Admissions and Financial Aid

External Funding for U.S. Citizens

Although Heller provides generous scholarships (approximately 90% of admitted students will receive a merit scholarship; we also offer a number of program-specific fellowships and scholarships), we recognize that many students will require additional external funding. The following is a list of possible sources of external funding resources for graduate students and researchers. The Heller School does not award any of these scholarships or grants. This list is presented for informational purposes—it is the responsibility of each applicant to investigate and apply to each funding agency.

Abe Fellowship

Eligibility: U.S. and Japanese citizens; candidates must have a PhD or terminal degree in their field
Focus: International multidisciplinary research on topics of pressing global concern; themes include security, development, cultural trends and governance
Award: Fellowships vary widely based on needs of researcher
Dates: September deadline annually

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

One of the world's largest sources of funding, offering a variety of fellowships to both international and American female graduate students.

AAUW American Fellowships

Eligibility: Women scholars who are completing dissertations, planning research leave, or preparing research for publication
Award: $6,000-$30,000
Dates: Application open from August 1-November 15

AAUW Career Development Grants

Eligibility: Women who hold a bachelor’s degree and are preparing to advance or change careers or reenter the workforce. Primary consideration is given to women of color and women pursuing their first advanced degree or credentials in nontraditional fields.
Award: $2,000-$12,000
Dates: Application open from August 1-December 15

American College of Healthcare Executives

Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

Eligibility: Minority students in healthcare management graduate program: MHA, MPH, MBA in Healthcare Administration or similar
Award: $5,000
Dates: Applications are accepted between January and March

Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship

Eligibility: Students in healthcare management graduate program: MHA, MPH, MBA in Healthcare Administration or similar
Award: $5,000
Dates: Applications are accepted between January and March

Boren Fellowship — National Security Education Program

Eligibility: Current graduate students interested in overseas study
Focus: Geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security.
Award: Up to $24,000 for overseas study
Dates: January application deadline

Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Doctoral Fellowships

This foundation supports the international scholarly exchange to enhance the understanding of Chinese culture and society overseas. The foundation awards doctoral fellowships of up to $15,000. Applicants must have ABD status. Awardees cannot be employed or receive grants from other sources.

Civil Society Leadership Awards

Fully funded scholarships for the MA in Sustainable International Development, MS in Global Health Policy and Management, MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence, and dual MA in Sustainable International Development and Conflict Resolution and Coexistence. Eligible applicants must apply directly to the CSLA scholarship competition and indicate their Heller graduate degree program of choice. 

Congressional Fellowships on Women and Public Policy

The Women's Congressional Policy Institute awards annual fellowships to a select number of graduate students with a proven commitment to equity for women. Students who currently are enrolled in a graduate program, or who have completed such a program within two years of the fellowship start date (January 2022), are eligible. Deadlines vary depending on fellowship. 

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

Several scholarship and fellowship opportunities.

Council For European Studies

The CES Fellowship Program serves as the leading source for pre-dissertation fellowships that fund students' first major research projects in Europe. The fellowship sponsors three components:1) a $4,000 award covering a two-month stay abroad, during which time each fellow will undertake original archival and field research; 2) a one-time travel grant intended to support attendance at a CES International Conference, where each fellow will present his or her findings and receive feedback from peers and senior scholars; 3) the publication of each Fellow’s research report in CES’ online journal.  In order to be eligible for the award, applicants must fulfill four criteria: 1) CES Pre-Dissertation Fellowships are intended to fund students’ first major research project in Europe; students who have already engaged in extensive field work and study in Europe related to their dissertation are not eligible; 2) Applicants must be in the exploratory, early stage of their research; 3) Applicants must not have completed the majority of their doctoral coursework; 4) Pre-Dissertation Fellowships are restricted to students with relationships to specific partner institutions (Brandeis is a member). The application deadline is in January.

DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Autausch Dienst)

This program, sponsored by the German government, provides a fellowship for research in Germany's Federal Republic. By special arrangement, Brandeis has a priority claim to one fellowship; this means that, all things being equal, an applicant nominated by Brandeis will receive preferential treatment. Because Brandeis is a partner institution, all applicants must turn in four complete sets of hard copies of their application (1 original, 3 photocopies) to Brooke Ball at GSAS.

Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund provides grants to students actively working for peace and justice. These need-based scholarships are awarded to those able to do academic work at the university level and who are part of the progressive movement on the campus and in the community. Applications are due no later then April 1st.

Education for Sustainable Energy Development Scholarship

The purpose of the ESED scholarship is to support outstanding students pursuing advanced studies in sustainable energy development and to encourage meaningful contributions to the collective body of knowledge about this subject. The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership considers an outstanding student to be one who graduates with excellent grades in the top 20% of her/his class, is determined to advance her/his knowledge and understanding, has a history of community involvement, is committed to sustainable energy and is committed to return and contribute to her/his home country. Scholarships of $21,000 per year for up to two years are offered for Master's level students. The deadline for this scholarship is in early March.

