Mountain scene

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.

MSU Internal Fellowships & Funding Opportunities

Funding opportunites from MSU are available for graduate students and faculty working with graduate students.

The Graduate School is pleased to announce an internal competition for community building mini-grant. We will provide ~10 mini-grants of $500 each to graduate-student initiated projects that bring together students from either within your program or across programs.

All sorts of projects will get funded, ranging from community engagement, to outdoor activities, to professional development, to celebrations of different cultures or groups of students, to local meetups (still keeping physical distancing!) for students who are taking online graduate courses.

The deadline for submission is Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 5pm. For submission details and criteria, visit the Community Building Mini-Grant page.

MSU PhD students who will be in their final term of PhD research and dissertation writing can apply for a PhD Dissertation Completion Award. The expectation is that recipients of this award will graduate at the end of the term of the award. This will be a competitive process with a limited number of these awards for Spring 2021.

The award consists of a graduate research assistantship (GRA) for one term and includes a stipend of $1,751/month and an additional payment of $210/month for five (5) months, as well as a tuition waiver for three to six (3-6) credits. University fees and other fees are not included. As a GRA, the student will be represented by the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO).


  • The application is open to PhD candidates in any department at MSU-Bozeman.
  • Applicants must have completed all requirements for the PhD except the dissertation.
  • Applicants must have submitted an Graduation Application Form for a Spring 2021 intended graduation


  • Graduate students who hold teaching or research assistantships or who are employed by MSU in any capacity during the same time period.
  • Graduate students who have previously received a PhD Dissertation Completion Award.

Evaluation Criteria

  1. The impact that this award will have for the student and the degree to which it will assist the student in completing his/her PhD.
  2. Regular POS committee meetings.
  3. The student’s advisor and the members of the committee will provide input on how close the student is to completing the degree.
  4. The amount of funding available to the research advisor (per a check run by the Office of Sponsored Programs). Depending on available funding, the application may not be awarded or advisors may be asked to contribute up to three-quarters of the amount of the award.

If awarded, it is expected that:

  1. The recipient will meet with Director of Graduate Student Affairs to discuss plans for completing your dissertation
  2. The recipient will participate in writing coaching and peer accountability or review sessions run by the Writing Center.


Students must download and then complete this PhD Dissertation Completion Award Application. The deadline for all signatures to be completed is close of business on Monday, Oct 5. The document has sections for

  • A statement from the student on where they are in completing their dissertation, what research remains to be done, and what writing remains to be done
  • Dates of recent POS committee meetings
  • Names and emails of their advisor and committee members who will provide input on how close the student is to completing the degree.

For further information, contact the Graduate School at or (406) 994-4145.

MSU undergraduate students who graduate in Spring 2020 and start a master’s degree program in Summer or Fall 2020 will be eligible for this fellowship. Each Professional Masters Fellowship will provide a 3-credit tuition waiver per semester (max of 10 credits of tuition waived over the lifetime of the fellowship). These waivers will be either resident or non-resident depending on the recipient’s residency status and will provide a 33% discount for a 30 credit masters.


Requests for this award will be evaluated by the Graduate School using the materials that applicants’ already submitted as part of their graduate degree applications. Selections will be based upon academic excellence and the applicant’s Personal Statement submitted as part of their graduate school application.


Eligible programs include:


To apply for this opportunity, please send an email with the subject line “Professional Masters Fellowship Request” to and indicate which graduate master’s degree program you have applied to and ask considered for a Professional Masters Fellowship.   


Deadline to apply: May 31st (Requests will be evaluated and awards made weekly during May of 2020.)

The application is currently closed.

We anticipate that most, if not all conferences, workshops, and travel in the next 3 months will be cancelled or postponed. But just in case there is an opportunity for students to present their work or travel  to conduct research, we are offering a limited number of PAGs in the April 1 round for trips in April, May, and June. Please make sure that your conference/travel is scheduled and appropriate before applying for a PAG.

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 January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 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 the Graduate School at or (406) 994-4145.

