Funding Opportunities

The Department of Psychology guarantees five years of full financial support for all students who are admitted to the PhD program, contingent upon satisfactory performance and degree progress. Financial support includes full-time tuition (6-14 credits) each fall and spring semester, year-round subsidized health insurance, and a nine-month stipend. All new students also receive a new laptop computer to support their research and teaching during their time in the program.

The department guarantees summer funding for years one through five. This support varies depending on the opportunities students pursue and may include research fellowships, teaching appointments, and research assistantships.

Individual students’ funding varies over their time in the program. Each academic year, students receive one or more of the types of funding described below. Variations in the types of support received reflect student goals, successful pursuit of competitive awards, and the sources of funding available. At the University of Minnesota, graduate students are considered fully funded on a 50% appointment (or two 25% appointments). This translates to an average of 20 hours of effort per week for teaching and research appointments and ensures all students have sufficient time for their coursework and research.

Commitment to diversity and inclusion: The Department of Psychology values a diverse academic environment. In keeping with our commitment to recruiting graduate students of all backgrounds and experiences, we offer several financial resources and funding opportunities specifically for students from underrepresented groups

We make every effort to match teaching assistant assignments with a student's interests, experience, and career goals. Teaching assistant duties may involve grading assignments and/or exams and providing feedback to students; holding office hours to assist students with coursework questions; managing classroom logistics and equipment setup; photocopying course materials; course website maintenance; and administering/proctoring exams. Teaching assistants who are selected to be section leaders lead discussion sections or labs based on topics discussed in course lectures. Advanced graduate students may serve as graduate instructors of record for undergraduate psychology courses.

Prior to beginning in teaching positions, students attend University and department orientations and are encouraged to participate in professional development opportunities throughout their program to advance their teaching skills. Continued appointment to teaching assistant positions depends on satisfactory performance of the assigned duties and satisfactory degree progress.

Research assistants are chosen directly by the faculty member who is the principal investigator of a particular research project typically being conducted at the University of Minnesota. Research assistantship duties vary, but all offer the student a chance to become actively involved in the principal investigator’s research.

Students interested in research assistantships are encouraged to talk to their advisors. Postings for research assistantships in other departments may also be available; students may actively pursue these opportunities by responding to postings announced to the graduate student email list or by searching for relevant postings. 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Research Services Award (NRSA) training grants (T32) enable institutions to make awards to individuals for predoctoral and postdoctoral research training in specified shortage areas. The Department of Psychology has a T32 Training Program in Genetic and Neurobehavioral Mechanisms of Addiction. There are also a number of other opportunities to work as a trainee within or outside the Department. 

On average, four of our PhD students receive their funding from an NIH NRSA T32 each year.

These fellowships come from organizations outside of the University. Our PhD students successfully pursue a range of external fellowships, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). The Department of Psychology strongly encourages all of its eligible graduate students to apply for an NSF GRFP in either their first or second year. Courses are offered each fall semester to support students with the preparation of these applications.

On average, seven of our PhD students receive their funding from an NSF GRFP in a given year. Learn about our three 2024 NSF GRFP awardees.

Information on external fellowships that support graduate students from underrepresented backgrounds and/or fund social justice-oriented research is available on the Financial Resources page of the Diversity and Inclusion section of our website.

The University of Minnesota offers competitive fellowships to recruit outstanding new students and support current students. These fellowships typically provide a 9-month stipend, full-time tuition for fall and spring semesters, and 12 months of subsidized health insurance. 

Each year, the department nominates two newly admitted students for the Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellowship, who compete in a University-wide competition. A Diversity Statement is required for all applicants to the Psychology PhD program (see the Application Checklist for details). This statement is weighted heavily in the department’s two-stage review process for identifying DOVE nominees.

Mid- and late-career Psychology PhD students also successfully pursue the Graduate School’s Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF) and Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship (IDF). On average, four Psychology PhD students are on a mid- or late-career fellowship each year. Learn about our four 2023 DDF recipients.

The Department of Psychology  offers a robust set of competitive fellowships for new and continuing PhD students each year. These awards may be for one or two semesters and either offer full support (50% appointment) or be combined with a teaching or research assistantship (25% fellowship, 25% RA or TA). All include a stipend, tuition, and subsidized health insurance benefits.

Applicants selected for admission are considered for the following competitive awards:

  • Diversity in Psychology Fellowship 
  • College of Liberal Arts-Funded Graduate Fellowship 
  • Departmental 25% Fellowships   

The number of departmental admissions fellowships offered each year varies, with approximately 10 offered annually. 

Current students also receive information about available department-funded and endowed fellowships and are encouraged to actively pursue these competitive awards. These include the following summer fellowships:

  • Auke Tellegen Fellowship in Applied Personality Assessment - average of one award per year.
  • Graduate Summer Research Fellowship (GSR) - average of 25 awards per year.
  • Robert W. Eichinger and Korn/Ferry Fellowship - average of 35 awards per year.

Graduate students play a vital role in CLA’s research, teaching, and service missions. Doctoral students can pursue summer opportunities from CLA including:

The Department of Psychology and other UMN entities offer financial support to defray the cost of conference and research travel, other research expenses, and professional development opportunities. These include: 

  • Department of Psychology Graduate Student Travel and Research Awards are available to Psychology graduate students in any year of the program who are in good standing. Students may apply for either a travel award or a research award each year. The level of support varies but is always at least $600 per year.
  • Council of Graduate Students (COGS) Grants are competitively awarded to support research travel, career development, and conference attendance. 
  • Lou Ann Nylen Research Awards support research on mental health in the Department of Psychology and prioritize support for dissertation research (e.g., participant payments, equipment, supplies, technology, software). Four $5,000 awards are available each year.