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Do PhD Students Pay Tuition? Unpacking the Cost of a PhD

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Choosing to pursue a PhD is a major milestone, but it comes with a host of concerns and questions. As a prospective doctoral student, you might wonder if you pay tuition for a PhD and how much that will cost.

In many cases, the answer is no, PhD students do not pay tuition. Instead, universities often provide their doctoral students with tuition waivers and funding packages to carry them through their years of study. 

However, it's important to bear in mind that this isn't always the case and the specifics can vary greatly. Navigating PhD funding can seem daunting at first, but understanding how tuition, stipends and other sources affect the out-of-pocket cost of a PhD can help you feel more confident in your decision.

How Much Does a PhD Cost?

Contrary to popular belief, the costs of a PhD program aren't set in stone. Factors like the institution, geographic location, field of study and funding support all play a role in how much you’ll actually pay for a doctoral program. Depending on your field, some PhD programs pay you . 

To give you a clearer picture, let's break down expenses and potential support.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees are typically the most substantial expense. How much you pay depends on the institution offering the program and the field of study you choose. According to the Education Data Initiative , the average cost of a PhD specifically is $106,860, while the average cost of a doctorate degree in general is higher at $150,835.

You can expect a lower cost at public institutions ($93,670 on average) compared to private universities ($129,395 on average). Considering the time to complete a doctorate degree ranges from approximately 4 to 8 years, the duration of your studies can influence the total price.

While figures like this seem substantial, it's important to remember that scholarships, grants, fellowships and assistantships significantly reduce the out-of-pocket expenses for most PhD students. For instance, the average grant aid for a doctoral degree is $16,502 annually, and 21.4% of PhD students surveyed by the Education Data Initiative offset their costs with teaching assistantships. 

As a result, actual paid expenses are often much lower than the listed tuition and fees.

Books and Materials

The cost of study materials, including textbooks and research supplies, varies depending on the specific requirements of your field of study.

For example, PhD students in Earth Sciences or Chemistry might need to invest in lab equipment and materials, while students in Humanities may require numerous books and subscriptions to academic journals.

However, it's essential to note that many programs provide funding resources that help offset or eliminate these costs. Universities often offer subsidies or funds for research materials, and there are numerous grants and scholarships specific to different fields of study. Libraries and interlibrary loan systems can also be a valuable resource for accessing required books and academic journals.

Healthcare and Living 

Cost of living and healthcare can vary greatly depending on your circumstances and location. Major cities, for example, tend to have higher living costs than smaller towns or rural areas. 

The higher expenses in cities often correlate with increased access to resources, research opportunities and a wide variety of entertainment and lifestyle choices. On the other hand, smaller towns or rural areas might offer lower cost of living and fewer distractions but may limit access to extensive resources or opportunities.

Luckily, many universities offer annual stipends as part of their financial aid packages for PhD students. These stipends are designed to help you manage your living and healthcare expenses, allowing you to concentrate on your studies and research. Some universities may also provide budget-friendly on-campus housing options to help mitigate overall costs. 

Navigating the Financial Landscape of a PhD

The path to earning a PhD isn't just an academic journey, but a financial one too. While it's true that in many cases, PhD students don't pay tuition, it's crucial to understand that it’s ultimately variable depending on where and what you choose to study. Financial aid packages and stipends can be a substantial help, providing relief to both domestic and international students.

At the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, we pride ourselves in providing an environment that fosters academic excellence, research innovation and professional development. With the generous support of the Moody Foundation, we have expanded our funding opportunities, enabling a diverse range of talented students to become part of our community.

Our suite of financial resources, including fellowships, assistantships, and travel grants, aim to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations and reduce financial barriers. By helping our students focus on their academic and research pursuits, we build a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive environment that sets the stage for future leaders to thrive.

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  • Tuition, Funding, & Living Costs
  • PhD/Master's Application Process

All PhD students at Yale are fully funded. On average, doctoral students at Yale receive more than $500,000 in tuition fellowships, stipends, and health care benefits over the course of their enrollment. Some terminal Master's degree students also receive funding.

Tuition for full-time study at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in the academic year 2023-2024 is $48,300.

More information on Tuition & Fees is available in our Programs & Policies handbook. Please note that we do not charge many of the fees common to other schools (e.g., technology fee, library fee, gym fee, student activities fee).

See Student Accounts for billing and payment inquiries.

For PhD Degree Applicants

All PhD students at Yale receive the following financial award, typically for a minimum of five years:

  • a fellowship that covers the full cost of tuition ($48,300 for 2023-2024)
  • a 12-month stipend (minimum of $40,530 for 2023-2024)
  • comprehensive health insurance, including hospitalization coverage and specialty care for students, their legal spouse, and their children
  • a family support subsidy for graduate students with children under the age of 18

Additionally, a Dean's Emergency Fund is available to help students with eligible, unanticipated emergency expenses. In some cases, the Continuing Registration Fee for advanced PhD students is also covered by the Graduate School.

Most PhD students complete their degrees without incurring debt.

For Master's Degree Applicants

Most students pursuing Master's degrees do not receive financial support from the Graduate School and are responsible for paying tuition, but some programs offer limited funding. Please check with the program that interests you for more information.

All Master's students registered at least half time receive Student Basic Coverage at Yale Health. You are also eligible to purchase Hospitalization and Specialty Care coverage at a group rate through the university.

Other Sources of Funding

Many of our students win external fellowships and grants. See our External Fellowships & Awards page for more information on how an external award will affect your Yale funding.

Some students choose to take loans, participate in work-study programs, or engage in part-time employment to supplement their funding while in Graduate School. More information is available on Other Means of Financing Graduate Education .

Living Cost Estimates

To ensure that our financial aid package provides enough support to enable you to live in New Haven and study full time, we developed a cost-of-living guide (see below). The Office of Financial Aid also uses these calculations to determine financial need as required by certain funding sources and for immigration processes.

Estimated average living expenses include housing and food, transportation, personal and academic expenses (excluding tuition), and hospitalization coverage and specialty care. Expenses for doctoral students may actually be less than the estimate below, since PhD financial packages cover the full cost of single-student hospitalization and specialty care coverage in the Yale Health Plan, as well as half the cost of two-person coverage (for spouses and partners), and the full cost to cover children.

2023-2024 Academic Year Living Cost Estimate:

9-month living cost (master's students):.

  • Single Student: $29,778

12-MONTH LIVING COST (PhD Students):

  • Single Student: $38,260  

Graduate Financial Aid

Tuition and Costs

There are many factors to consider when choosing a graduate program and cost is certainly one of them. Learn more about HGSE's academic programs in addition to our tuition and cost of attendance.

Tuition Charges

The following tuition and fee charges are in effect for the 2024-2025 academic year and are subject to change for future years. Tuition and fee charges for the 2025-2026 academic year are published in March 2025. Summary (PDF) of tuition and cost information for the current 2023-2024 academic year.

HGSE is committed to helping you achieve your academic and career goals – and offers many financial aid options to support you.

Full Cost Details

Please note the Standard Student Budget includes actual tuition and fee amounts as well as estimated allowances for related educational expenses. Tuition and Health Insurance Fees are expenses that are directly billed to students, while all other categories are estimated allowances that should not be exceeded. Financial aid eligibility is determined using the following standard cost estimates, updated estimates are published annually in March for the upcoming academic year. Summary (PDF) of tuition and cost information for the current 2023-2024 academic year.

View Standard Residential Ed.M. & C.A.S. Details

View standard part-time online ed.m. details, view full-time ed.l.d. details.

^ Ed.L.D. students receive a guaranteed funding package to cover these costs.

* Year 2 in the Ed.L.D Program is a 10 month academic year, while Years 1 and 3 are 9 month academic years.

For full details regarding Ph.D. Program costs, visit the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) Cost of Attendance .

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fee costs are subject to change and are determined each year. Please be aware that future tuition costs, fees, and standard student budget amounts may differ from year to year. Updated figures will be published on this website and in future editions of the Financing Your Education guide , which is updated on a yearly basis. Information regarding health insurance fees, coverage, and waivers can be found on the Harvard University Student Health Program website . Online part-time Ed.M. students will not be automatically enrolled into the comprehensive student health insurance program. Information regarding billing and payment dates can be found through Harvard Student Accounts .

  • Full-time and part-time student tuition and course credit policies

Questions regarding tuition and course credit policies can be directed to the  HGSE Office of the Registrar . 

