PhD Program Funding

Funding Guarantee

Students admitted to the PhD program in counseling psychology during 2020-2021 and thereafter will receive either a four-year (for post-MA) or five-year (for post-BA) guarantee of support. Funding is guaranteed at not less than a level of 50 percent for the duration of the guarantee, provided that the student remains in good standing in the program. A variety of funding sources can provide support for the student under the terms of the guarantee, including a fellowship (limited availability), a teaching assistantship (either from the Department of Counseling Psychology or from another department on campus), project assistantship, research assistantship, or a teaching assistant lectureship. All of these types of support pay a stipend, provide tuition remission, and include health insurance eligibility. Funding from other sources on campus will count toward a student’s guarantee of support.  

We encourage incoming and returning students to explore funding opportunities outside the department as well as within the department. Graduate assistantships in other departments and administrative bodies across campus value the professional and interpersonal skills that counseling psychology PhD students bring, and historically our students have been very successful in obtaining these. Available assistantships are listed on the Student Jobs website; click on “Browse Jobs” and then select “UW Graduate Assistant” from the list of job types on the left of the page. 

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Fellowship awards

University Fellowship Competition: The department nominates one outstanding incoming student for the Two-Year Graduate School Fellowship in early spring. The fellowship provides support for the first academic (nine-month) year, and an additional academic year of support once the student reaches dissertator status. The stipend for an incoming student for the 2020-2021 academic year is $22,909 with remission of tuition and segregated fees, plus health insurance benefits.

Education Graduate Research Scholars Fellowship (known across campus as the Advanced Opportunity Fellowship): The department is able to nominate a limited number of incoming students for the Ed-GRS AOF fellowship each year. To be eligible for Ed-GRS AOF, an incoming student must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident, admitted to or enrolled in a graduate department, with preference given to Wisconsin residents; and identify with one of the following groups: African American, Native American, Latinx: Mexican Americans, Chicano/as, Puerto Ricans, Southeast Asians: Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, and  Vietnamese, OR McNair Students: students who participated in a McNair Program OR Wisconsin residents who are first generation to complete a bachelor’s degree and who participated in a TRIO Program (Upward Bound, Talent Search, Educational). 

The Graduate Research Scholars’ community and the School of Education partner to administer this fellowship. If the student is in the PhD program, they are eligible to receive an additional nine-month fellowship during their dissertator year. The stipend for an incoming student for the 2020-2021 academic year is $22,909 with remission of tuition and segregated fees, plus health insurance benefits. Get more information about the Ed-GRS AOF fellowship.

Other fellowships: Occasionally, the department is able to secure other fellowship funding for an incoming student, including the Kemper Knapp University Fellowship and the WCER Fellows Program.

Graduate assistantships

The Department of Counseling Psychology has a limited number of graduate teaching assistantships:

Teaching assistantships (TA): The number of TAs that the department is able to employ each year depends on course offerings and enrollment. TA salary for 2020-2021,​ for a 50 percent appointment is approximately $20,500 for a nine-month appointment at the standard (non-dissertator) level, and includes remission of tuition with benefits. Salary amounts for TA positions are not negotiable. Positions in the Department of Counseling Psychology are announced in late spring to entering and continuing doctoral students. Students may also contact other departments for positions within their programs.

Project and research assistantships (PAs and RAs): Faculty in the Department of Counseling Psychology sometimes hold research grants that employ project assistants or research assistants. Availability of such positions are announced to doctoral students in late spring for the upcoming year. Salary and benefits for PAs and RAs are similar to that of TAs.

Additional information about tuition, stipends and funding