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Ph.D. Financial Support
The School of Social Work provides highly competitive financial support to new and continuing Ph.D. students.
Graduate Assistantship and Fellowship positions include paid tuition, health insurance coverage, and a monthly stipend.
Teaching Assistantship (TA)
These positions at Social Work are typically given to doctoral students at a minimum of 33.33% appointment per semester. These positions are appointed by the Ph.D. program chairperson and are supervised by the course instructor.
Project Assistantship (PA)
These positions vary in the appointment percentage, ranging from 33.33% to 75%, typically for a 12-month period. These positions are appointed by individual faculty and enable students to work closely on the faculty’s research project.
Research Assistantship (RA)
These positions also vary in the appointment percentage, ranging from 33.33% to 75%, typically for a 12-month period. An appointment as a research assistant is made when the activity performed by the research assistant is primarily for the benefit of the individual's course of study and research and directly applicable to the individual's thesis or dissertation.
Advanced Opportunity Fellow (AOF): Individuals holding these appointments are qualifying students who receive support through equal opportunity funding provided by the State of Wisconsin under the Advanced Opportunity Program. AOF nominations are submitted through the department to the Graduate School. Read more about the eligibility criteria on the Graduate School website.
University Fellow (UF): Students are nominated for these highly competitive campus-wide awards by the department. They are awarded based on demonstration of superior academic achievement, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and an effective statement of purpose/reasons for graduate study.
Click on the chart for details on funding source amounts.
Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends, the School of Social Work awards the following each year:
Alfred Kadushin Dissertation Research Award:
The Alfred Kadushin Dissertation Research Award was established by the Kadushin family, his friends, colleagues and former students to honor Professor Kadushin's memory. Professor Kadushin, who taught at the School for more than forty years, was one of the nation s leading scholars in child welfare services, social work and social work education.
Eligibility Criteria: This annual award will assist a Social Work Ph.D. student's doctoral dissertation research. Preference will be given to a student whose work is in the field of child welfare, an area central to Professor Kadushin's research and scholarship.
Dorothy M. Pearson Graduate Fellowship:
Dorothy M. Pearson was a Professor at the School of Social Work at Howard University for 24 years, retiring in 1999. She received her MSW in 1960 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work and returned to become the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in the School of Social Work, graduating in 1973. After a distinguished career in social work, she was designated as a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers.
Eligibility Criteria: The scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduate student in the School of Social Work with first preference given to an African-American Ph.D. student. The ideal candidate will be an African-American Ph.D. student studying issues related to mental health and/or women. Special consideration will be given to those in the process of writing their dissertation.
Irving Piliavin Award:
Emeritus Professor Irving Piliavin had a special research interest in crime and delinquency control, evaluation of welfare reform programs, and foster care programs. His research was characterized by precision of measurement and the use of advanced statistical techniques not typically used in social science outside economics.
Eligibility Criteria: Students learning how to utilize advanced statistical techniques and research methodology in the pursuit of real life problems.
Sheldon D. Rose Memorial Scholarship:
Emeritus Professor Sheldon D. Rose was internationally acclaimed for his research and scholarship in group work practice. A model of how to bridge the academic and practice worlds, Professor Rose presented dozens of workshops, lectures and talks throughout the world, and developed training manuals to teach human service professionals how to apply his innovative and ground breaking research on group work treatment to a wide range of childhood adolescent and adult problems.
Eligibility Criteria: This fund was created to provide support for students at the University of Wisconsin that are interested in developing their careers in group work and research-based direct practice. In particular, students pursuing direct practice based research are ideal candidates.
Doctoral Student Teaching Assistant Excellence Award:
This annual award recognizes talent and dedication in teaching.
Doctoral Student Research Paper Award:
This annual award recognizes a student who submits a paper that exemplifies high quality research relevant to social work.
Other Funding Resources
The Web sites listed below provide useful information for students to utilize in their quest for funding.
- Graduate Assistantships in Other Departments: PA/RA/TA (Student Job Center)
- Lectureships, lab work, classified positions, etc. (Office of Human Resources)
- Student Loans (Office of Student Financial Services)
- Funding Resources & Proposal Development (Research & Sponsored Programs)
- Private Fellowships and Scholarships Search (FastWeb)
Minnesota residents who are certified by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (MOHE) for the appropriate semester to attend UW-Madison under the Minnesota-Wisconsin Tuition Reciprocity Agreement will be assessed the approved reciprocity tuition rate, plus the segregated fees assessed for all UW-Madison students. It is the student's responsibility to inquire of MOHE about the suitability of reapplying, application procedures, and deadlines. Questions and application requests should be directed to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, 1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55108-5227, (651) 642-0567 or (800) 657-3866. Students may also obtain additional information at The Minnesota Office of Higher Education.