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships are three-year awards in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, literature and languages, history, philosophy and religion, life sciences, chemistry, earth sciences, physics and astronomy, engineering, mathematics and computer science with an annual stipend, and institutional award in lieu of tuition and fees and expenses paid to attend three Conferences of Ford Fellows. There are around 70 of these awards, which are open to U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents. The awards are intended for students who plan to work toward the PhD degree for the first time, and who are at or near the beginning of their graduate study. Individuals must demonstrate they can use three years of fellowship support. Application deadline is in mid-December. 

Note: For a later stage, there is also the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship.

The Foundation Center (now

The center's website provides links to private foundations, corporate grantmakers and public charities.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The Fulbright is awarded for study or research abroad and is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE) on behalf of the U.S. Information Agency. Approximately 630 awards for 93 countries are offered each year. All applicants must be U.S. citizens. Awards are open to current graduate students and alums. There are numerous postdoctoral research opportunities.

Getty Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellowships

Getty Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellowships are intended for emerging scholars to complete work on projects related to the Getty Research Institute's annual theme. Recipients are in residence at the Getty Research Institute, where they pursue research to complete their dissertations or to expand them for publication. Pre-doctoral Fellowship applicants must have advanced to candidacy by the time of the fellowship start date and should expect to complete their dissertations during the fellowship period. Getty Pre-doctoral Fellows are in residence for nine months from mid-September to mid-June and receive a stipend of $25,000. Getty Postdoctoral Fellows are in residence for nine months from mid-September to mid-June and receive a stipend of $30,000. Both fellowships also provide a workspace at the Getty Research Institute or the Getty Villa, an apartment in the Getty scholar housing complex, and airfare to and from Los Angeles. All applicants must be U.S. citizens. The application deadline is early November.

Government Finance Officers Association Scholarships


In 1985, the GFOA's executive board voted to create the Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship to recognize outstanding performances by graduate program students preparing for a career in state and local government finance. Goldberg-Miller Public Finance Scholarship is funded by the Girard Miller Foundation.

Additional Eligibility Requirements:

  • Enrollment Status: Full-time; graduate level
  • Course of Study: Not specified, but should have relationship to state/local government finance
  • Letter of Recommendation: Someone who can speak to your commitment to the public sector
  • Number of Scholarships Available for Award - 2021 Level: One $20,000 award
  • Employment Requirement: None

In 1987, the GFOA's executive board voted to create a Government Accounting Scholarship to recognize outstanding performance in accounting studies and to encourage careers in state and local government.

Additional Eligibility Requirements:

  • Enrollment Status: Full-time; graduate or upper level undergraduate
  • Course of Study: Accounting
  • Letter of Recommendation: Someone who can speak to your commitment to the public sector
  • Number of Scholarships Available for Award - 2021 Level: Two $10,000 awards
  • Employment Requirement: None

In 1993, GFOA's Executive Board voted to create the Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship to recognize and encourage outstanding minority students enrolled in a course of study preparing for a career in state or local government finance. 

Additional Eligibility Requirements:

  • Enrollment Status: Full- or part-time; graduate or upper level undergraduate
  • Course of Study: Public administration, (governmental) accounting, finance, political science, economics, or business administration (with specific focus on government or nonprofit management)
  • Letter of Recommendation: Someone who can speak to your commitment to the public sector
  • Number of Scholarships Available for Award - 2021 Level: One $10,000 award
  • Employment Requirement: None

In 2010, GFOA's Executive Board voted to create the Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship to support the studies of part-time students with a career interest in state and local government finance.

Additional Eligibility Requirements:

  • Enrollment Status: Part-time; graduate level
  • Course of Study: Public administration, (governmental) accounting, finance, economics, or business administration (with specific focus on government)
  • Letter of Recommendation: Employer, and someone who can speak to your commitment to the public sector
  • Number of Scholarships Available for Award - 2021 Level: Four $10,000 awards
  • Employment Requirement: Employed at least two years by one or more state or local governments

In 2017, GFOA’s Executive Board voted to create the Jeffrey L. Esser Career Development Scholarship to advance the public finance careers of individuals employed at least three years by one or more state or local governments.

Additional Eligibility Requirements:

  • Enrollment Status: Part-time; pursuing an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree
  • Course of Study: Public administration, (governmental) accounting, finance, or business administration (with a specific focus on government)
  • Letter of Recommendation: Employer, and someone who can speak to your commitment to the public sector
  • Total Amount Available for Award: $5,000 to $15,000; one to three awards per year.
  • Employment Requirement: Employed at least three years by one or more state or local governments


Humboldt Research Fellowship Program

The Humbolt Research Fellowship Program offers many fellowship opportunities in support of research in Germany in any discipline. Requirements vary by program, but many of these opportunities are postdoctoral in nature. Typical requirements include requisite language skills and PhD (received within past 12 years). The program accepts applications at any time. 