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How Much Does a PhD Cost?

how much does phd school cost

Cece Gilmore is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cece earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Arizona State University. While at ASU, she was the education editor as well as a published staff reporter at Downtown Devil. Cece was also the co-host of her own radio show on Blaze Radio ASU.

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how much does phd school cost

Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

How Much Does a PhD Cost?

Obtaining a PhD is a great way to open up your career options and fulfill personal goals. If you’re deciding whether to go back to your school for a doctorate degree, make sure to get a picture of what it will cost you beforehand so you can make an educated financial choice. In this article, we take a deep dive into how much a PhD costs, including non-tuition expenses and hidden costs. We also list the pros and cons of earning a PhD, as well as ways to fund your degree if it is the right choice for you. Let’s get started! 

What is a PhD? 

“PhD” is the abbreviated title for “Doctor of Philosophy.”  A PhD is an academic degree that qualifies the degree holder to teach at the university level or work in specialized positions in certain fields. PhDs generally focus on STEM research and teaching fields. 

Keep reading : Everything you need to know about a doctorate degree

How much does a PhD cost? 

It usually takes around eight years to earn a PhD at an average tuition cost of 81,000 . 

The true cost of a PhD is very dependent on the following factors: 

  • Choice of school
  • Field of study
  • Type of PhD 
  • Location of school
  • Dollar amount of student loans

Also see: What is the average amount of graduate school debt?

Other costs associated with receiving a PhD

Living expenses .

In addition to the cost of tuition involved in earning a PhD, there are numerous outside factors that add to the total spent. These predominantly include living expenses such as housing, food, insurance, and transportation. The cost of these necessities will vary depending on the state, city of residence, and number of years it takes to earn a PhD. Therefore, it is important to consider all these factors when planning to earn a PhD. 

Hidden costs of a PhD

Besides just the monetary cost of a PhD, receiving this degree has some hidden costs that can affect whether a PhD is truly worth it. Let’s look at some of the most important hidden costs.

Receiving a PhD takes a long time! If you want to earn a PhD, it will take up to eight years to do so. 

Delayed opportunities

Because receiving a PhD takes time, this means there may be work and life opportunities and experiences you miss out on or have to delay.

Lost income

While focusing on earning a PhD, you will need to focus on your education rather than maintaining a steady flow of income from a job. You will most likely not be able to hold down a full-time job while completing your PhD schooling. 

The chance of not finishing

Unfortunately, it is quite common to start but not earn a PhD. There are a lot of factors that hinder students from receiving their PhD, including the following: 

  • Realization they do not want a PhD
  • Lack of ability to pay for a PhD
  • Inability to maintain a school work balance

Ways to fund your PhD 

Luckily, prospective PhD candidates have numerous options to help them fund their education. Typically, PhD students turn to a variety of funding sources, including scholarships, grants, studentships, loans, and employer sponsorships. 

PhD Scholarships

There are a variety of scholarships out there intended for PhD students to help them on their academic journey. These funds can typically be used for tuition, books, and other educational expenses. Try checking out our very own Gutsy Graduate Scholarship to get started!

Grants are very similar to scholarships. They provide money for students for tuition and other academic expenses.

Studentships

A “studentship” is a name that is most often used for PhD scholarships. Studentships are an opportunity for PhD students to receive funding in order to ease financial pressures. Traditionally, studentships are awarded based on merit and achievement. 

Loans are a common way of funding PhD students. The US Department of Education offers Direct PLUS loans as well as Direct Unsubsidized Loans to graduate and professional students. 

Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are opportunities to earn money while taking on a position that allows you to make connections and obtain skills in your field. There are various types of assistantships such as teaching and research assistants. Depending on your institution and professor, your role may vary widely depending on what your professor is working on. So, it is important to do your research before accepting an assistantship to determine if it is the right role for you. An assistantship typically functions as a job where you serve a certain number of hours and will be paid for your labor. 

Fellowships

Fellowships can vary widely depending on the institution; however it is essentially funding granted to students to help lower the cost of education. A fellowship is typically a merit-based scholarship for advanced study of an academic subject and is granted to the top candidates in their class. Graduate fellowships typically will cover the cost of tuition as well as a stipend to be used to cover the cost of living which makes graduate studies affordable for academically-driven students. 

Further reading : Assistantships vs. fellowships: What’s the difference? 

Employer sponsorships

In some cases, you may be eligible to receive employer sponsored funding to earn a PhD. In order to do this, you will usually need to demonstrate to your employer that receiving a PhD will also benefit the company as a whole. 

Also see: Top graduate school scholarships

Is a PhD worth it? 

The answer depends on the individual student’s goals and financial situation. There are many pros and cons associated with receiving a PhD. We include a few of the most common reasons below. 

  • Access to more prestigious and high-paying jobs
  • Development of skills
  • Networking opportunities 
  • Can make significant contributions to your field of study 
  • Financial costs/debt
  • Isolating and lonely experience for some
  • Stress associated with academic rigor
  • Limited job openings after graduation 
  • Loss of valuable job experience and opportunities
  • Length of time to earn a PhD

Some questions to ask yourself before pursuing a PhD

  • Why do I want a PhD? 
  • Am I financially prepared to fund a PhD?
  • What jobs will be available to me after receiving a PhD?
  • Do I have the prerequisites and experience to move forward to a PhD program? 

Related: What is a research university?

Overall cost of PhD

In total, earning a PhD involves a considerable investment of time and money. It can also put you in touch with incredible peer support, mentors, and resources, and be incredibly rewarding and help you start down the path towards your dream career. Be sure you are confident in your decision before starting your PhD journey, and best of luck to you! 

Also see: Grad school financing options

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How Much Does a PhD Cost?

How much does a PhD cost? Before you enroll in a doctoral program, you may have this pressing question on your mind.

How Much Does a PhD Cost

The price of earning your PhD can vary greatly from one school to another, so it can help to pay close attention to the average costs at different institutions.

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Once you have a better idea of the cost of earning this degree, you can make a plan for your doctoral studies and work toward achieving your goals.

students pursuing PhD degree

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average doctoral student earning a research degree pays $16,526 in tuition per year. [1]

Plus, on average, there’s an additional $16,320 in non-tuition fees and expenses each year. That makes the average annual cost of a PhD $32,846. [1] It’s common to spend 3 to 5 years or more in a PhD program. That can seem like a staggering amount of money at first. You may be relieved to know, though, that you might not have to pay the entire amount yourself.

Many PhD candidates receive a good deal of support to help with their studies. PhD students fund their educations in a variety of ways, including:

  • Fellowships
  • Program-based funding

Program-based funding may include a stipend, a tuition waiver, and even benefits like health insurance. Fully funded online PhD programs are available, and in these programs, students are not responsible for covering any of the expenses associated with their doctoral education. It’s not always necessary to go into debt to pursue doctoral studies. Many students graduate from PhD programs without having incurred any debt.

One of the biggest assets that can help you graduate debt-free is an assistantship opportunity. You may be able to secure a role as a teaching or research assistant. In exchange for your work, you might receive a tuition waiver, a stipend, and other benefits.

Both the tuition at your school and the stipend you may receive will vary depending on where you enroll. To learn more about Ivy League costs, you can review the following table.

  • Brown University: Tuition , stipends
  • Columbia University: Tuition , stipends
  • Cornell University: Tuition , stipends
  • Dartmouth College: Tuition , stipends
  • Harvard University: Tuition , stipends ( Engineering & Biological Sciences )
  • Princeton University: Tuition, stipends
  • University of Pennsylvania: Tuition , stipends
  • Yale University: Tuition , stipends

This chart will give you an idea of typical PhD expenses at some of the top public universities.

  • University of Arizona: Tuition , stipends
  • Florida International University: Tuition , stipends ( Business & Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship Program )
  • Georgia State University: Tuition , stipends
  • Ohio State: Tuition , stipends
  • Texas A&M: Tuition , stipends ( Chemistry & Chemical Engineering )
  • University of Central Florida: Tuition , stipends
  • University of Florida: Tuition , stipends ( Engineering & English )
  • University of Illinois: Tuition , stipends ( Math & Communication )
  • University of Minnesota: Tuition , stipends ( Management & Public Health )
  • University of Texas: Tuition , stipends ( Computer Science & Biology )

These rates reflect general tuition and stipends at the above schools, but the rates may vary somewhat depending on your program and the terms of your assistantship.

For example, you’re likely to earn more for a half-time assistantship than for a quarter-time one, and you’re likely to earn more for a 12-month assignment than for a 9-month one.

