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College of Social Work

Ph.D. Funding

Your doctoral education is in a major investment. As a Ph.D. student in the College of Social Work, our team will strive to make your graduate education within your financial reach.

Applicants admitted to the program will receive tuition remission, competitive stipends and research assistantships for the first two and one-half years of full-time study. In the third year and beyond, our students typically receive teaching or research assistantships with partial or full tuition offsets. Additional financial support is available from the University of South Carolina as well as private funding sources. More specificatlly, these opportunities include the following:


College of Social Work Scholarships and Fellowships

Margaret Gheen Hartzog Memorial Scholarship Fund

One $500 award will assist a disabled student in the MSW or Ph.D. programs.

  • Applicants must be admitted to the Ph.D. or MSW program. Advanced standing, full-time and part-time MSW students are welcome to apply prior to their foundation or advanced year.

  • Applicants must have a documented disability and be registered with the Student Disability Resource Center.


Linda M. Summer Social Work Pioneer Fellowship

Four $500 awards recognize outstanding academic performance, leadership and social work practice.

  • Applicants must be Ph.D. or MSW program students. Advanced standing, full-time and part-time MSW students should apply prior to their advanced year.


Graduate School Fellowships

We nominate highly qualified Ph.D. applicants for the prestigious Presidential and Trustee Recruiting Fellowships.

Research Assistantships

As a Ph.D. student, you will work with one or more faculty members on faculty research projects for two days per week. As a research assistant, you will engage in a variety of qualitative and quantitative research activities, including literature review, study design, data collection, data analysis and synthesis of results. You will be encouraged to co-author conference presentations and manuscripts for publication. In addition, you will learn practical and procedural skills about matters such as community engagement, dataset management, Institutional Review Board compliance and grant proposal development.

Classroom Teaching

You may also work as a teaching assistant to a faculty member. In this role, you will learn course and class preparation, class instruction and student assessment. After successfully completing a teaching practicum, you will be eligible to independently teach required courses in the college’s bachelor’s or master’s degree programs. As you gain social work teaching experience, you may also develop and teach new elective courses with faculty supervision.

Field Teaching

If you have social work practice experience, you may work as a field liaison or, in some cases, as a field instructor. These roles will help you gain supervisory experience and learn to assess student mastery of practice skills.


You may qualify for other forms of financial aid to support your doctoral education, such as:

  • Travel funds
    You may apply to the College of Social Work's Ph.D. program for partial funding to attend professional conferences up to two times per year. Travel funding is also available from The Graduate School.
  • Dissertation expenses
    You may apply to the Ph.D. program for limited assistance with dissertation-related expenses, such as databases or printing. 
  • Faculty support
    You may receive travel and research support from faculty mentoring or research funds.
  • Dissertation support
    The Office of the Vice President for Research offers the Support to Promote Advancement of Research and Creativity (SPARC) program to support Ph.D. dissertation research.
  • External fellowships and grants
    The Ph.D. program provides information about assistance in applying for numerous external fellowships and grants.

Additional funding tips and opportunities are available from The Graduate School.