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Fellowships and Funding

The Department has a number of resources that are used to support graduate students. Some students receive graduate assistantships, which entail working 20 hours per week assisting faculty with research and teaching. For more information, please check out the Assistantships page provided by the Graduate School.

Other students receive university fellowships. Fellowships generally provide twelve months of support for at least one year.  

As they progress through the program, some students also obtain support from the Mershon Center, the Political Research Laboratory, and Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships. Most advanced students have an opportunity to teach their own courses.

Your funding package would generally include a waiver of tuition and a stipend for living expenses, which increases at each stage in the program. For students making normal progress, departmental funding typically continues for five years. Support may be extended beyond five years through awards and fellowships granted outside the university. It is expected that most students will finish Ph.D. requirements within about five years, though students doing fieldwork may require additional study and may petition the department to gain eligibility for more than five years of funding.

All financial aid is distributed for autumn semester admission. To be considered for university fellowships and departmental assistantships, all application materials must be received by December 13.

Fellowships are offered annually on a competitive basis. Students must submit a completed application by December 13th (November 30th international). Students are then nominated by admissions committee within department. 

University Fellowships are used to recruit new incoming graduate students.

University Fellowship 

  • Covers one year (first year of graduate school)
  • Coverage of tuition, most  fees, and a monthly stipend 

 Distinguished University Fellowship 

  • Covers two years (1st and dissertation years)
  • Coverage of tuition, most fees, and a monthly stipend 

Susan Huntington Dean’s Distinguished University Fellowship

  • Covers three years (first, second, and dissertation years
  • Coverage of tuition, most fees, and a monthly stipend

Graduate Enrichment Fellowship- used to recruit new incoming graduate students who who come from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. 

Graduate Enrichment Fellowship

  • Cover of one year 
  • Coverage of tuition, most fees, and a monthly stipend 

Dean's Graduate Enrichment Fellowship

  • 2 years (first and dissertation years)
  • Coverage of tuition, most fees, and a monthly stipend

Dean's Distinguished Graduate Enrichment Fellowship 

  • 3 years (first, second, and dissertation years)
  • Coverage of tuition, most fees, and a monthly stipend

For information about the typical annual award amounts, visit this funding chart for the 2021-2022 school year.

The EmPOWERment NSF (National Science Foundation) Research Traineeship program offers interdisciplinary training in sustainable energy and is designed to supplement a student’s main PhD studies. The program offers highly prestigious and competitive one-year fellowship opportunities funded by National Science Foundation that provide full funding during a student’s second year of the program. 

The Early Offer Inclusive Excellence program awards a 1 year Fellowship (Stipend and Fee authorization covered) for PhD recruits. The one year Fellowship is designed as a collaboration with colleges within Ohio State to recruit academically strong new candidates for admission into graduate programs with a requirement to diversify the graduate student body.  Prospective students must apply to a PhD program, be admitted to the program, and then nominated by the program's admissions committee. Additionally, prospective students are eligible with a 3.6 minimum GPA from an undergraduate degree.

For more information, visit the Early Offer Inclusive Excellence Fellowship Guidelines page.

The J Parker and Kathryn Webb Dinius Fellowship supports students who plan to or are pursuing a graduate or professional degree at Ohio State. Preference is given to students who earned an undergraduate varsity letter, with priority given to football players, at Ohio State.

For more information visit, the J. Parker and Kathryn Webb Dinius Fellowship page. 

In addition to assistantships or fellowships, there are outside opportunities that graduate students can pursue to help with covering their education. 

Some examples include:

APSA Diversity Fellowship Program (DFP)- fellowship competition for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds applying to or in the early stages of doctoral programs in political science. 

Howard Penniman Scholarships for Graduate Study- Pi Sigma Alpha (the national political science honor society) offers annually up to  5 scholarships to members entering graduate school in political science. Nominations must come from the chapter advisors, accompanied by an official application and supporting documents as specified in the program announcement. Each scholarship is $2,000.

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships- the Ford Foundation awards 60 fellowships to academic and diverse PhD and ScD students who want to teach and research at the college level, for 3 years. Through its program of Fellowships, the Ford Foundation and the National Research Council (NRC) seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties. The fellowship hopes to foster an applicant’s desire to use the diversity of human experience as an academic resource in teaching and scholarship.  Fellows will receive a stipend of $24,000 for three years and invitation to attend the Conference of Ford Fellows.

For more scholarship opportunities, websites that provide numerous scholarships include  Unigo.com or Scholarships.com. Additionally, students admitted in the graduate program can seek opportunities for funding on the external funding page on the website.