Factors That Affect the Average Cost of a Doctorate Degree

PhD students doing research works

Many different elements will play into the overall price of earning your degree. One major factor is the type of school you attend. The following figures are based on data from the Urban Institute. [4]

Choice of School

  • Private for-profit : $13,520 average annual tuition
  • Private nonprofit : $25,160 average annual tuition
  • Public in-state : $11,000 average annual tuition
  • Public out-of-state : $22,590 average annual tuition

How long it takes to earn your degree can make a difference as well. The National Science Foundation offers data on how long PhD students in various fields are often in school. [5]

Program Length by Field of Study

  • Education : 5.7 years
  • Engineering : 5.3 years
  • Humanities and arts : 6.8 years
  • Life sciences : 5.5 years
  • Mathematics and computer sciences : 5.7 years
  • Physical sciences : 5.6 years
  • Psychology and social sciences : 6.0 years

Online studies may change your costs. The tuition is often similar, but on-campus residency can be more expensive than living at home. Consider, for example, the graduate housing costs at the University of Miami. [6]

Online vs. On-Campus Housing Costs

  • Living on-campus : $24,120 annually
  • Living with a relative : $8,664 annually

On the other hand, teaching and research assistantships are less common for online PhD programs than on-campus ones. Even with housing costs, you may, then, spend less for on-campus studies.

Professional Doctorate Degree Cost

Doctorate students carrying some books

A PhD is not the only type of doctorate. There are also professional doctorates available, such as a Doctor of Podiatry (DPM) or a Doctor of Medicine (MD).

The following data from the National Center for Education Statistics provides an overview of the average doctoral degree cost annually. [1]

  • Books and materials : $1,196
  • Non-tuition costs and fees : $23,745
  • Tuition : $34,910

In general, professional practice doctorates are more expensive than PhDs. According to the Urban Institute, 30% of professional practice doctoral programs have published annual tuition rates of more than $30,000. [2] Only 22% of PhD programs fall into that price category.

It’s also worth noting that doctoral students in professional programs are less likely to receive stipends, tuition waivers, and other benefits that often make school more affordable for PhD students.

Paying for a PhD

PhD students in group study

There are many ways to handle your PhD program cost. Perhaps you have the means to pay for your schooling on your own. If not, you may benefit from an assistantship, federal student aid, or the financial support of your workplace.

According to the National Science Foundation, the majority of students fund their PhDs through assistantships. [7] Further NSF data about primary funding sources is listed here.

Also, data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that students earning research doctorates took out, on average, $20,500 in loans. [3]

Graduate students may be eligible for Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Direct PLUS Loans.

Student Loan Debt of PhD Graduates

Phd student applying for loan

When it comes to the cost of a PhD, what you study can be as important as any of the other factors. As a general rule, people who get research doctoral degrees in education are much more likely to graduate with debt than other doctoral students.

The following data from the Urban Institute supports this idea. [8]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average non-education PhD graduate had a loan balance of $98,800. [9] For those with degrees in education, the average balance was $111,900.

If you are interested in a degree in education, you may want to pay particular attention to the tuition costs and benefits available at the schools you’re considering.

Is a PhD Degree Worth It?

doctoral students studying together

Yes, a PhD degree is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that unemployment rates are quite low among people with doctoral degrees. The overall American unemployment rate is 4.7%.

Among people with doctorates, the unemployment rate is only 1.5%. [10] Plus, a PhD can put you on the path toward a research role or a tenured career in academia. In addition, it is an impressive personal accomplishment.

If you’re considering pursuing a terminal degree, then you’ve probably been wondering, “How much is a PhD?” Now that you know, you can start your search for the accredited school that’s right for you.

[1] National Postsecondary Student Aid Study: 2016 Graduate Students (NPSAS:GR). US Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics.

[2] Figure 3. Baum, Sandy and Patricia Steele. The Price of Graduate and Professional Schools: How Much Students Pay (PDF). Urban Institute. NCES, NPSAS 2012.

[3] Table A-8: Average amounts of selected types of financial aid received by graduate students. US Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics.

[4] Appendix A. Baum, Sandy and Patricia Steele. The Price of Graduate and Professional School: How Much Students Pay (PDF). Urban Institute. NCES, NPSAS 2012.

[5] Table 31. Median years to doctorate, by major field of study: Selected years, 1994–2019. National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Earned Doctorates.

[6] 2023-2024 Estimated Graduate Cost of Attendance . University of Miami. Graduate Professional Financial Assistance.

[7] Table 35. Doctorate recipients’ primary source of financial support, by broad field of study, sex, citizenship status, ethnicity, and race: 2019. National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Earned Doctorates.

[8] Baum, Sandy and Patricia Steele. Graduate and Professional School Debt: How Much Students Borrow (PDF). Urban Institute. 2018.

[9] Trends in Student Loan Debt for Graduate School Completers (PDF). Spotlights. The Condition of Education 2018. National Center for Education Statistics.

[10] Earnings and unemployment rates by educational attainment, 2021 . Bureau of Labor Statistics.

how much does phd school cost

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Financing Your Education - Doctoral Programs

A doctoral degree is a significant investment in your future, and financing your education is a critical factor to consider. While the funding we provide covers the basic standard cost of attendance determined by Stanford University for a modest life as a graduate student, accepting an offer from a doctoral program has significant personal, professional, and financial implications. Below you’ll find information on GSE and Stanford financial support for doctoral students, as well as other important considerations when it comes to financing your PhD.

Funding guarantee

Stanford GSE offers all admitted PhD students a five-year funding package that provides tuition aid, fellowship stipend, and assistantship salary which covers the standard cost of attendance. The funding is based on meeting the basic financial need of the student alone for the first five academic years of the doctoral program and entails assistantship work. The cornerstone of the GSE doctoral experience is the apprenticeship that all students undertake, typically under the guidance of their academic advisor, but often with other Stanford faculty as well. In this apprenticeship model, doctoral students are provided with a funding package that consists of opportunities to serve as teaching and research assistants for faculty members' courses and research projects. By this means, and in combination with the coursework, students are prepared to excel as university faculty, education researchers, and leaders in the field.

All funding is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress and performance on the research and teaching assistantships. There is no separate application for this funding.

Assistantships

As part of the academic and professional training and development, students undertake assistantships which provide both salary and tuition. Research assistantships are funded by faculty research grants, other faculty funds or as needed, by the GSE Dean’s Office, and can lead to joint publications with faculty or to dissertation topics. Students who have sufficient expertise and experience may also be selected as teaching assistants for courses at the GSE or other Stanford schools and departments. Assistantships are typically secured in consultation with faculty advisors. Students work 10 hours (25% assistantship) or 20 hours (50% assistantship) a week depending on their year in the program. 

  • Research assistantship (RA): Various duties for research projects
  • Teaching assistantships (3 types):
  • Course Assistant (CA)—course preparation and grading
  • Teaching Assistant (TA)—leads regularly-scheduled discussion sections
  • Teaching Affiliate (TF)—full responsibility for course

Funding Details 2023-2024

Note: The above figures reflect 2023-2024 rates. Actual amounts will be adjusted to the rates for 2024-25 and future years.

Cost of attendance

Tuition depends on the units taken by the student. In addition to tuition expenses, the cost of attendance of a PhD program involves living expenses such as rent, food, and transportation. The sum of tuition and non-tuition expenses constitutes the standard cost of attendance. 

As you consider applying to graduate school, you can use the standard cost of attendance of your program —plus any additional expenses you might have—to create your financial plan, keeping in mind that tuition and non-tuition expenses of the standard cost of attendance are set by the university on an annual basis.

What you can do now to prepare financially if admitted

  • Prepare for how your standard of living may change as a graduate student, especially if you are coming from a full-time job.
  • Consider the length of your program, any dependents, existing debt, and additional financial commitments you may have. Students with children may review Stanford support programs for families.
  • If you have personal or special circumstances that require additional expenses above and beyond the standard cost of attendance, plan accordingly.
  • Start saving as much as you are able to cover any unexpected expenses you may incur while in graduate school.
  • Familiarize yourself with federal as well as private student loans, their interest rates, fees, repayment options, deferment policies, and eligibility requirements, so that you are informed if you need to borrow.
  • Be ready to cover all initial expenses, since fellowships and stipends will not be disbursed until a few weeks into your first quarter. Onboarding into a PhD program often requires up front out of pocket expenses for relocation.

Additional GSE resources

Once PhD students matriculate, the GSE has a variety of resources available to support academic work and unanticipated needs.