Peace Scholar Dissertation Fellowship Program

USIP's Peace Scholar Fellowship program awards non-residential fellowships to students enrolled in U.S. universities who are writing doctoral dissertations on topics broadly related to conflict management, peacebuilding and relevant security studies. Application deadline is in late September. 

Lady Davis Graduate Fellowships

The Lady Davis Fellowship Trust was established to provide the opportunity for leading scientists and scholars, post-doctoral researchers and doctoral students from abroad, regardless of nationality, gender or field of scholarship to teach, study and participate in research in Israel at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at the Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa. The application deadlines vary according to programs.

Mellon Fellowships for Dissertation Research in Original Sources

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation fellowships are for students who are enrolled in a doctoral program in a graduate school in the U.S. and will complete all doctoral requirements except the dissertation and be ready to start research as early as June 1 and no later than September 1 with approval of the dissertation proposal six months before the starting date. Applicants should be planning to do dissertation research primarily in original source material in the holdings of archives, libraries, historical societies, museums, related repositories, or a combination. Applicants must also be writing their dissertation and receiving their PhD in a field of the humanities or in a related element of the social sciences. Mellon awards ten fellowships carrying stipends of up to $2,000 per month to support dissertation research for periods of nine to 12 months. The application deadline is late November.

Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellowship

This program assists graduate students in the humanities or related social sciences in the last year of PhD dissertation writing. Students must have completed all requirements for the PhD except the dissertation. The stipend carries a $25,000 award for one year plus funds for research costs of up to $3,000 and for university fees of up to $5,000. The application deadline is late October.

The Michigan Society of Fellows

The Michigan Society of Fellows offers awards in the Humanities and Arts, Sciences and Professions. An annual stipend of $60,000 for a three-year term. Fellows are appointed as assistant professors or research scientists in appropriate departments and as postdoctoral scholars in the Michigan Society of Fellows. They are expected to be in residence in Ann Arbor during the academic year of the fellowship, to teach for the equivalent of one academic year, participate in the informal intellectual life of the society and devote time to their independent research or artistic projects. Applicants must have received their PhD or comparable artistic or professional degree between June 1, 2011, and September 1, 2014. The application deadline is in September.

Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program

Consisting of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council, this fellowship is designed to engage its Fellows in the analytical process that informs U.S. science and technology policy. Fellows develop basic skills essential to working or participating in science policy at the federal, state, or local levels. A stipend grant award of $8,500 will be provided for the 12-week session to offset expenses. The program takes place in Washington, D.C., from January to April and is open to all U.S. and non-U.S. citizens who meet the criteria.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships

The National Science Foundation aims to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the United States and to reinforce its diversity by offering approximately 1,000 graduate fellowships in this competition.

The Graduate Research Fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support including an annual stipend of $34,000 and a cost of education allowance of $12,000 to the institution.

Application deadlines for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Materials Research, Psychology, Social Sciences, STEM Education and Learning are in mid-October. 

Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships are designed to encourage original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences, and particularly to help PhD candidates in these fields complete their dissertation work in a timely manner. In addition to topics in religious studies or in ethics (philosophical or religious), dissertations appropriate to the Newcombe Fellowship competition might explore the ethical implications of foreign policy, the values influencing political decisions, the moral codes of other cultures and religious or ethical issues reflected in history or literature. Awards are for $27,500 for 12 months of full-time dissertation writing on study of ethical or religious values in humanities or social sciences. Graduate schools will be asked to waive tuition for Newcombe Fellows. Applicants must be doctoral candidates by November and complete their dissertation by August. The application deadline is usually in November.

New England Employee Benefits Council Scholarship Program

The NEEBC Scholarship Program seeks to advance the knowledge and education of individuals in the employee benefits field or those aspiring to careers in employee benefits, which include but are not limited to careers in the actuarial sciences; ERISA and legal aspects of employee benefits; careers in pension design and planning; work and family issues; and careers in corporate employee benefits design, analysis and management. Annual awards of up to $5,000.

Open Society Foundations

Grants, scholarships and fellowships for students worldwide.

PEO International

P.E.O. Scholar Awards

The P.E.O. Scholar Awards (PSA) program was established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral level degree at an accredited college or university. 

To be eligible for a P.E.O. Scholar Award, you must meet the following requirements:

  • be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States or Canada
  • have earned, at minimum, a bachelor's degree
  • be within two years of graduating from a doctoral program and have at least one full academic year of work remaining in August of the year you are awarded
  • be enrolled in full-time doctoral-level study at an accredited U.S. or Canadian post-secondary institution during the entire academic year of the award

Application deadline in late November. 

