Science

(Ann Arbor, MI): The Joint Program in Social Work and Social Science provides all incoming doctoral students with a multi-year funding package. We combine fellowship awards, graduate student research assistant positions, and graduate student instructorships to offer most students five years of full funding, which includes tuition, stipends, and health care.

University of Pittsburgh, PhD in Social Work

(Pittsburgh, PA): Each of these students receives fully funded tuition support for four years. Additionally, all first-, second-, and third-year students will receive a graduate student appointment as a faculty assistant or teaching fellow. Also providing financial support over the summer to all students.

University of Southern California, Suzanne Dworak-Peck, PhD in Social Work

(Los Angeles, CA): All incoming students accepted and admitted into the program and who remain in good academic standing will receive financial assistance for the first four years, amounting to $200,000.

Boston University, PhD in Social Work

(Boston, MA): Offer a generous multi-year funding package of up to five years, which includes tuition, paid stipends, and health care. PhD students are funded through a combination of tuition scholarships, and research and teaching assistantships.

University at Buffalo, PhD in Social Welfare

(Buffalo, NY): All accepted Ph.D. students are offered a competitive standard funding package. Additional funding may be available through fellowships. All Ph.D. students are guaranteed a graduate assistantship for four years. Assistantships are 10-month appointments, 20 hours per week with a base stipend of $20,000 per year.

University of Washington, PhD in Social Welfare

(Seattle, WA): The School ensures that all students have some means of financial support during the 9-month school year for the first four years in the program and is frequently able to continue support beyond this point. The guaranteed four years of support are in the form of grants, fellowships, or research and/or teaching assistantships.

University of Connecticut, PhD in Social Work

(Hartford, CT): The Ph.D. program offers four years of funding through Graduate Assistantships (research or teaching) that provide stipends, health insurance, and tuition. There are several School of Social Work fellowships and scholarships for doctoral student research and travel support.

Rutgers University, PhD in Social Work

(New Brunswick, NJ): The Social Work PhD Program offers a range of funding packages to accepted full-time students. Full-time PhD students normally fulfill Graduate Assistant positions with coverage of tuition, fees, health benefits, and stipends for four years. Competitive University Fellowships may also be available.

Baylor University, PhD in Social Work

(Waco, Texas): Students admitted into the PhD in Social Work Program will receive funding to cover the costs of tuition and fees for the full degree for up to 5 years. Once enrolled, students may have the opportunity to receive stipends for grant-funded research positions with Baylor Ph.D. faculty.

University of Georgia, PhD in Social Work

(Athens, GA): Students admitted as prospective candidates in full-time study are offered four years of graduate assistantship funding. Students receiving funding will be awarded the Dean’s Research Assistantship Award in the first and second year of the PhD program, and in the third and fourth years, a teaching assistantship. Apply early to be considered for UGA Graduate School fellowships.

University of Chicago, PhD in Social Work

(Chicago, Illinois): Doctoral students receive significant funding to ensure that they are able to immerse themselves in the program. All students entering the Doctoral Program are offered a financial aid package that includes full tuition, health insurance, fees, and a yearly stipend set at $33,000 for the current year.

University of Pennsylvania, PhD in Social Welfare

(Philadelphia, PA): They provide full support for four years, which includes a generous nine-month stipend, full tuition, and individual health insurance coverage Funding for summers and study beyond four years is available through research assistantships, graduate fellowships, and teaching assistantships.

Washington University in St. Louis, PhD in Social Work

(St. Louis, MO): They are dedicated to providing our doctoral students with full-tuition scholarships, four-year stipends, and professional development accounts. Base stipends for students are $30,000 per year, and additional funding is possible through paid research, teaching fellowships, and other internal and external support sources.

University of Kansas, PhD in Social Work

(Lawrence, KS): If enrolled in full-time study, the KU School of Social Welfare will guarantee four years of financial support, as long as the student remains in good standing in the program. In most cases, this will consist of a 50 percent appointment as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA), Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), or a combination of the two and paid tuition.

University of Wisconsin System, PhD in Social Welfare

(Madison, WI): The Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work provides highly competitive financial support to new and continuing PhD students. Incoming PhD students are guaranteed five years of financial support through graduate assistantships which include paid tuition, eligibility for health insurance, and a monthly stipend.

City University of New York, PhD in Social Welfare

(New York, NY): Every applicant to The Graduate Center’s doctoral programs will automatically be considered for five-year institutional funding packages. The aid we offer — including fellowships, tuition awards, and assistantships — is based on merit.

University of Toronto, PhD in Social Work

(Toronto, Canada): Funding opportunities are committed for up to five years for PhD students who are engaged in full-time studies, complete program requirements in a timely manner, remain in good standing and apply for major external funding. The Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work provides a minimum funding commitment of $19,500 for full-time students after students pay off their tuition and fees.

University of Minnesota, PhD in Social Work

(Saint Paul, MN): The majority of the students receive a four-year funding package that covers tuition, health insurance, and a stipend. Many students also secure dissertation fellowships, and we help students secure assistantships for funding for their fifth year.

University of Denver, PhD in Social Work

(Denver, CO): Most students are admitted to our PhD program with a competitive funding package that typically provides three years of financial support. They support students in seeking adjunct teaching roles, research assistant roles on funded faculty projects, and external fellowships.

University at Albany, PhD in Social Work

(Albany, NY): As a full-time student in the doctoral program, you may be eligible for a competitive graduate research assistantship that provides an $18,000 annual stipend and tuition waiver for three years. The fourth year of funding is possible if you have advanced to candidacy by the end of your third year. Other sources of funding are available at the University.

University of California Berkeley, PhD in Social Welfare

(Berkeley, CA): Offers a competitive funding package for newly admitted doctoral students that will typically include three years of departmental support, plus an additional year of support from the Graduate Division Fellowships. Doctoral support packages normally include payment of tuition and fees, health insurance, and an annual allowance for living expense support (Estimated $28,000).

University of Texas at Austin, PhD in Social Work

(Austin, Texas): The PhD Program offers four years of competitive funding, including fellowships, health insurance, stipends, and tuition (9 hours-long semesters, 3 hours summers).

University of Texas at Arlington, PhD in Social Work

(Arlington, Texas): Full-time PhD students receive funding for three years through a combination of tuition payment, fellowship awards, and stipends for graduate assistants and graduate teaching assistants.


Next step: Narrowing down the list of universities to apply to is important, and a critical factor in your decision should be your potential Ph.D. advisor. As a next step, we recommend that you learn how to find your ideal Ph.D. advisor.

© Victoria Johnson 2020, all rights reserved.

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