Students are eligible for up to three travel fellowships during their time at GSE if they are attending a conference or other professional development opportunity.

GSE Student Emergency Fund assists graduate students who experience a financial emergency or unanticipated expenses causing financial hardship. This fund is meant to support those who cannot reasonably resolve their financial difficulty through fellowships, loans, or personal resources. 

GSE Dissertation Support Grants help advanced PhD students who require additional financial support for dissertation research activities. These grants, available at up to $6,500 total per student, are available to students who do not have access to other funds to cover their dissertation costs.

Stanford University resources

Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS) program aims to prepare the next generation of global leaders to address the increasingly complex challenges facing the world. The program selects up to 100 students each year and provides three years of financial support that is integrated into the GSE’s funding package for PhD students.

Vice Provost for Graduate Education awards various fellowships for doctoral students and maintains a list of other Stanford fellowships that students may consider.

Cardinal Care subsidy is an automatic university-wide subsidy program for graduate students. Vaden Health Center manages the university’s Cardinal Care student health insurance.

Stanford Financial Aid Office oversees a number of financial support programs specifically for graduate students with challenging financial situations. 

Additional hourly work is available to students who wish to work for pay as "casual labor" at Stanford up to eight hours a week, provided work does not adversely affect the academic program. Requires approval from the student’s advisor and the Academic Services team.

Other funding sources

External fellowships are integrated into the GSE’s funding package. There are many funding opportunities offered outside of Stanford. The GSE admissions team has compiled an external fellowships and grants document for you to explore, though you should plan to do your own research as well. International students can find additional sources of funding on the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Funding for U.S. Study website and this publication .

Stanford is committed to providing benefits through the Yellow Ribbon Program of the Post-9/11 GI Bill® to students in degree-seeking programs. GSE students who qualify for Chapter 33 benefits at the 100% level may be eligible for additional funding through the Yellow Ribbon Program. Please note that for GSE students receiving tuition fellowship funding, the Yellow Ribbon match may reduce and in some cases replace institutional grants and scholarships. For instructions, visit the page, Activate VA Education Benefits at Stanford .

International students are guaranteed the same funding package as domestic students. However, there may be restrictions regarding the number of hours and opportunities to work during the summer months. To learn more, please contact the Bechtel International Center .

To meet immigration regulations, international students must show proof of adequate financial support to cover the length of time of their graduate program. While international students are not eligible for U.S. federal loan programs, they may qualify for private/alternative loans. Many lenders, however, require that a U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-sign the loan. You can find information and tools to help you choose private loan programs most frequently used by Stanford students here. A comprehensive list of private loan programs is available at FinAid.org .

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How much does a phd cost, published by steve tippins on february 1, 2019 february 1, 2019.

Last Updated on: 3rd June 2022, 04:38 am

Many people have dreams of getting a PhD and returning to the classroom to guide young students. Others want to complete a doctorate to embark on a career of cutting-edge research.

These are admirable reasons to embark on the road towards getting a PhD. However, it’s important to consider the cost of a PhD before embarking on this journey. How much does a PhD cost? And more importantly, is it worth the price?

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How Much Does a PhD Cost?

Average Cost of a PhD

The average time it takes to complete a PhD is just over 8 years. That’s right, 8 years. The average cost of a PhD program is $30,000 per year, which comes to a grand total of $240,000 over the course of eight years. Almost a quarter of a million dollars.

Of course, this is just the average cost of a PhD–chances are your specific program will cost either more or less, and you might not take as long to finish. Then again, you might take longer. So, these are just estimates. You may be able to come up with a more accurate estimate by looking at your specific program and field. But no matter the details, it is vital to consider how much money you’ll actually be spending and whether it’s worth the investment.

However, when considering the cost of a PhD, tuition is just the beginning. If you only look at the price tag without considering the hidden costs, you may be in for a rough few years. In order to fully answer the question, “How much does a PhD cost,” we have to look at some other factors as well.

The Hidden Cost of a PhD

There are more costs than just dollars and cents when pursuing anything, and a PhD is no exception. Here are some of the hidden costs to be aware of when considering the cost of a PhD.

Eight years is a long time. Even three years is a substantial time investment. Getting a doctoral degree means that you will be investing a great deal of time into this quest. Before you begin, remember that you can only be in one place at a time so you will inevitably miss out on other opportunities. What do you spend your time on now? Consider whether you’re willing to give that up for the most part for a few years.

Lost/Delayed Opportunities

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If you go to graduate school full-time you most likely will not be able to hold down a full-time job. That means that your career will be put on hold. If you go to graduate school part-time you can still keep your job but the demands of graduate school may mean that you might miss potential promotions.

Missed time with family and friends

The demands of a graduate program are substantial. There are classes and then there is homework. It is not like in undergraduate school where you might have been able to dash off a homework assignment 15 minutes before class. In graduate school you are expected to provide thoughtful and considered submissions. This can take a great deal of time.

This time commitment may mean missing events with your family and friends . I have seen many cases where a graduate student attends a soccer game or dance recital with her/his laptop and works on an assignment through the entire event. They are there, but are they really present? Make sure that your family is on board with you getting your degree. Their support can be invaluable, but their lack of support could mean having to pay back debt for a degree you never finished, or worse yet, resentment from those you love the most.

Income you could have had

If you do give up a career, you will lose that income. If you maintain your career, you may miss out on promotions and larger raises. This means lower income while in school. Recognize that there is no guarantee you will make this income back once you finish your degree. Depending on your field of study, you may actually make less money as a professor than you could at a professional job outside academia.

Foregone future benefits

You may have a number of benefits at work. For example, a 401(k) with employer matching. If you are not working, you will lose both your contribution and any employer matches. If your income is diminished, your 401(k) contributions may be lower. This will not impact your current income but it may reduce your retirement income.

The cost of not finishing

While your intention will obviously be to complete the program and get hooded at the end of the journey, the reality for 50% of those beginning a doctorate don’t finish . If you end up among them, will you regret beginning the program? How will you repay the student loans?

Benefits of a PhD

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With all of those costs, there must be some reasons people go through the mental and financial hardship of getting a PhD. And of course there are. Here are a few.

Positive income

On the bright side, at many schools PhD students go to school tuition free (at this point, tuition waivers are not considered income for tax purposes) and get small stipends to teach and help do research. This benefit can offset many of the costs, but you will find that these stipends do not allow for a lavish lifestyle. Many people in this position take out loans to cover living expenses.

Non-monetary benefits

If your ultimate career includes a full-time faculty job, then one of the benefits is a flexible schedule. Rarely do teaching faculty have to comply to a strict 9 to 5 schedule. Additionally, they get time off when students get time off. A flexible schedule can allow you to be more present in other areas of life, such as with your family. As a professor, I took the summers to spend time with family and explore the world. We bicycled through Northern France one summer and traveled to the Galapagos Islands another. These are experiences that I’ll always cherish.

There are also non-monetary benefits relating to creating a life of meaning. If you feel a sense of purpose in your job, you’ll have a happier daily existence than if you toil away at something that feels pointless. Since people with more education often get more control over their careers, the doctorate may enable more opportunities to find or create meaningful work.

Your getting a PhD might also be meaningful to those who know and love you. Will it serve your family or community to get a doctorate? How might your personal sacrifices be worth the effort, once you have achieved this goal on behalf of those you care about?

How Much Does a PhD Cost? Final Thoughts

The dream of getting a PhD drives many to enroll before considering all of the costs. I urge you to consider all possible costs and benefits when considering a PhD program. If you decide to enroll in a PhD program, consider options that can help you finish your degree faster, saving you money in the long run.

Asking the question, “How much does a PhD Cost” should always be followed by a second question: “Why do I want to get a PhD?” It’s important to consider the amount of money you’d be spending and consider whether it’s worth the investment. What else could you do with a quarter million dollars? Start a business? Buy a home? Feed the hungry?

Your reasons for getting a PhD are where you’ll find the answer to whether it’s worth the cost. If you’re confident your research could contribute to advances in developing a cure for cancer and youwant to contribute what you can no matter the cost, it may be worth spending the money to get a PhD. If you’re deeply passionate about a certain subject and feel it’s your life purpose to ignite the same passion in young minds, getting a PhD may be the perfect choice for you.

But if you’re doing it to get a promotion or a better job, you might be better off looking into other options. In these cases, a PhD may not be worth the cost.

