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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 may receive stipends, research assistantships and tuition remission for up to three years of full-time study. Students also often receive funding through fellowships, classroom and field teaching, and individually arranged research assistantships with individual faculty in the college or other campus units. Many of these opportunities also provide partial or full tuition offsets. 

Visit the USC Opportunities page to view, complete, and submit applications for fellowship and scholarship for 2022-2023.  Your USC Network Username (or VIPID) and Password are required.

College of Social Work Scholarships and Fellowships


Research on aging and older adults is the focus of the new Connor Fellows Program for PhD students. The College of Social Work fellowship provides a package of funding, mentoring and scholarship aimed at improving the wellbeing of South Carolina adults. One incoming PhD student each year will receive the scholarship.  


The Margaret Gheen Hartzog Memorial Scholarship Fund was created to assist disabled students in the MSW or Ph.D. programs. Students must have a documented disability and be registered with the Student Disability Resource Center.


The Linda M. Summer Social Work Pioneer Fellowship was established to recognize outstanding academic performance, leadership and social work practice.



  • Financial need
  • Male student

Research Assistantships

Graduate Research Assistantships. Our PhD students receive stipends of $18,000/academic year for the first three years of study. These stipends are for 20 hours/week of faculty-mentored research and professional development activities.

Graduate School Scholarly Initiatives

We nominate highly qualified Ph.D. applicants for the prestigious Presidential and Trustee Recruiting Fellowships. Explore additional opportunities at the Graduate Scholarly Initiatives.

Classroom Teaching

 PhD students often receive funding to teach in our MSW or BSW programs. Students usually teach during summer terms and after the first three years of the program.

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.

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