The Graduate School is dedicated to helping students secure funding during their time spent at MSU. Graduate students finance their education through a variety of assistantships, fellowships and other funding opportunities. This page provides a list of valuable resources to help ease the financial burden of graduate school and allow you to focus on your research and coursework.

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Internal Fellowship and Funding Opportunities
External Fellowship & Funding Opportunities
Graduate Assistantships

Apply for Scholarships 

Cat $cholarships is the MSU online scholarship platform that is used for most MSU scholarships.

Only  accepted MSU students will be able to use Cat $cholarships online applications.


  Internal Fellowship and Funding Opportunities Include:

Opportunity Description, Deadline & Contact Information

The application period which opened January 1 has closed. The next application period will open April 1.


Professional Advancement Grants

Professional Advancement Grants (formerly known as Travel Awards) are available for the 2020-2021 academic year. The funds can be used to partially support travel opportunities for existing MSU Bozeman graduate students from any department, to present posters, performances, or orally on their scholarship findings at professional conferences and workshops or to conduct scholarship.

Grants will open on 1 January, 1 April, 1 July, and 1 October and will stay open until funds are exhausted. 

The application period which opened January 1 has closed. The next application period will open April 1.

Graduate students must be considered in good standing. 

There are two levels of grants

  • Standard Professional Advancement Grants: An award up to $500 and require documentation of presenting your scholarship as well as advisor approval. These will be awarded every 3 months on a first come, first served basis.
  • Dean's Professional Advancement Grants: There are fewer of these and they aremore competitive, with an award up to $1000 and require a student written essay. Preference will be given to those students not supported on GRAs since GRA-supported students may have more access to travel funds from their advisor.

For further information, contact: Anna Denham, Administrative Associate: or 406.994.4145.

Meritorious Award

Students may not apply for this award. They must be nominated by their department.

The Graduate School requests nominations for the Meritorious Award. Eligible nominees include potential PhD student who have applied to a PhD program.

There is no limit to the number of nominations per degree program, however all nominees must have applied to a graduate degree program at the time of submitting a nomination. The award is for new graduate students.

For further information, contact: Anna Denham, Administrative Associate: or 406.994.4145.

Mildred Livingston Presidential Award

Students may not apply for this award. They must be nominated by their department

The Graduate School requests nominations for the Mildred Livingston Presidential Award. Eligible nominees include all potential graduate students who have applied to a graduate degree program. 

There is no limit to the number of nominations per degree program, however all nominees must have applied to a graduate degree program at the time of submitting a nomination. The award is for new graduate students.

For further information, contact: Anna Denham, Administrative Associate: or 406.994.4145.

Ph.D. Enhancement Funds for GTA Lines

Students may not apply for this award. They must be nominated by their department.

The Graduate School requests nominations for Ph.D. Enhancement Funds, for the purpose of assisting in enrollment growth and increasing Ph.D. productivity, while enhancing the academic preparation of Ph.D. students. Each line will have an $18,000 AY stipend with expected average of 19 hours of work per week. 

For further information, contact: Lauren Cerretti ( or (406) 994-5312

We are not currently accepting proposals. 

PhD Dissertation Completion Award

The Graduate School is currently not accepting applications for the Ph.D. Dissertation Completion Award. The next award cycle will be for Fall 2020 completions and the application will open in summer.

For further information, contact: Anna Denham, Administrative Associate: or 406.994.4145.

Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership

Students may not apply for this award. They will be invited to apply

Indigenous (Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian – U.S. Citizenship) graduate students pursuing degrees in STEM at MSU are eligible to apply for the scholarship program established by the A.P. Sloan Foundation. 

Please click on the link to the left or contact Dr. Barbara Komlos,, 406-994-4206, for general information.

 McNair MSU

Students must work with admitting department in order to apply for this award.

The Graduate School offers past McNair scholars an opportunity to apply for an application fee waiver and/or tuition waivers to be used at Montana State University.

For further information, contact: Melis Edwards, The Director of Graduate Admissions: or 406.994.6329.