Steve Tippins

Steve Tippins, PhD, has thrived in academia for over thirty years. He continues to love teaching in addition to coaching recent PhD graduates as well as students writing their dissertations. Learn more about his dissertation coaching and career coaching services. Book a Free Consultation with Steve Tippins

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Cost to Attend

Ph.d. students, master's students, other cost information, explanation of fees.

NOTE: All numbers below require annual approval by the Board of Trustees

Last updated: January 5th, 2024

Students must be registered each fall and spring semester until all degree requirements are completed. In some cases, they may also need to be registered for a summer term ( see policy ). For each term in which students are registered, they are charged the following tuition and fees. Rates are subject to change each year. Tuition typically increases by no more than 4 percent per academic year.

Generally speaking, The Graduate School covers the tuition and fees for a Ph.D. student’s first five years. After that, students are responsible for tuition and fees, and most students obtain external or departmental funding that helps cover those costs. The Graduate School also covers health insurance for years 1-6 if students choose the Duke student medical insurance plan. Visit our Statistics section to see the typical time to completion for your degree program.

More details on financial support for Ph.D. students

2024-2025 Estimated Cost of Attendance for Ph.D. Students in Years 1-3

Note: Tuition, fees, and health insurance (for the Duke student medical insurance plan) in years 1-3 are generally covered by The Graduate School's financial support package .

2024-2025 Estimated Cost of Attendance for Ph.D. Students in Years 4+

Note: The Graduate School's financial support package generally covers tuition and fees for years 4-5, as well as health insurance (for the Duke student medical insurance plan) for years 4-6. Starting in year 6, students are responsible for tuition and fees, and most of our students obtain external or departmental funding to help cover those costs. Duke also provides sixth-year tuition and fees scholarships for students who applied for but did not obtain external or departmental tuition-and-fees support.

Master's students are required to enroll in and pay tuition for at least three semesters of full-time study. After that, they will be charged per credit ( per credit tuition rate for 24-25 estimated at $3,631 ). Master's summer tuition will be charged at the per-credit rate up to a maximum of one-half the fall/spring full-time tuition. 

Rates are subject to change each year. Tuition typically increases by no more than 4 percent per academic year.

Information on financial support for master's students

2024–2025 Estimated Cost of Attendance for DOMESTIC Master's Students

2024–2025 estimated cost of attendance for international master's students.

* – Estimated amounts due to bursar

Exceptions to the cost listed above

  • Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • MFA (Dance or Experimental and Documentary Arts)
  • Master of Arts in Bioethics and Science Policy

For all students: Estimated cost for room, food, transportation, personal, and miscellaneous: $2,994 per month

For international students:  

The chart below references funding required for international students to bring a spouse and/or dependent(s) into the United States while enrolled at Duke University Graduate School:

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PhD Program Costs

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Costs listed below reflect the 2024-2025 academic year.

Most of our PhD programs are fully funded, meaning that for 4-5 years, the program will pay for your tuition and fees, as well as provide you with a stipend. In 2024-25, the University minimum stipend is $38,000; some PhD programs provide more. After your guaranteed funding period, you may be responsible for paying reduced tuition and fees. These details can be explained by the PhD program to which you are applying. Living expenses and the cost of books should also be considered as you plan your budget for the academic year. 

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Tuition Costs & Fees

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About Graduate Tuition and Fees

Our Office of the Registrar website has a detailed break-down of fees, depending on which type of graduate degree you’re pursuing.

The tuition, fees, and charges are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures are not final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by state funding reductions. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus a student’s final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

Fees include student services fees, tuition, campus fee, class pass transit fee, health insurance, nonresident fees (if applicable), document management fees and other fees related to your specific type of degree.

Beyond tuition, you’ll need to factor in supplies and lab fees and also be aware that several professional degree programs are subject to different tuition and fee schedules.

The cost of living in the Bay Area, which is significantly higher than the national average, is balanced by the considerable advantages of attending a world-class institution in proximity to vibrant hubs of innovation. While your personal expense budget (including housing, food and transportation) is up to you, you can expect to pay upwards of $28,000 or more per year .

But don’t be put off.  Financial aid, fellowships and teaching appointments can reduce these costs and cover the cost of tuition and fees for many Berkeley graduate students. The Graduate Division can help you navigate your funding options.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a PhD in Psychology?

how much does phd school cost

Key Takeaways

  • Universities often offer PhD students tuition waivers and stipends to help them cover tuition costs.
  • It is typical for PhD students to work as teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or at other positions within the university.
  • Public universities are generally the lowest cost option for PhD in psychology students.

While a PhD in psychology can set you up for success for the rest of your life, the associated costs of this degree might turn away many prospective students. If the question “How much does it cost to get a PhD in psychology?” has ever popped up in your head, today is your lucky day because you’re about to get your answer!

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Featured Programs

How much does it cost to get a phd in psychology.

The average cost of earning a PhD in psychology ranges from $500 to $1500 per credit hour, excluding personal expenses. The median program costs lie between $30,000 to $50,000 per year, making the degree a huge investment. With most programs requiring 60 to 90 hours, you can expect to spend at least 4-7 years at university before you graduate.

In addition to the tuition costs , other expenses like textbooks and supplies, living costs, and healthcare may add up to a significant amount. When picking out a psychology doctorate program, it’s important to factor in the additional costs. Once the expense sheet is ready, you can decide whether a PhD is worth the shot.

The good news is that, in most cases, you don’t have to bear the full tuition fee. Instead, universities often offer PhD students tuition waivers and stipends to help them cover the heavy costs. Your best bet is to check for these funding opportunities beforehand so that paying for your doctorate doesn’t interfere with your academic journey.

Factors that Influence the Cost of a PhD in Psychology

When it comes to the costs associated with a PhD program, there’s no one-size-fits-all situation. Luckily, the price tag of the doctorate isn’t set in stone. How much you’ll pay for it depends on a number of factors, some of which we have highlighted below:

Books and Materials

After the hefty tuition costs, the next big expense includes textbooks and supplies, which fluctuate based on the specific requirements of your chosen discipline.

For instance, when pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology , you might need to invest in numerous books, journals, and therapy manuals. On the other hand, for industrial-organizational psychology, you might have to spend on surveys, data analysis software, or organizational assessments.

Regardless of your field of specialization in psychology , you’ll need specific materials and resources for research and study. However, just like other disciplines, most schools offer support to cut down on these expenses either through funding or by allowing access to institutional resources.  

Health and Living

When pursuing a PhD in psychology, it’s important to consider the costs associated with daily life and healthcare. These expenses vary depending on where you choose to study. For instance, major cities in the US tend to have much higher living costs as compared to suburban areas.

While city life offers greater access to resources, research opportunities, and lifestyle choices, it often comes with a hefty price tag. However, you may offset these costs by the annual stipends offered by your school. These stipends help cover living and healthcare expenses so you can focus on research without the financial strain.

Cost of Dissertation

Another critical factor to look for when planning on pursuing a PhD in psychology is the cost of a dissertation. For instance, if your research requires specialized equipment, data collection, or compensation for the participants, these expenses may quickly add up. Your expenses also depend on whether you choose to conduct experiments, surveys, or interviews.

To avoid straining your pocket, it’s important to budget for these expenses and explore research grants or departmental support ahead of time.

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The costs you’ll bear for the doctorate also depend on the duration of your degree. Many PhD programs in psychology offer funding for a limited amount of time, typically around four to five years. However, if you require more time to complete your degree, you still have options to secure additional funding.

One common avenue is graduate student employment, such as teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or other positions within the university. You may also apply for “finishing fellowships” to help cover your expenses while you focus on the final stages of your degree.

Type of Institution

On average, tuition at public institutions tends to be lower, averaging around $11,554 per year. In contrast, tuition at private institutions is higher, averaging around $20,015 per year. This huge difference indicates that your decision on the type of institution to attend will play a significant role in deciding the financial burden you’ll carry while earning a PhD in psychology.

When considering your options, it’s best to know the type of institution you wish to attend and explore their aid opportunities. This is because most schools offering PhD in psychology may be way cheaper than the others.

Top Schools for PhD in Psychology

Fortunately, the US is home to some of the leading universities that offer PhD programs in psychology. Depending on your requirements, you may look into factors like program length, tuition fees, and accreditation prior to deciding which school to attend.

To save you the legwork, we have reviewed the top schools for PhD in psychology and highlighted the critical factors to consider:

Stanford University

  • #4 50 Best Private Colleges and Universities for Undergrads 2024
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Tuition + fees

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Career Outlook for Psychology degree at Stanford University

Stanford University  is one of the top schools in the US offering a PhD program in psychology. The program offers a deep understanding of theoretical and empirical concepts and helps students cultivate independent research and analytical skills. At SU, academic courses, seminars, and research experiences go hand in hand.