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 or Canada. Members of P.E.O. believe that education is fundamental to world peace and understanding.

To be eligible for a P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship, you must meet the following requirements:

  • An applicant must be qualified for admission to full-time graduate study and working toward a graduate degree in an accredited college or university in the United States or Canada.
  • A student who is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or Canada is not eligible. Note: A student with residency for tax purposes only is permitted.
  • Scholarships are not given for online courses, research, internships or for practical training if not combined with coursework.
  • In order to qualify for her first scholarship, an applicant must have a full year of coursework remaining, be enrolled and in residence for the entire school year.
  • Doctoral students who have completed coursework and are working only on dissertations are not eligible as first-time applicants.

Application deadline in mid-December. 

Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship

The Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship provides funding to participants as they are prepared academically and professionally to enter the United States Department of State Foreign Service. Women, members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and students with financial need are encouraged to apply.

The goal of the Fellowship Program is to attract outstanding students who enroll in two-year master's degree programs in public policy, international affairs, public administration, or academic fields such as business, economics, political science, sociology, or foreign languages, who represent all ethnic, racial and social backgrounds and who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State. The program develops a source of trained men and women who will represent the skill needs of the Department and who are dedicated to representing America's interests abroad.

Point Foundation Scholarships

Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity at the University of Pennsylvania

The Postdoctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity Program seeks to attract promising scholars and educators from different backgrounds, races, ethnic groups, and other diverse groups whose life experience, research experience and employment background will contribute significantly to our academic excellence. The fellowships are available for postdoctoral training in all areas of study at the University and seek to attract graduate students from Penn and other institutions who have completed, or will complete their requirements for PhD by their start date. In addition, postdoctoral scholars from other institutions who have completed their dissertation within the last three years are eligible. Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Presidential Management Fellows Program

The Presidential Management Fellows Program offers federal government opportunities to students from a variety of disciplines who have a clear interest in public policy. Graduate students from all academic disciplines who expect to complete an advanced degree from a qualifying college or university by Aug. 31 of the academic year in which the competition is held, are eligible to become Fellows. In addition, students are eligible to be nominated by their schools if they demonstrate: exceptional academic achievement; a capacity for leadership; the potential for future professional growth; a commitment to a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs. The application deadline is usually in November.


For Latinos pursuing Master's degrees in management/business. Scholarships will be awarded on a competitive basis to full-time and part-time graduate students. Awards range from $2,500 to $5,000 with one $10,000 scholarship.

Charles B. Rangel Fellowship Program

The Rangel Graduate Fellowship is a program that aims to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers in the Foreign Service in which they can help formulate, represent and implement U.S. foreign policy. In 2021 the Rangel Program plans to award 45 fellowships of up to $42,000 annually for a two year period for tuition, room, board, books and mandatory fees for completion of two-year master’s degrees. 

  • Applicants must be seeking admission to enter graduate school in the fall of 2021 for a two-year program at a U.S. university in an area of relevance to the Foreign Service. They can be in the senior year of their undergraduate studies, graduating by June 2021, or they can be college graduates.
  • Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.
  • Applicants must be a U.S. citizen.

Rotary Ambassadorial Sponsorship

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

The Fellowship awards grants of up to $90,000 for two years. Applicants should not have completed more than two years in a graduate program and cannot have reached or passed their 31st birthday at the time of application. Status as a New American means either holder of a Green Card, naturalized citizen or child of at least one naturalized citizen parent. The application deadline is late October.

Social Science Research Council Database

Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowships

This fellowship awards of up to $25,000 for analysis and dissertation write up for research on education in a range of disciplines and professional fields. Applicants must be doctoral candidates; and have completed graduate requirements by June 1 of award year. The application deadline is usually in October.

Supreme Court Fellowship Program

Fellows spend one year in Washington, D.C., based at the Supreme Court, the Federal Judicial Center, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, or the U.S. Sentencing Commission, working on projects related to the federal court system and the administration of justice. The Program seeks outstanding individuals from diverse professional and academic backgrounds, including law, the social and behavioral sciences, public and business administration, systems research and analysis, communications, and the humanities. Candidates must have one post-graduate degree; two or more years of professional experience; and multi-disciplinary training and experience, including familiarity with the judicial process. The application deadline is in November.

Switzer Fellowship

Eligibility: Graduate students in New England and California (Both Master's and PhD students)
Focus: Environmental improvement
Award$15,000 cash award for academic study, leadership training, alumni network access, and opportunities for professional development 
Dates: January application deadline

Truman Scholarship Program

The Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 in funding to students pursuing graduate degrees in public service fields. Students must be college juniors at the time of selection. Deadline is in early February.