Last updated February 20, 2020
As part of my series on How to Fully Fund Your PhD, I provide a list of universities that offer full funding for a PhD in Physics. A graduate degree in Physics can prepare you for a career with government research organizations or one of many industries including aerospace and defense, energy, engineering, instrumentation, oil and gas, and science and telecommunication. There are also other options in academia and research after earning a PhD.
“Full funding” is a financial aid package for full-time students that includes full tuition remission and an annual stipend or salary for the three to six-year duration of the student’s doctoral studies. Funding is typically offered in exchange for graduate teaching and research work that is complementary to your 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 PhD programs in your academic field, including small and lesser-known schools both in the U.S. and abroad.
You can also find several external fellowships in the ProFellow database for graduate and doctoral study, as well as dissertation research, field work, language study and summer work experience.
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Arizona State University, Department of Physics (Tempe, AZ): All full-time students in the PhD program are guaranteed financial support in the form of a teaching assistantship or a research assistantship. These appointments include a full tuition waiver, individual student health insurance and a compensatory stipend of $7,815.50 during the fall and spring semesters.
University of Chicago, Department of Physics (Chicago, IL): Doctoral students are offered competitive funding packages, which cover tuition and student health insurance, as well as a stipend for living expenses and research support. These awards are typically for five years, with some variation by field, comparable to that at other institutions.
Institute of Science and Technology (IST), Department of Physics (Klosterneuburg, Austria): All PhD students are fully funded, at internationally competitive salary levels, and receive full social security coverage. There is also additional funding to attend conferences and workshops.
MIT, Department of Physics (Cambridge, MA): Graduate students are supported through a variety of sources including: Research Assistantships, Teaching Assistantships, and fellowships. All forms of support include tuition, stipend, and student health insurance.
Northwestern University, Department of Physics and Astronomy (Evanston, IL): First-year students are typically supported by 12-month fellowships, which gives them great flexibility in choosing their research specialty. After the first year, students are funded as Teaching Assistants or Research Assistants which include full tuitions, health insurance and a stipend.
Ohio State University, Department of Physics (Columbus, OH): All regular incoming graduate students in Physics are offered financial support. Once accepted into a graduate program in physics at OSU, you will be awarded one of three types of graduate appointments: a teaching associate position, research associate position, or fellowship. With any of these appointments, you will receive a monthly stipend plus a full waiver of tuition and general fees.
University of Pennsylvania, Department of Physics and Astronomy (Philadelphia, PA): The department attempts to support all students during the course of their work for the PhD. Most graduate students in Physics and Astronomy receive financial aid in the form of research, teaching, or non-service fellowships. The financial support includes both full tuition and an annual stipend.
University of St Andrews, School of Physics and Astronomy (St Andrews, Scotland): Fully funded scholarships are available for students in all research areas of the school and last the duration of the degree. Studentships are also available to national and international students, and all awards include full payment of fees and a living stipend.
Need some tips for the application process? See my article How To Get Into a Fully Funded PhD Program: Contacting Potential PhD Advisors.
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