To fulfill the requirements, PhD students need to complete five quarters of teaching assistantship (TA) under the supervision of faculty members. This provides valuable teaching experience and countless opportunities to mentor. Stanford University’s psychology department also actively collaborates with other departments to create a diverse academic environment.

  • Program duration: 5 years (full-time)
  • Accreditation: Yes (WSCUC)
  • Tracks: Affective, Cognitive, Developmental, Neuroscience, or Social Psychology

When it comes to tuition fees at Stanford, here’s what you can expect:

  • 8-10 units ($12,240) 11-18 units ($18,829)
  • Each Graduate unit above 18 ( $1,255 per unit)
  • 1-7 units (Summer only) $1,224 per unit

Harvard University

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Career Outlook for Psychology degree at Harvard University

Harvard University  offers a comprehensive PhD program emphasizing four key areas: Clinical Science, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, and Cognition, Brain, and Behavior (CBB). These tracks offer students ample opportunities to explore different research topics and complete their dissertations in their preferred subjects.

What makes Harvard stand out is the university’s commitment to providing full financial support to its PhD students for a minimum of five years. These funds cover tuition costs, health insurance fees, and basic living expenses. Since the faculty has a proven track record of publication in various journals, you can expect to be under the guidance of field experts at Harvard.  

  • Program duration: 4-6 years
  • Accreditation: Yes (New England Commission of Higher Education) 
  • Tracks: Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Cognition, Brain, and Behavior (CBB).

When it comes to tuition fees at Harvard University, here’s what you can expect:

  • Full Tuition -  Required first two years of study ($54,032)
  • Reduced Tuition - Required third and fourth years of study ($14,048)
  • Facilities Fee - Required post-fourth year of study ($3,574)
  • Active File Fee - Minimum charge for approved non-resident status ($300)

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University of Washington

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Career Outlook for Psychology degree at University of Washington

The PhD in psychology program at the University of Washington  is highly flexible and designed to gear you up for various career pathways in research. At its core, the program is mentor-based, so students can receive one-on-one attention from experts in the field. As a prospective PhD student, it’s best to identify potential mentors with expertise in your areas of interest.

Once admitted, you can join hands with your faculty members to dig deeper into the subject you have chosen. While the Department of Psychology at UW offers seven general areas of study, you can only pick one area to pursue. However, it’s worth noting that a PhD degree at the University of Washington typically requires a longer duration than other institutions.

  • Program duration: 6-7 years
  • Tuition fee: $18,057 (residents) and $31,530 (nonresidents) 
  • Accreditation: Yes (NWCCU)
  • Tracks: Clinical Psychology, Data Science, Advanced Data Science, Psychology and Astrobiology

Yale University

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Career Outlook for Psychology degree at Yale University

At Yale University , the primary goal of a doctorate in psychology is to train researchers for both academic and applied settings. The aim is to foster individuals who contribute to the expansion of the field of psychology. The university typically admits around 15 students each year who may select one of the five psychology tracks to pursue.

The best part? At Yale, you may also participate in programs that go beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries, such as cognitive, affective, and social neuroscience, as well as health sciences.

  • Program duration: 5 years
  • Tuition fee: $48,300
  • Accreditation: Yes (New England Association of Schools and Colleges)
  • Tracks: Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Neuroscience, and Social/Personality Psychology

University of California, Berkeley

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Career Outlook for Psychology degree at University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley , has a PhD program in psychology that strongly focuses on research and offers six tracks, each with minor specializations. Among these tracks, the Clinical Science track is the hardest to secure a spot in.

If you’re worried about costs, UC Berkeley offers funding through different internal awards to ease your financial burden. It also has external support sources like the National Science Foundation and a bunch of extramural fellowships to ensure you have the financial resources necessary to pursue your research.

  • Accreditation: Yes (WASC)  
  • Tracks: Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience, Clinical Science, Cognition, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental, and Social-Personality

When it comes to tuition fees at University of California, here’s what you can expect:

  • California residents - $5,850
  • Non-residents - $5,850

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Financial Aid Programs for Students Enrolling in a PhD in Psychology

If you’re on a budget, earning a PhD in psychology is still possible with the available financial aid options . More often than not, universities and research departments offer teaching or research assistantships as well. Military aid, federal aid, and government scholarships can also help reduce the financial burden. Here’s a list of financial aid programs you can pick from:

Graduate Assistantships

Most universities offering a PhD in psychology also offer graduate assistantship programs. These programs provide tuition waivers and stipends for students undertaking duties such as teaching, research, or monitoring the admin department. These assistantships are a win-win, easing the financial strain while providing years of professional experience to students.

Federal Aid Programs

Alternatively, you may utilize federal aid programs  like the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to get loans, grants, or work-study benefits.  Once you understand how these government initiatives work, it becomes simpler to get financial support to pursue your PhD in psychology.

Employer-Sponsored Assistance

While not many are aware of it, employer-sponsored assistance is highly popular among candidates pursuing a doctorate in psychology. Luckily, many organizations provide financial support for employees, which is worth exploring. This way, you can complete your degree while your employer looks after your professional development expenses.

Scholarships

You may also opt for scholarships and grants provided by many foundations, particularly to benefit psychology students. Research institutes like the American Psychological Association (APA) and other psychological foundations often open up scholarship opportunities. To maximize your chances of acquiring one, make sure your application stands out!

Private Loans

Once you’ve exhausted other options, you can turn to private loans to pay for your degree. However, don’t forget to thoroughly review terms and conditions, interest rates, and repayment plans before considering this option. Then, compare the benefits and drawbacks to see whether it’s worth it.

Related Questions

Is getting a phd worth it for psychology.

Yes, particularly if you’re more focused on the financial aspects of the journey. The average salary of a PhD psychologist  is around $115,454. Individuals with a doctorate in psychology have a higher earning potential than those with a master’s or bachelor’s degree in the field, making a PhD worthwhile.

How long does it take to complete a doctorate degree in psychology?

Once you’re done with a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field, a doctorate in psychology takes you anywhere between  4 and 7 years. However, if you have a master’s degree, your timeframe may be shortened by a few months.

Are there any doctorate psychology programs that are accelerated?

Yes. While the average time to earn a PhD in psychology may take anywhere from six to ten years, it’s possible to accelerate this timeframe. There are plenty of online doctoral degree programs in psychology  that can significantly shorten the time to complete your psychology PhD .

While the question, “How much does it cost to get a PhD in psychology?” can’t be answered with a specific number, we hope this article has given you a fair idea of what it could cost you. If you’re on a budget, we highly recommend thoroughly researching and evaluating different schools and programs before you make a final decision. Remember, there’s various ways to reduce costs. In the end, this degree is highly likely to get you excellent ROI!

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Tuition and Fees Overview

The Bloomberg School operates on academic terms, instead of semesters. 

a term is eight weeks (about half a typical semester) 

the traditional  Academic Year  is four terms (August to May) 

Full-time status requires registering for 12 or more credits per term. Registering for 11 or fewer credits per term is defined as part-time status. 

Tuition is assessed per term by the  Office of Student Accounts & Business Services . Review the grid below to estimate the cost of your  program . 

Student Accounts also has information regarding  non-degree applications ,  payment due dates and payment options .  

Merit  Scholarships  are awarded by the academic departments. The  Financial Aid Office  provides assistance with need-based grants, federal and private loans, and the Federal Work-Study Program. The Financial Aid Office also calculates the Cost of Attendance , which includes direct and indirect costs.

BLOOMBERG SCHOOL TUITION 2024-2025

Tuition rates for the following academic year are reassessed and approved each spring. Each year, the Board of Trustees vote to increase tuition 2-4%. 

Breakdown by Program Type including Scholarships

Expand the appropriate degree program to learn about scholarship opportunities for that particular degree.

(80-credit program, students have up to 4 years to complete the program) 

(48.5-50.5 credit programs, students can complete the programs in 2-4 years)  

(64 credit program, students can complete the program in 4-9 years) 

Tuition for Certificates

  • Part-time BSPH degree students and non-degree students pursuing a certificate program pay the Bloomberg School's part-time per credit tuition rate, multiplied by the number of academic credit units taken for the certificate program; all certificate programs require a minimum of 18 academic credits, and many programs require more than 18 credits. 
  • Non-Degree Students enrolled in the School’s 3 OPAL certificate programs will receive the OPAL scholarship.
  • Part-time BSPH degree students and non-degree students who take 12 or more academic credits in one term will be charged the School’s  full-time tuition rate for their enrollment for that term. That is, they will be charged the full-time rate, rather than being charged for course credits individually.
  • The BSPH tuition rate for future academic years may be different from the current rate, so students who will require more than one academic year to complete their certificate program should anticipate that the cost per academic credit may vary in future academic years. 

