Financial Support

Our School ensures that all students have some means of financial support during the 9-month school year for the first four years in the program and is frequently able to continue support beyond this point. In each of the first four years, the PhD program director assists students in obtaining funding from the School, other University of Washington sources, or external federal and private granting agencies. The guaranteed four years of support is in the form of grants, fellowships, or research and/or teaching assistantships. Some entering students have obtained funding from external sources, and these are considered to fulfill the obligation. These appointments typically require a 20-hour-per-week commitment and include a tuition waiver (state residents or non-residents) and health benefits for the Autumn, Winter and Spring Quarters of each year (9 months).  Because the PhD program is a full-time program for the first four years, students are not generally permitted to accept university employment or other funding support that puts their FTE at greater than 50 percent during the 9-month academic year.

Each year, awards of stipends, fellowships, and research and teaching assistantships are made on the basis of resources available, match with areas of student interest, skills. An award of a particular stipend or assistantship in one academic year does not carry a commitment for that same award in another year because both the grant situation and the applicant pool will change. Advanced teaching and research positions are available on a competitive basis. Students are encouraged to begin their efforts to secure dissertation research support early and to stay in communication with the PhD program director and the associate deans, who oversee assistantship assignments in consultation with the School administration.

Students with graduate student service appointments (TA, RA, Staff Assistant, Trainee and Fellow), which provide salary, tuition waivers and health benefits, must be registered for at least 10 credits each quarter during the academic year; these assistantships carry a work requirement of 20 hours a week. Appointments are contingent upon satisfactory academic progress and satisfactory performance of duties contracted for each appointment. Students on probation are not eligible for new GSSA appointments. Most GSSA appointments are represented by UAW Local 4121, which can be contaced by email at

Annual Awards and Fellowships


From School of Social Work special funds. This endowment provides fellowships to graduate students who are economically disadvantaged, with a preference given to minority students.  The purpose is to support students with a commitment to research focused on providing effective services to diverse populations.

From School of Social Work special funds. In 1974, Dr. J. Scott Briar established the School of Social Work’s doctoral program. His emphasis on quality research education in the School’s doctoral and master's programs, and his leadership on the integration of practice research in the preparation of social work practitioners brought a distinctive identity and national stature to the School. The J. Scott Briar Endowed Fund acknowledges Dr. Briar’s long-standing commitment to and support for graduate students’ learning and professional development. The fund provides support to doctoral students for tuition, research, or living expenses.

From School of Social Work special funds. This endowment provides fellowships to doctoral students. It was established in memory of Naomi Gottlieb, a faculty member who influenced hundreds of students through active mentoring, gentle advocacy, and constant support of their learning and professional development. This fund is in recognition of her profound commitment to students, particularly those of disadvantaged background.

This discretionary fund supports the general activities of the PhD Program, which includes support for conference and training travel, special events, and dissertation research-related expenses.

From School of Social Work special funds. This endowment provides financial assistance to graduate students in the School of Social Work pursuing the knowledge, understanding, and skills necessary to incorporate intergenerational components into their work.

From School of Social Work special funds. Each year the six University of Washington Health Sciences Schools nominate a student for selection as a Magnuson Scholar for the coming academic year.  Selection criteria are academic  performance and the student's potential for contribution to research in the health sciences. This is a full year fellowship with the amount varying annually.

For most of these awards, the department is responsible for the actual application process.

Graduate Opportunity Research Assistantships

Nine-month research assistantships for entering students who show high academic promise and who are pursuing graduate degrees in areas where they are severely underrepresented.

Bank of America and Presidential Endowed Minority Fellowships

These competitive fellowships, for which all departments of the University are eligible, are intended to increase the number of doctorates granted to students of diverse backgrounds who will contribute to the level of diversity within their discipline or the graduate community at large. The fellowship provides 2 years of 9 months per year support at a financial level equivalent to a student assistantship with tuition waiver. It covers the first and last years in a program, and the School of Social Work commits to providing assistantships for intervening years.

Ronald E. McNair Fellowship

Two-year, merit-based fellowships carrying an annual stipend of approximately $16,500 plus tuition and fees for students pursuing doctoral degrees. Covers the first and last (dissertation) year, to be matched with 3 years of support at the same or a higher level by the student's department. Limited to students who have successfully completed a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program. Students enrolled in terminal master's programs are ineligible for this fellowship.

Stroum Minority Fellowship

As with the Bank of America Fellowship, this award supports students who will increase the diversity of students in a program.  It is a 1-year fellowship (9 months of support) that can be either a first year recruitment award or a final-year dissertation award.

Huckabay Teaching Fellowships

This Graduate School fellowship program provides support for 1 quarter at the TA level. The fellowship provides graduate students an opportunity to develop and work on a specific project focused on teaching and learning at the university level.  Projects are proposed by students with teaching mentors either from the UW or nearby community colleges or other colleges.

Gatzert Child Welfare Fellowship

Fellowships to support doctoral dissertation research in the field of child development with special reference to the physically or mentally disabled.

Graduate School Dissertation Fellowships

The Graduate School has several dissertation fellowships that are awarded competitively on an annual basis and typically cover 1 quarter of effort.