 Bridge Tuition Waiver Request

Students may not apply for this award. Faculty must apply and specify the specific student. 

The Graduate School will consider bridge tuition waiver requests when an investigator’s funded project has not been renewed and temporary support is needed to support an existing graduate student who was to be supported by the unfunded grant. Faculty who can submit a request for bridge tuition waivers must be productive researchers who are in-between grants. Bridge tuition waiver requests are not intended to support new projects, new graduate students, or to be used as match.

The Graduate School will evaluate the request as quickly as possible and notify the requesting faculty of the decision.

 Washington Fellowship

The Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation Native American Graduate Fellowship will be awarded to an MSU graduate student who is an enrolled member of a Montana Native American Tribe and a resident of the State of Montana. Students can be pursuing a graduate degree in ANY discipline at MSU. The award is $15,000 for the academic year. A recipient may reapply for a renewal up to 1 additional year for a master’s program and 2 additional years for a doctoral program.

Applicants will need to register and apply via Cat Scholarships website.

For additional information contact Dr. Barbara Komlos at The Graduate School at MSU, (406) 994.4206,

SPIN Alerts
  1. Go to
  2. Create an account under Montana State University.
  3. After creating an account, you will receive notification and email that a SPIN administrator must approve your account before moving forward. This should take about 24-28 hours.
  4. Once you receive approval of your account, login to your username and password.
  5. Add specific filters that are personalized towards the applicant by clicking under the search bar.
  6. After setting filters, you can select specific keywords that relate to your educational interests. Above the search bar, click ‘select keywords’ and choose the options that pertain to your field of study then click ‘save selections and continue’.
  7. Click ‘locate funding’.
  8. At the top right corner click ‘save’, create a search name for your alerts and choose either HTML or plain text under ‘receive email updates’. This will set up your email notifications for specific funding that is directed towards your field of study. Under ‘update frequency’ you can either choose to get funding notifications either daily or weekly.
  9. You can set up multiple funding notifications with different keywords walking through the same process.


External Fellowship & Funding Opportunities Include:

Fellowship Description, Deadline & Contact Information

Idaho National Lab (INL) Graduate Fellowship Program

The INL Graduate Fellowship Program is designed to identify exceptional talent in research areas aligned with INL’s strategic agenda to enable the current and future mission of the Department of
Energy (DOE) and INL. INL Graduate Fellows will receive a commitment from both INL and their university with agreements to pay tuition and compensation, and to provide the student the opportunity to conduct research while earning their degree. For more information visit the INL website

Department of Energy's Office of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science accepts applications for the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program. The SCGSR program provides doctoral dissertation/thesis research opportunities for graduate students at DOE national laboratories. Details about the program and online application can be found at:

MD Anderson Cancer Center CPRIT TRIUMPH Fellowship

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center accepts applications for the CPRIT TRIUMPH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational Cancer Research. This three-year fellowship provides basic, translational, and clinical training and aims to further develop talented PhD or MD/PhDs into successful clinical/translational research scientists. Please check this link for additional information on the MD Anderson Cancer Center CPRIT TRIUMPH Fellowship regarding eligibility, application process, and current trainees and program alumni profiles.

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowships

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation offers fellowships to graduate students who will complete the writing of a dissertation within the award year. These fellowships of $20,000 each are designed to contribute to the support of the doctoral candidate to enable him or her to complete the dissertation in a timely manner and are only appropriate for students approaching the final year of their Ph.D. work.

Harvard Academy for International & Area Studies-Academy Scholars Program

The Academy Scholars Program identifies and supports outstanding scholars at the start of their careers whose work combines disciplinary excellence in the social sciences (including history and law) with a command of the language, history, or culture of non-Western countries or regions. Academy Scholars are appointed for two years by the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies and are provided time, guidance, and access to Harvard University facilities. They receive substantial financial and research assistance to undertake sustained projects of research and/or acquire accessory training in their chosen fields and areas. Please check this link for additional information or to apply for the Academy Scholars Program

Council of American Overseas Research Centers - website includes a listing of fellowships for those doing research abroad

The Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) fosters international scholarship, education and cultural dialogue. This private nonprofit federation of independent overseas research centers promotes advanced research, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, with a focus on the conservation and recording of cultural heritage and the understanding and interpretation of modern societies. CAORC offers research fellowships throughout the year to doctoral candidates, postdoctoral scholars and independent scholars.