Full-time BSPH degree-seeking students who have matriculated into an academic degree program at BSPH do not pay additional tuition for certificate courses, with the exception of Institute courses, whose costs are typically separate from degree program costs. 

Full-time students enrolled in a degree-program at another division of JHU should check with the Office of Records and Registration at their primary school of record to obtain information about the number of courses they may take at BSPH and the cost associated with those courses.

Summer, Fall, and Winter Institute Tuition

Students taking Summer, Fall and/or Winter Institute courses for academic credit must pay the  Bloomberg School's part-time per credit tuition rate, multiplied by the number of academic credit units taken.

For Summer Institute courses in 2024, the tuition rate is $1,374/credit.

Full-time students in BSPH academic degree programs must pay for enrollments in Summer and Winter Institute courses separately, and in addition to their full-time tuition. Full-time students enrolling in up to 11 credits will pay per credit, and students enrolling in 12 or more credits will pay a flat rate.

Fall Institute Non-credit rate: 140 euros or approximately $154.00 per day/credit

Winter Institute 2024 Non-credit rate: $661 per credit

Summer Institutes 2024 Non-credit Rate: The non-credit rate for participants in Summer Institutes courses in 2024 is $687 per credit. Individual Summer Institutes may offer scholarships for courses taken not for academic credit, and information about these scholarships is listed on the individual Summer Institute webpages .

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Bloomberg school fees 2024-2025, estimated cost of attendance for 2024-2025.

The estimated cost of attendance at the Bloomberg School includes direct expenses, (tuition and fees) which are billed by the School, and indirect expenses for estimated living costs. The living allowance below is developed in compliance with federal regulations for determining eligibility for federal student aid (loans and work-study funding). These values should only be used as an estimate. Your actual costs will vary based upon needed books, supplies, and living arrangements.  Students with special circumstances for unanticipated expenses (see the FA-Budget Adjustment Request Form for examples) can request a budget adjustment to their cost of attendance that may allow for additional federal loan borrowing eligibility.

Costs are subject to change without prior notice.

*Full-time = 12+ credits; Half-time = 6 credits - minimum term enrollment required for federal loans.

** If you are a student living in housing on a military base or for which you receive a basic allowance under section 403(b) of title 37 of the United States Code, please contact SEAM to discuss how this may affect your cost of attendance.

*** Average Loan Fees of up to $1,723, depending on the loan amount, will be added for federal loan borrowers.

Graduate Education

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  • For the current cost of attendance at Georgia Tech and a national Net Price Calculator, please visit the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid website.
  • Information about exact costs of tuition are available on the Bursar’s website where you can also find details about payment deadlines and payment options .
  • For more information about residency for tuition classification, visit the Registrar’s website .

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Graduate Program Cost of Attendance

The average cost of attendance budgets for graduate programs can be accessed by clicking the respective academic year in the area below. The cost of attendance is based on the number of credit hours for which you enroll in each semester. 

how much does phd school cost

  • How Much Does a PhD Cost in the UK?
  • Funding a PhD

Choosing to dedicate the next few years of your life towards a PhD is no light decision. Not only will it require you to dedicate an extensive amount of your personal time, but you’ll also need to consider how you’ll fund it. This raises the question, how much does a PhD cost in the UK?

The cost of a PhD can be divided into three key areas; tuition fees, living expenses and research expenditures. The combined cost of these are approximately  £20,000 per year  for UK students and can increase to over  £40,000 per year  for international students. A more in-depth breakdown of these costs can be found below. We’ve also compared these costs to other countries and outlined the various methods available to you to fund your PhD studies.

Tuition Fees

For UK ‘home’ students, the tuition fee for a PhD varies between £3,000 to £6,000 per academic year. For 2023/24 programmes, most universities opt for £4,712 per year within this range. Although this number may seem a little odd, it’s commonly adopted due to being the indicative rate set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) for UK universities.

International Fees

Unlike for UK applicants, the rates for international students don’t align with the indicative level set by UKRI. Following the implementation of Brexit, EU students now follow the same fee rates as other international students. International students will find that their tuition fees are higher than those of home students. For example, at the time of writing, the average annual PhD tuition charge at the University of Dundee is £4,825 for home students undertaking an Engineering PhD. This same average is £25,305 for international students.

International applicants will also find that the fee for PhDs in STEM subjects are greater than those in non-STEM subjects. For example, at the University of Bristol, a doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering costs £25,300 per year whilst a doctorate in Medieval Studies costs £20,100 per year.

To summarise, international students can expect a tuition fee of between £16,000 to £25,000 per year, with an average of around £19,600 per academic year. Non-STEM subjects will generally be at the lower end of the range, whilst STEM subjects will be at the higher end of the range.

Part-time Fees

The above fees are based on full-time postgraduate study. If you’re doing a part-time PhD, you can expect the fee to be half of these amounts. Although this may appear to be a cheaper option, keep in mind that the average duration of part-time PhDs are twice that of full-time PhDs. Therefore, the total tuition cost will amount to the same value and the end of both courses.

Other Degree-related Costs

Research support fees.

If your research project requires a high use of consumables, equipment or other resources, you may have to support the cost of these through an additional annual fee. This additional annual fee, often referred to as either a ‘research support’ or ‘bench’ fee, often apply to laboratory-based STEM research projects. Bench fees vary between different projects, even those within the same field. Therefore, it is best to speak to the admissions team on a project-by-project basis to receive anything useful.

Another cost you will need to account for is travelling. As part of your degree, many supervisors will expect you to attend conferences, training workshops, or other collaboration opportunities. As a result, you will often need to travel to various destinations which aren’t always limited to the UK. Although some programmes will cover these costs, it’s not unheard of that some positions will expect you to fund this yourself. It’s impossible to put a value on this, as the extent of travel depends on each project. Therefore, it would be wise to speak with the admissions team and current PhD students. They can provide you with an accurate estimate and let you know whether the university will cover the expenses.

Overtime Period Fee

When you’re enrolled into a PhD programme, you will be given a period to complete your PhD within. This period is known as your ‘registration period’ and is usually 3-4 years for a full-time PhD and 6-7 years for a part-time PhD. If you’re given an extension due to not completing your PhD study within this time, you will need to pay an overtime registration fee. Although the amount depends on each university, the University of Leeds sets theirs as £290 for 2023/24.

Living Costs

From a 2022 survey of over 2,300 university students , the average living cost, covering expenditures such as rent, bills, food and recreation, was £924 per month. This equates to £11,088 per year.

Although this is an average cost, your true cost of living will depend on your location. Living in major cities such as London will draw significantly higher rent and travel costs than living in more rural locations. Although your living situation will in large be driven by the university you undertake your PhD with, you should factor it in when deciding which universities to apply to.

To put this into perspective, the survey average of £11,088 per year uses a rent average of £418 per month. In London, this average increases to £650 a month and can surpass £1,000 if staying in university halls or private student accommodation. This is supported by University College London (UCL) who state you should expect an average rent of £1,028 per month if living in private accommodation around their university.

Tip  – You can use this handy calculator for an estimated average cost of living for any UK university. All you need to do is select the university, and the calculator does all the rest.

If you’re an international student, you should factor in return flights back home. Although this may seem like a small expenditure compared to tuition fees and rent, they can add up quickly depending on the frequency and distance of your trip.

Finding a PhD has never been this easy – search for a PhD by keyword, location or academic area of interest.

How to Fund Your PhD

Studentships.

A studentship is a form of scholarship for doctoral students. They can either be partially funded, which cover tuition fees only, or fully funded, which also covers living costs through a ‘stipend’.

Studentships can be found in various places. Research Councils (RCUK) and European Social Fund (ESF) make funding available to university departments, who in turn make the funding available to doctoral students. Therefore, you will find that there are many postgraduate funding opportunities available to you, with the best places to look being the RCUK and ESF websites and the university departments themselves. External institutions which focus on research and development such as research trusts and charities would also be a useful place to look for a funded PhD.

Doctoral Loans

If you’re a UK student, you may qualify for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan from Student Finance England. This form of financial aid is available for nearly all postgraduate research degrees undertaken in a higher education setting. They will allow you to borrow up to a total of £28,673 for 2023/24 courses .

