PhD Funding

Graduate Assistantships 

Full-time PhD students are eligible for graduate assistantships that offer tuition remission for three courses per semester and an annual stipend in exchange for 20 hours per week of research with a Schar School faculty member or work as a teaching assistant. These positions are renewable for four years.

To be considered, please indicate your interest on your application, and you will be reviewed for an assistantship position at the same time you are reviewed for admission.

These positions are limited and highly competitive. We are not able to fully fund all accepted PhD students.

Grants for PhD Research

The Schar School may award student research grants for dissertation research and other expenses related to their studies at the school. Activities considered for support include:

  • Expenses associated with original data collection
  • Dataset purchases
  • Presentation of a paper at a professional conference
  • Supplemental training programs/short courses (methodology, etc.) unavailable through George Mason University, considered necessary for dissertation research

Professional conference attendance (restricted to students in their first year of the program; limited number of awards available)
Any enrolled Schar School doctoral student is eligible to apply for grants to fund paper presentations and doctoral research. The average grant amount is $800, although more funding may be available.

Refer to the Schar School PhD Research Grant Guide as you prepare your application and submit reimbursement requests.

In order to be considered for funding, applicants send the following items attached via email to Director of PhD Services John Washington:

Itemized List for Use of Funds (Itemized List of Projected Expenses)

  • Statement of support from advisor/committee chair
  • Supporting Documentation:
  • Congratulations acceptance email
  • Reservation for hotel OR screenshot of conference with price ranges for conference hotels
  • Brief web search of flights OR flight ticket/email confirmation
  • In case of field work: invitation letter from host institution
  • For Dataset Purchase: screenshot of purchase or list of contract (e.g., month, year, perpetual license)
  • For Short Course: description of workshops

We review applications on a rolling basis throughout the academic year. After the application has been evaluated, you will receive an email stating your award status. Applications must be submitted and approved prior to travel/purchase.

Please note that all awards are taxed. Please visit the university's Scholarship & Fellowship page for more information. 

Graduate Inclusion and Access Scholarship

This George Mason University scholarship, awarded on a competitive basis, is available to first-generation college students from underrepresented groups who are pursuing a doctoral degree and have demonstrated financial need. Only U.S. citizens are eligible for this scholarship.

Please note your eligibility on your application. After you have submitted your doctoral program application, more information about this scholarship application process will be sent to you if the eligibility criteria are met.