Please check this link for a listing of fellowship opportunities.  

Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship Service Program

Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program. The purpose is to promote the education, recruitment and retention of outstanding graduate students in science, mathematics and engineering studies; the DoD is also interested in supporting the education of future scientists and engineers in a number of interdisciplinary areas.

Scholarships include a cash award of $25,000 to $41,000 per year, full tuition, health insurance and a book allowance. 

Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs - Predoctoral, Dissertation, & Postdoctoral

Predoctoral, Dissertation, and Postdoctoral fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation. Individuals committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level are encouraged to apply. The program is open to all U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and U.S. permanent residents, as well as individuals granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, political asylees and refugees, regardless of race, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation.

Awards will be made for study in research-based Ph.D. or Sc.D. programs; practice oriented degree programs are not eligible for support. Prospective applicants should read carefully the eligibility requirements, the terms of the fellowship awards, application instructions and other information pertaining to the individual fellowship (Predoctoral, Dissertation, or Postdoctoral) for which they are applying.

Online application opens in September and typically closes in December each year.
Visit the Ford Foundation Fellowships Program website.

National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship

The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship awards funding to U.S. citizens and nationals who are purusing a doctoral degree in one of fifteen supported disciplines at a U.S. institution.  

Application opens in September and typically close in December each year. Please check this link for further information and to apply for the NDSEG Fellowship. 

P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship (IPS)

P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship (IPS)

The International Peace Scholarship Fund, established in 1949, is a program which provides scholarships for selected women from other countries for graduate study in the United States and Canada. Members of P.E.O. believe that education is fundamental to world peace and understanding. The scholarship is based upon demonstrated need; however, the award is not intended to cover all academic or personal expenses.

At the time of application, the applicant is required to indicate additional financial resources adequate to meet her estimated expenses. Examples of additional resources are personal and family funds, tuition waivers, work scholarships, teaching assistantships, study grants and other scholarships.The maximum amount awarded to a student is $12,500. Lesser amounts may be awarded according to individual needs.


STEM Oral Communication Fellows

Applications are now being accepted for the first cohort of STEM Oral Communication Fellows. This fellowship is available for STEM graduate students who are beyond their second year of graduate studies. Questions? Contact PI Dr. Shannon Willoughby at

This grant is funded by NSF Grant 1735124.

Trialect Soliciting Applications for Research Fellowship Awards

To search for funding opportunities from grants to fellowships in the medical/health areas, visit the Trialect. (Click here to learn more about Trialect.)


The fellowship program annually awards five female postdoctoral scientists with grants of $60,000 each for their contributions in STEM fields and their commitment to serving as role models for younger generations. Candidates must have completed their Ph.D. and started in their postdoctoral research position by the application deadline. Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to apply. Visit the For Women In Science website to find out more. Award announcements are made each October.

Typical application Deadline: February 2. 

Institute for Humane Studies

The Institute for Humane Studies offers Conference & Research Grants of up to $750 to cover travel costs and fees for career-related expenses. 

Funds are awarded on a rolling basis to current graduate students advancing the principles of freedom through their career. 

Leo S. Rowe Pan American Fund: Funding Opportunity for Latin American and Caribbean Students Studying in the U.S.

The Rowe Fund is an educational loan program of the Organization of American States (OAS) that helps citizens from Latin America and Caribbean OAS Member States finance their studies or research in accredited universities across the United States by awarding interest-free loans of up to $15,000 dollars.

Applications are accepted and reviewed year-round. To find out more about the required documents and forms, review this list.

For additional information contact:



Graduate Assistantships