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Graduate Teaching Assistantships are a form of studentships which allow you to teach undergraduates as part of your research degree. This not only helps improve your academic skills, but it also enables you to receive a salary whilst you’re studying. As well as teaching assistantships, some departments also provide opportunities for demonstrations, marking papers, and tutorial support. The amount you can earn through these schemes will depend on how many hours you work and what agreements you make with your supervisor or course leader.

Working Whilst You Study – Part-time PhDs

A research student may opt for a part-time PhD as opposed to a full-time one. Although this would double the duration of their studies, it allows them to take on a part-time job to improve their financial situation. For students going down this route, it would be highly beneficial to pick up a part-time role in a position related to your industry. This will help refine your skills and increase your employability within this career role should you choose to pursue it after your degree.

If you’re an international student, keep in mind that you’ll likely be on a study visa. Therefore, there’ll be certain restrictions on what you can and can’t do alongside your study.

How Does This Compare to the Fees in Other Countries?

When considering the tuition fee of PhDs across different countries, the United Kingdom is generally considered as being in the ‘middle-ground‘ region.

A handful of countries offer PhD programmes for free. These include, but are not limited to, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Norway and Poland.

The middle-ground region comprises countries such as Austria, Spain, Russia and New Zealand where postgraduate fees range from £1,400 to £4,000 per academic year.

The upper-end region comprises countries such as Hong Kong and the United States, where postgraduate tuition fees for a PhD student can go up to £33,000 per year.

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  3. Which project should you choose for your PhD?

  4. Does university rank matter? (as a PhD)

  5. How to find PhD in Finland / Requirements / Benefits / Salaries of Researcher / Study in Finland

  6. Masters and Phd school application in the US

COMMENTS

  1. How Much Does a Ph.D. Cost?

    On average, the total cost comes out to $40,900 per year, including tuition and living expenses. [1] Students typically take 4-8 years to finish a Ph.D. program, so a doctoral degree can cost anywhere from $163,600-$327,200 before grants and assistantships. But you won't necessarily end up paying that total cost yourself.

  2. Do PhD Students Pay Tuition? Unpacking the Cost of a PhD

    Tuition and fees are typically the most substantial expense. How much you pay depends on the institution offering the program and the field of study you choose. According to the Education Data Initiative, the average cost of a PhD specifically is $106,860, while the average cost of a doctorate degree in general is higher at $150,835.

  3. Tuition, Funding, & Living Costs

    Tuition for full-time study at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in the academic year 2023-2024 is $48,300. More information on Tuition & Fees is available in our Programs & Policies handbook. Please note that we do not charge many of the fees common to other schools (e.g., technology fee, library fee, gym fee, student activities fee).

  4. Tuition and Costs

    Summary (PDF) of tuition and cost information for the current 2023-2024 academic year. FULL-TIME STUDENTS. Per Academic Year. $60,102. PART-TIME STUDENTS. Per Academic Year. $30,051. STUDENT ACTIVITY FEE. Per Academic Year.

  5. How Much Does a PhD Cost?

    It usually takes around eight years to earn a PhD at an average tuition cost of 81,000 . The true cost of a PhD is very dependent on the following factors: Choice of school. Field of study. Type of PhD. Location of school. Dollar amount of student loans.

  6. How Much Does a PhD Cost?

    The average annual cost of a PhD is $32,846. [1] Program-based funding may include a stipend, a tuition waiver, and even benefits like health insurance. Elements such as choice of school, program length, and housing costs will play into the overall price of earning your degree. 30% of professional practice doctoral programs have annual tuition ...

  7. Doctoral Programs

    A doctoral degree is a significant investment in your future, and financing your education is a critical factor to consider. While the funding we provide covers the basic standard cost of attendance determined by Stanford University for a modest life as a graduate student, accepting an offer from a doctoral program has significant personal, professional, and financial implications. Below you ...

  8. PhD in USA

    In general, however, the typical annual tuition fee for a PhD in the US is between $12,000 and $45,000 per academic year. As with any doctoral degree, additional costs may include travel for collaborations, bench fees, accommodation and living expenses. A PhD in USA takes 5-6 years, costs between $12-45k per year and has a different structure ...

  9. How Much Does a PhD Cost?

    The average cost of a PhD program is $30,000 per year, which comes to a grand total of $240,000 over the course of eight years. Almost a quarter of a million dollars. Of course, this is just the average cost of a PhD-chances are your specific program will cost either more or less, and you might not take as long to finish.

  10. Tuition, Fees, and Ph.D. Stipends

    Summer Term - 3 Months June to August. 9,650. 10,000. Per Month. 3,216.67. 3,333.33. View full cost to attend . * - Projected rates for tuition, fees, and stipends are tentative and subject to change. ** - For longer term projections, the tuition remission rate can be assumed to increase 0.7% per year.

  11. Cost to Attend

    2024-2025 Estimated Cost of Attendance for Ph.D. Students in Years 4+ Note: The Graduate School's financial support package generally covers tuition and fees for years 4-5, as well as health insurance (for the Duke student medical insurance plan) for years 4-6. Starting in year 6, students are responsible for tuition and fees, and most of our students obtain external or departmental funding to ...

  12. Cost of your graduate degree, what to stream, explore the legacy of

    The American Psychological Foundation's new $1,000 Gold Medal Award for Impact in Psychology recognizes the work of a psychologist—or group of psychologists—in any career stage and from any field of psychology whose work is innovative and transformational or has led to an important change. Self-nominations are not accepted.

  13. PhD Program Costs

    Costs listed below reflect the 2024-2025 academic year. Most of our PhD programs are fully funded, meaning that for 4-5 years, the program will pay for your tuition and fees, as well as provide you with a stipend. In 2024-25, the University minimum stipend is $38,000; some PhD programs provide more.

  14. Cost

    Cost. At the University of Florida, a quality graduate education comes with an affordable price tag. So much so, in fact, that the 2023 Value Colleges ratings rank it Number 8 out of the 15 best value graduate schools among top-tier private and public research universities in the United States.

  15. Tuition Costs & Fees

    While your personal expense budget (including housing, food and transportation) is up to you, you can expect to pay upwards of $28,000 or more per year. But don't be put off. Financial aid, fellowships and teaching appointments can reduce these costs and cover the cost of tuition and fees for many Berkeley graduate students.

  16. Tuition and Cost of Attendance

    The cost of attendance will be determined by your school affiliation, program and campus. To view the full schedule of tuition and fees. ... The School of Graduate Studies provides personalized academic support for approximately 5,200 Rutgers students enrolled in more than 150 doctoral, master's, and dual degree programs across New Brunswick ...

  17. How Much Does It Cost to Get a PhD in Psychology?

    The average cost of earning a PhD in psychology ranges from $500 to $1500 per credit hour, excluding personal expenses. The median program costs lie between $30,000 to $50,000 per year, making the degree a huge investment.

  18. Tuition and Fees

    Health Clinic Fee. $850. ($212.50 per term; first 4 terms) Assessed quarterly (first four terms) in the amount of $212.50 to all full-time students with or without the student health plan. It is assessed to offset the cost associated with health insurance. (Please note: This fee is non-refundable and is subject to change.)

  19. Cost & Fees

    For the current cost of attendance at Georgia Tech and a national Net Price Calculator, please visit the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid website.; Information about exact costs of tuition are available on the Bursar's website where you can also find details about payment deadlines and payment options.; For more information about residency for tuition classification, visit the ...

  20. Graduate Program Cost of Attendance

    Graduate Program Cost of Attendance. The average cost of attendance budgets for graduate programs can be accessed by clicking the respective academic year in the area below. The cost of attendance is based on the number of credit hours for which you enroll in each semester. 2023 - 2024 Graduate Program Cost of Attendance. 2024 - 2025 ...

  21. How Much Does a PhD Cost in the UK?

    For UK 'home' students, the tuition fee for a PhD varies between £3,000 to £6,000 per academic year. For 2023/24 programmes, most universities opt for £4,712 per year within this range. Although this number may seem a little odd, it's commonly adopted due to being the indicative rate set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) for UK ...

  22. The Chicago School Cost Calculator

    The Chicago School Cost Calculator. Cost Calculator. Fill in the fields below to calculate the estimated costs for one year of enrollment in a program at The Chicago School for the 2023-2024 school year ( two semesters ). Tuition & Fees. Tuition & fees are direct costs, meaning that these will be billed to you through the school.