13 Best Fully Funded PhD Programs for Students (2024)

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You might consider a PhD program to be the pinnacle of education. The cost of earning a doctorate has become a significant barrier for some people who have been hoping to pursue their educational goals up to this point.

A PhD program requires many years of in-depth research and provides much more than just education because it builds expertise and confidence in the field of study that you have chosen.

But are there any fully funded PhD programs?

For those who qualify, many prestigious universities provide fully funded PhD programs. The entire program’s tuition and other costs are wholly covered by this funding. Some schools even provide a stipend to help with living costs.

This article discusses the various fully funded PhD programs available at top universities.

Let’s have a look at them!

Top 13 Fully Funded PhD Programs: In A Nutshell (2024)

Before we go ahead, you may have a look at quick overview of PhD programs of each university and PhD programs offered.

Sr. NoUniversityLocation
1.University of OxfordLondon Uk
2.Harvard UniversityCambridge
3.California Institute of TechnologyCalifornia
4.Michigan State UniversityMichigan
6.Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)Massachusetts
7.University of CambridgeCambridge
8.Stanford UniversityStanford, CA
9.University of ChicagoChicago
10.Imperial College LondonLondon
11.Rice UniversityHouston, Texas
12.Georgetown UniversityWashington, DC
13.Northewestern UniversityEvanston, IL

1. University Of Oxford

The University of Oxford supports a variety of scholarship opportunities that allow students to attend in fully funded PhD programs there.

These include the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships, Felix Scholarships, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) Scholarships, Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Program in the Humanities, and others.

Fully Funded PhD Programs - University Of Oxford

All of these scholarships provide funding for living expenses in addition to full tuition. Usually, academic performance is taken into account when awarding these scholarships.

2. Harvard University

Harvard University offers to fund students in the form of research assistantships and teaching assistantships for lucrative PhD and master’s programs.

During their time in the curriculum, PhD students are supported by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard, which covers their tuition, health insurance premiums, and essential living costs.

Harvard University

Along with salaries, it also includes fellowships for teaching, research assistantships, traineeships, and other academic positions. Students are awarded funds based on academic achievement and/or financial need.

3. California Institute Of Technology

All ph.d. candidates who are interested in attending Caltech are provided with full financial assistance in the form of internal or external assistantships, research internship opportunities, teaching internships, or a combination of fellowship and assistantship support.

California Institute Of Technology

Satisfactory academic performance is a requirement for receiving the yearly awards. You are automatically taken into account when applying; no separate application is necessary.

4. Michigan State University

Some of the best PhD programs in the nation have been created by the College of Education at Michigan State University. Doctoral programs in education prepare future educational leaders to handle current issues and meet the demand for contemporary education.

Michigan State University

The University of Michigan has been ranked first in the nation for more than a decade in a row by US News and World Report’s ranking of education graduate programmes in both elementary and secondary education.

5. UCL

The University College London provides graduate research fellowships across a wide variety of fields. The scholarship is given based on the potential for future research and academic excellence.


For the duration of the programme, it pays for tuition, a maintenance stipend of $17,600, and research expenses of $1,200.

To be eligible for the scholarship, your application must be submitted by the deadline. 

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Students who excel in their academics and want to enrol in management courses can apply for a fully funded PhD scholarship at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

In addition to providing a $4,035.50 monthly stipend, the benefits cover the full tuition amount. The five-year funding agreement is in effect. It pays approximately $3,269 in medical insurance.

 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

At the start of the first and fourth years, a brand-new laptop is also given to help you out (approximate price: $2,000).

A $4,500 conference travel budget is also allotted over the course of your five years in the programme.

7. University Of Cambridge

Students interested in pursuing PhD programmes can apply for a variety of scholarships from the University of Cambridge. The criteria for awarding these scholarships are either academic achievement or financial need.

University Of Cambridge

The majority of these scholarships pay the full cost of the course, and some also cover expenses like living expenses, maintenance, visa fees, etc.

The scholarships offered include 

  • The Gates Cambridge Scholarship. 
  • EMBL International PhD Studentships.
  • Peterhouse Postgraduate Studentship Competition.
  • Wellcome Sanger Institute 4-Year PhD Studentships.
  • Ivan D Jankovic PhD Studentship.
  • Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust 3-year research scholarship.

When applying for some scholarships, students are automatically taken into account. Visit the University’s official website to view the application deadlines

8. Stanford University

All PhD candidates accepted at the Stanford Graduate School of Education are eligible for a five-year funding programme. It offers financial aid for education, fellowship stipends, and assistantship pay. Additionally, it includes the usual admission fee (health insurance, campus housing rent, books, food, and supplies).

 Stanford University

A variety of academic specialisations are available, including developmental and psychological sciences, cross-disciplinary specialisations, teacher education, and curriculum studies. 

The students must make satisfactory academic progress in order to receive the scholarship.

9. University Of Chicago

The University of Chicago offers funding opportunities for PhD programmes as a way to support graduate students. Competitive funding packages that pay for tuition and student health insurance are provided to students pursuing doctoral degrees.

Chicago has a relatively low cost of living, so the students are also given a stipend to help with living expenses and research support.

University Of Chicago

The funding is available for the entire time the course is in session. Additionally, there are numerous opportunities, including prestigious fellowships that fund language study, travel, or dissertation research.

There are both on-campus and off-campus jobs available, including internships that let students try out different career paths.

10. Imperial College London

The Imperial College London provides doctoral scholarships to both domestic and international students.

The scholarships cover both the cost of living and tuition. Scholarships are given to students who need financial assistance on the basis of their academic performance.

Imperial College London

11. Rice University

Students who are accepted into the PhD programme at the Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business in Texas receive complete financial aid.

The programme offers students a research or teaching assistantship, in which they receive a scholarship and a $40,000 annual stipend, subject to making satisfactory academic progress, with the goal of preparing them to teach in fields like accounting, finance, and marketing.

Rice University

12. Georgetown University

The computer science PhD program at Georgetown University offers assistantships and scholarships that include a five-year stipend, health insurance, and full tuition at the Washington, D.C. university.

Georgetown University

When enrolled in the program, students are required to submit a dissertation proposal, defend the proposal, and then submit and defend a dissertation in a public seminar.

13. Northwestern University

Northwestern University has been one of the top 10 universities in the US for the past four years, and it is known for its excellence in various areas. They offer fully-funded Ph.D. programs with the collaboration of many schools, such as The Graduate School, Feinberg School Of Medicine, McCormick School of Engineering, and more.

Northwestern University

They also offer grants, fellowships, assistantships, veteran benefits, and loans. The annual stipend rate for Ph.D. students is $36,960.

Related Read:

Numerous US universities, including some of the top universities in the nation, provide fully funded PhD programs and cost-free online courses in a range of subject areas.

Simply show that you are qualified for the program by outlining your academic background, achievements, and merit.

Once you are approved for total PhD funding, your tuition, as well as the majority of your other study-related costs, will be paid for the duration of the program.

Utilize this incredibly helpful service provided by numerous prestigious universities that work to ensure that no deserving student is prevented from earning a doctorate due to a lack of funding.

I hope this article was useful to you. Do share your opinions on this in the comments section below.

Lana Rose

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