Scholarship Programs for Psychology Students

Are Your Majoring in Psychology?

Psychology continues to be one of the most popular majors for college students, and it is not difficult to understand why. Beyond the inherent fascination of the subject, a degree in psychology can lead to a wide variety of career paths. Psychology majors may pursue careers at every level of the mental healthcare profession, from school counseling to private practice. A psychology degree is also a firm foundation for a career in business, education, or social work.

Students majoring in psychology will be studying at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels. Their ultimate career choice will dictate the type of degree needed to enter the workforce. But whether pursuing an associate’s degree or a master’s degree, all psychology students have one thing in common – the need for financial assistance to help them meet the ever rising costs of tuition. Fortunately, there are scholarship programs dedicated to helping promising psychology majors find the money they need to pursue their education.

psychology student  scholarships

Scholarships for psychology majors are typically sponsored by professional associations and advocacy groups. Colleges and universities are also prime source for valuable scholarships dedicated to students majoring in psychology and its many sub-disciplines. These programs offer valuable financial assistance to promising students, but they are also highly competitive. Students looking for scholarships to help them pursue a degree in psychology should be prepared to work hard for their awards.

Scholarships from Professional Associations

A large proportion of the available scholarships for psychology majors are funded and administered by the private sector. These programs are typically sponsored by professional associations closely allied to the mental healthcare industry. The majority of these scholarship programs are directed at graduate level and post-graduate level students. While there are scholarships for undergraduates sponsored by the private sector, many beginning students will find greater opportunities pursuing more general scholarships and grants before focusing on specific programs dedicated to psychology majors.

The following examples of psychology scholarships should illustrate the types of programs sponsored by professional associations.

  • The National Association of School Psychologists  sponsors the annual NASP Minority Scholarship Program for Graduate Training in School Psychology. The program awards $5000 in scholarship funds to minority students who are working towards a graduate degree in school psychology. The award is open to African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American and Native-American students who are enrolled at least part-time at an accredited college or university. Applicants must be an NASP student member.
  • The American Psychological Association works with a wide range of organizations to sponsor undergraduate and graduate level scholarships and grants for students pursuing careers in a variety of psychological disciplines. Students can use the APA’s website to locate financial aid programs dedicated to their specific field of study. Available awards range from one time scholarships and grants to renewable fellowships and dissertation awards.
  • Psi Chi, The International Honor Society of Psychology sponsors a number of one time awards for undergraduate and graduate students. Psi Chi’s awards and grants include the  Allyn & Bacon Award, the Newman Graduate Award and the Psi Chi Junior Scientist Fellowship. Award amounts vary according to program.
  • The National Science Foundation – NSF offers its annual Graduate Research Fellowship Program which is open to all science majors, including psychology majors, who are involved in research at the graduate level. Benefits include a three year $30,000 allowance plus $10,500 for tuition and fees.
  • The Epilepsy Foundation sponsors a Behavioral Sciences Student Fellowship for graduate level students studying behavioral psychology and its relation to epilepsy. Awards are determined according to research outline submissions, and past academic performance.
  • The National Association of Junior Auxiliaries sponsors the annual NAJA Scholarship. To be eligible, students must be pursuing their graduate studies in counseling, psychology and mental health as they relate to the needs of children and young adults. Award amounts vary. If more than one scholarship year is required to complete the student’s studies, they may reapply provided all previous agreements have been satisfactorily discharged.

Scholarships from Colleges and Universities

Students looking for psychology scholarships will find that their own college or university may be  a prime source for the financial aid they need to continue their studies. Colleges and universities routinely offer scholarships for exceptional students as a way to bring the best and brightest to their campuses. College sponsored scholarships are typically strictly merit-based, and students will have to work hard to earn theses awards.

Psychology majors looking for scholarship opportunities should contact their school’s office of financial aid to learn about programs that may be open to them. Students should also consult their department heads for information on campus-based scholarships as well as outside financial aid programs.

The following examples are typical of the type of psychology scholarships offered by colleges and universities.

  • The University of Wisconsin La Crosse has one of the more impressive psychology programs in the country. The university routinely offers scholarships for psychology majors at both the undergraduate and graduate level. In addition to the school’s CSL Excellence Award, students may apply for the Donna Hansen Scholarship, the Thomas Harris Scholarship and the Alan Howe Scholarship. These scholarships are made possible by the generous donations the university’s alumni. Award amounts vary according to availability of funds, and number of applicants per year.
  • The University of Minnesota hosts a distinguished undergraduate program for psychology majors. Each year the university awards several Mortensen Scholarships for students enrolled in its Department of Psychology. These scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit, with special attention being given to the applicant’s extracurricular activities and volunteer work. The award amount is $1000.
  • The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York is one of the country’s leading private colleges. With departments specializing in psychology and school psychology, they attract some of the best students from across the country. While they do not offer any scholarships dedicated solely to psychology majors, they do provide an impressive selection of scholarships for their attending students. The Trustees Scholarship provides $14,000 in funds per year to eligible students, while the Provosts Scholarship offers up to $9000 per year. The College of Saint Rose also offers a $4000 scholarship for transfer students who are migrating from another college to complete their studies at Saint Rose. All scholarship awards are determined on the basis of academic performance, community service and leadership potential.
  • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology has campuses in Illinois, California and Washington D.C. As one of the country’s leading psychology graduate schools they offer degrees in everything from clinical psychology to business psychology. The school offers several annual scholarships, including the Merit Scholarship, the President’s Scholarship and the Global Impact Scholarship. Awards are based on a combination of merit and financial need, with an emphasis on building an ethnically diverse student body. Award amounts range from $1000 to $10,000.

Campus-based scholarships for psychology majors are plentiful, and are as diverse as the many sub-disciplines that fall under the psychology umbrella. Students should begin their search by focusing on those schools that offer degrees in their chosen field of psychology, and contact the university’s office of financial aid for details on possible financial aid opportunities.

The field of psychology is broad and offers students a wide range of career opportunities. Whether you are drawn to clinical research, private practice or social work; whether you plan to apply your degree to the schoolroom or the boardroom; majoring in psychology offers the possibility of a lucrative and rewarding professional career. With the right scholarship you can be on your way to realizing your educational and professional goals.

{}