3 Ways to Fund Grad School

If you are applying to graduate school this fall, book a free 30 minute consultation with the contact form below! I help other engineers organize their applications, communicate their experience in a way that is attractive to graduate programs and help them navigate the many steps in the process!

Let’s talk about funding! If you are applying to grad school, you may be wondering where to even start when looking for funding. In this post I am going to break down different sources of funding and how to start searching and applying. I also want to note that PhD programs in engineering are typically fully funded with a stipend from the university but you can still apply for fellowships! If you are applying for masters programs it is even more important to apply for funding. Be proactive and start looking at this early so you don’t miss any application deadlines!

So let’s talk about 3 main ways you can be funded:


External Fellowships

External fellowships usually come from organizations like the NSF or private organizations that have some interest in supporting your research. You can find these fellowships by searching for fellowships in your specific area of research or by searching databases of fellowships. 


Two of my favorites are Pathways To Science and ProFellow.


Most universities also offer workshops for big external fellowships and have people designated to help you put these applications together.


Internal Fellowships


Universities often have internal fellowships that you can apply for as you complete your application. If you don’t see the fellowship application when you apply, email the admissions office and ask if there are any you can apply for!


Ask the university about other funding!


Aside from fellowships, there are typically paid teaching assistant (TA) and graduate research assistant (GRA) positions available. Similar to internal fellowships, if you don’t find any info about these positions, reach out and ask.



I applied for and won the NSF GRFP fellowship as well as a 2-year fellowship from my university and am using the university fellowship for my first 2 years and then will use the NSF fellowship after that! As engineers, we are fortunate that there is so much funding out there but it is often hard to find. The trick is to ask and ask often, it’s likely that your university has more funding for grad students than you know about!

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