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 33.4% 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 33.4% 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 33.4% to 50%, 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.


Scholarships and Awards

Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends, the School of Social Work awards the following each year:

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.
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.
Professor Arthur Miles was the first Director of the UW-Madison School of Social Work. He was a former county administrator for the Illinois Emergency Relief Commission and former Regional Statistician for the U.S. Social Security Board. Professor Miles was a proponent of a social science rather than psychological orientation to social work and wrote a book in defense of such an orientation entitled American Social Work Theory. Julia Miles established this Scholarship in her husband’s name.
Current full-time or part-time program MSW student who has a demonstrated commitment to social work practice and a financial need that presents a hardship in terms of completing the program. The award may also support a doctoral student who demonstrates an interest in social policy.
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.
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.
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, and his research led to the publication of many important studies in the field of social work.
Students learning how to utilize advanced statistical techniques and research methodology in the pursuit of real life problems.
This annual award recognizes a student who submits a paper that exemplifies high quality research relevant to social work.
This annual award will honor a current doctoral student who has published recently.
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.
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.
Lois Shimpa received her B.A. in 1925 in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, and established the Memorial Scholarship to financially assist mature students in the pursuit of a graduate degree in social work.
The scholarship will be awarded to a graduate student in the Department of Social Work based on demonstrated financial need. Preference shall be given to students above the age of thirty.
This annual award recognizes talent and dedication in teaching.
Awardee must be a doctoral student holding an appointment as a teaching assistant or lecturer student assistant.

Last edited by portier on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | Printer Friendly Version