Students must work with their 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.

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,

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.

Cat Scholarships apply here

Students may not apply for these awards. They must be nominated by faculty or 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 the Graduate School at or (406) 994-4145.

Students may not apply for these awards. They must be nominated by faculty or 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 the Graduate School at or (406) 994-4145.

Students may not apply for these awards. They must be nominated by faculty or their department.

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 above or contact Dr. Barbara Komlos,, (406) 994-4206, for general information.

This funding is designed for faculty who work with graduate students.

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.


We are not currently accepting proposals.

This funding is designed for faculty who work with graduate students.

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

Many academic departments offer opportunities for graduate teaching and research assistantships. Prospective graduate students should contact their admitting department for information on assistantship availability.

Check the Graduate School's policies and procedures regarding assistantships.

Refer-A-Bobcat allows high school principals, educational leaders, and MSU alumni the opportunity to refer a potential graduate student in eligible programs for educators, with the possibility of a tutition waver. Please refer to the Refer-A-Bobcat webpage for more information.

External Funding Opportunities

The Pre-Award Services Office within MSU's Office of Sponsored Programs can assist graduate students in identifying possible sources of funding. These may be in the form of research grants, collaborative activities, travel, curriculum development, conference support, fellowships, post-doc positions, equipment acquisition, operating or capital expenses and more. Please check MSU's listing of funding opportunities, including fellowships.

External alert services and fellowships that have the Graduate School has come across are listed below.

The SPIN funding alert service is a database of funding opportunities. Below are instructions on how to sign up for alerts:

  1. Go to Spin search page and create an account under Montana State University.
  2. 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.
  3. Once you receive approval of your account, login to SPIN with your username and password.
  4. Add specific filters that are personalized towards the applicant by clicking under the search bar.
  5. 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’.
  6. Click ‘locate funding’.
  7. 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.
  8. You can set up multiple funding notifications with different keywords walking through the same process.

The Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world. Each year 32 students from the United States are selected as Rhodes Scholars, through a decentralized process representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead. This scholarship covers all college and university fees at the University of Oxford, including a stipend for living expenses, transportation to and from England.

Internal submission: August 13, 2021; External submission: Early October 2021. Institutional nomination required.

The Marshall Scholarship finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom in a system of higher education recognized for its excellence.  Selectors seek candidates who have the potential to excel as scholars, as leaders and contributors to improved UK-US understanding. Assessment will be based on academic merit, leadership and ambassadorial potential.  

Internal submission: August 13, 2021. External submission: Early October 2021.   Institutional nomination required.

The Gates-Cambridge Scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time post-graduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. The selection criteria are outstanding intellectual ability, leadership potential, a commitment to improving the lives of others, a good fit between the applicants qualifications and aspirations, and a good fit between the post graduate program at Cambridge for which they are applying.   Internal submission: August 13, 2021 ; External submission: Mid-October 2021.

The Schwarzman Scholarship Program is designed to help future leaders meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond by preparing them to better understand China's culture, economy, governance and evolving role in the world. Scholars will study for a one-year Master’s degree, with options to focus on public policy, international relations, or economics and business at Tsinghua University. Successful candidates will demonstrate extraordinary leadership potential, the ability to anticipate paradigm changes, strong intellectual capacity and exemplary character.   

Internal submission: August  13, 2021;

External submission: Early October 2021.   Institutional nomination required.


The Fulbright US Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the US. Key characteristics include the quality and feasibility of the proposal as described in the Statement of Grant Purpose, academic or professional record, and language preparation if applicable.  

Internal submission: August 13, 2021. External submission: Mid October 2021.

The George Mitchell Scholarship enables American graduates to pursue a year of post-graduate study at institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. They characteristics sought by the review committee include academic excellence, leadership, and a commitment to community or Public Service.

Internal submission: August 13, 2021; External submission: Mid October 2021.  Institutional nomination required.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.  

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. 

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.

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)

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.

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.

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 L’ORÉAL USA FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE 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. 

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. 

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: