Graduate Funding

Department Funding Sources

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences provides all accepted incoming PhD students with five full academic years (9 months each) of financial support. This support includes tuition, fees, and a living stipend. Students are expected to do some teaching and/or research service as part of their funding package (usually no more than 2 years out of the five years of service are required, though these stipulations may vary).
These fellowships provide opportunities for advanced graduate students to teach a course in the College and receive mentoring from a member of the department’s faculty. Students must have completed coursework, and preference is given to those who are ABD. Fellowships are financially equivalent to regular Teaching Fellowships (tuition & fees + stipend), but are awarded one semester at a time. We have averaged 3 STF positions each semester. Applications will generally be due in early January for the following fall and in early August for the following spring. Students may apply to teach any existing course that is not already being offered or may propose a new one-time offering. Consultation with the department office is advised. Applications will include a current c.v. and a paragraph describing the course being proposed. A committee of the Director of Graduate Studies, the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Chair will select from among the courses proposed, balancing the financial needs, progress, and teaching experience of the graduate student and the quality of the proposal with departmental teaching needs.
There are two 5-week terms each summer, and we typically need 2-4 graduate students to teach in each term. Applications will be solicited in early October for the following summer terms. Qualifications and selection process are similar to that outlined above for the STF.
The Morris Fund consists of the annual interest generated out of a department of sociology endowed fund. The funds are used to support a wide range of departmental activities, including the seminar series, research support for junior faculty, a small number of graduate students’ “third year” summer stipends, and support for graduate students to serve as Research Assistants (RA) for faculty. In order to apply for the third year summer stipend or to work as an RA, graduate students must be full-time or equivalent and in good standing, making good progress. Graduate students apply for summer stipends, while faculty members apply for funding for RA support. Applications are solicited on an annual basis in the Fall of every year with funding for that academic year and the following summer.
The department has access to a small pool of funds provided by the graduate school to support the professional development of graduate students – dues, meeting expense, software, travel to meetings, etc.. To qualify for these funds, you must have completed your PhD qualifying requirements OR have your paper accepted for presentation at a conference. For more information and to apply, contact Anna Bakanova

BU Internal Funding Sources

For more information about external funding, see this page.
For more information about internal funding, see this page.
For more information about Ph.D funding in general, see this page.
These fellowships support foreign-based research by doctoral students whose research requires an extended period of residence in another country or countries. This program is primarily intended for students in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, where the opportunity to conduct foreign research is often crucial and where sources of funds are limited, but students from all Arts and Sciences disciplines will be eligible for consideration. Applications are due on Nov. 1 and March 21.

    1. The Short-term GRAF provides $4,000 to support travel and living costs during a relatively brief period of study abroad, during the summer or for a portion of an academic semester.
    2. The Long-term GRAF enables a student to spend an extended period of foreign-based study. It provides $10,000 to cover living, travel, and research expenses. This award also provides, while the student is abroad for one semester to one year, Continuing Study Fees and participation in the BU student health plan.

Students supported by sponsored research grants may be eligible for tuition scholarships through the Graduate Research Assistant Scholarship Program.
This fellowship is a one-year fellowship open to entering and continuing graduate students who are U.S. citizens and who have displayed academic proficiency in a field related to race relations or urban problems. The fellowship provides a stipend for living expenses, health insurance, plus a scholarship for full tuition and fees. Application occurs in early December.
These fellowships are awarded to qualified degree candidates in the social sciences. Recipients may be awarded stipends and/or tuition scholarships. Eligibility requirements for these government fellowships include the following: (1) applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents; (2) they must have been accepted for a full-time program of graduate study in the social sciences or in a graduate professional program; and (3) they must enroll in an African language course and an African areas course each semester they receive the fellowship.
These fellows receive a per-semester stipend of $10,000, health insurance coverage, and continuing student fees. GWFs teach one undergraduate writing seminar (WR100 or WR150) per semester. The spring before their first semester of teaching, incoming GWFs must take Teaching College Writing I, a two-credit seminar designed to prepare them for their fall teaching assignments. Awards are made on a semester-by-semester basis, with the expectation of renewal for up to four semesters.
The GSO provides travel grants for graduate students. Each year, there are 10 grants of up to $500 each. These grants are for travel to conferences outside of the Boston area.
The Boston University Women’s Guild scholarships provide both aid and encouragement to women 30 and over enrolled in University graduate programs. Guild scholarships do not require U.S. citizenship or full-time enrollment.
The Pardee Graduate Summer Fellowship Program offers Boston University graduate students an opportunity for intensive interdisciplinary research and writing on topics that are aligned with the Pardee Center’s broad research interests. The 10-week summer fellowship will include a financial stipend and structured interaction with Pardee Center faculty and research fellows. Summer Fellows will occupy workspace provided at the Pardee House, and produce a substantive research paper that may be considered for publication by the Pardee Center. Applications are due in May for the following summer.

External Funding Sources

Other colleges and universities in the area routinely hire local graduate students as instructors or teaching assistants. These teaching opportunities are not posted in any centralized location so students should submit their application to the chair of sociology departments once they have completed the equivalent of one year of course work and resubmit an application at several times during their graduate career. Students should submit a cover letter detailing their research and teaching interests and, when possible, include sample syllabi for each course.
Various national institutions offer fellowships that vary by applicants’ citizenship, dissertation topic, and stage of progress. Many of these external funding sources are limited to students who have completed the defense of their dissertation prospectus but sometimes pre-dissertation fellowships are available for writing your dissertation prospectus (e.g. the SSRC pre-dissertation program). Graduate students should use web portals to search for funding opportunities, such as those listed below:


American Sociological Association (including its Minority Fellowship Program and Travel Funds for Students)

The American Council of Learned Societies (Dissertation Writing)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Social Science Research Council: Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF) Program

The Social Science Research Council also has various types of other fellowships:

Council on European Studies/Mellon Fellowships Dissertation Completion Fellowships in European Studies 


The Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy is soliciting submissions for grants for 2014. The awards support scholars in the final stages of their work toward a PhD—that is, in their research and dissertation preparation after their proposal has been approved by their committee. You have previously recommended a candidate for an award, and we hope you will alert other prospective candidates know about the awards this year.

The deadline for 2014 proposals is January 31, 2015, though submission by December 15 is strongly encouraged to permit us adequate time to acknowledge receipt and notify candidates if their application is not complete. The foundation’s website ( provides additional information, and an application that may be downloaded. Materials should be submitted electronically to facilitate processing.

We appreciate your past participation, and hope to work with you and your promising graduate students in the future.

The Federal Programs and Fellowships that support graduate students, including programs that fund individual scholars and programs which fund university activities involving multiple students.