When discussing scholarships for master’s students, people tend to sound like Sancho Panza rolling his eyes at Don Quixote’s windmills. Do these giants even exist? Everyone knows PhDs get full funding, and most assume that master’s degrees just come with a boatload of debt. (Hence the growing popularity of cheaper online programs.)
But let me tell you…even for master’s applicants, even for internationals, even in professional-track fields like nursing or engineering, there’s free money available if you know where to look.
Below, you’ll find a list of 57 scholarships specifically available for master’s applicants. They’re organized by academic field. In a later post, I’ll list even more funding opportunities based on ethnic heritage, religion, health, and population demographics. But for now, let’s see how much cash is available in your academic niche.
Scholarships for Master’s Students (listed in alphabetical order by academic field)
Accounting – AICPA John L. Carey Scholarship
The AICPA John L. Carey scholarship award is part of the AICPA Legacy Scholars program. The award provides financial assistance to liberal arts and non-business degree holders who are pursuing both graduate studies in accounting and the CPA licensure.
Animal Science/Agriculture/Veterinary (Sheep!) – Sheep Heritage Foundation Memorial Scholarship
The Sheep Heritage Foundation Scholarship is for the advancement of the sheep industry, lamb, and wool through financial support of a graduate-level (MS or Ph.D.) student who is attending a school in the United States. Applicant must be a graduate student involved in sheep and/or wool research in such areas as animal science, agriculture economics, or veterinary medicine with proof of graduate school acceptance.
Any Subject Related to Asia – Luce Scholars Program
Amount: To be determined
The Luce Scholars Program is a nationally competitive fellowship program. It was launched by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. The program provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Luce Scholars each year, and welcomes applications from students in a variety of fields who have had limited exposure to Asia.
Architecture/Design – Houzz Design Scholarships
Houzz welcomes all students 17 years of age or older at interior design, architecture, landscape architecture, architectural engineering schools, or skilled trade schools in the U.S. and Canada to apply for one of five scholarships. The Women in Architecture, Residential Design, Sustainable Design and Construction Management scholarships are open to students currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program.
Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences – The Beinecke Scholarship Program
The Beinecke Scholarship Program awards students who have demonstrated superior standards of intellectual ability, scholastic achievement, and personal promise during his or her undergraduate career. Students must be a college junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree and plan to enter a master’s or doctoral program in the arts, humanities or social sciences. Students in the social sciences who plan to pursue graduate study in neuroscience should not apply. (Why no neuroscience love?)
Automation/Control – ISA Educational Foundation Scholarships
Amount: Up to $2,000
ISA Educational Foundation Scholarships are awarded to college or university students who demonstrate outstanding potential for long-range contribution to the fields of automation and control. Preference is given to students enrolled in a degree program in instrumentation, systems, automation, and closely related fields.
Biology (Fisheries) – Norman S. Baldwin Fishery Science Scholarship
The Norman S. Baldwin Fishery Science scholarship is intended to promote academic excellence by encouraging young scientists to undertake graduate research in fishery biology and to enter the field of Great Lakes science. The scholarship is awarded annually to promising M.Sc. or Ph.D. students whose research is likely to make a significant contribution to the understanding of Great Lakes fishery science.
Chemistry/Engineering/Materials Science – NASF Foundation Scholarships
To be eligible for the NASF Foundation Scholarships, applicants must: be at least junior-standing during the upcoming academic year; major in chemistry, chemical engineering, environmental engineering, metallurgical engineering, materials science engineering, metallurgy, or materials science; and, maintain a 3.0 GPA for undergraduates and 3.3 for graduates.
Computer Science – DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship
Amount: Full tuition + $38,000 stipend
This one is hyper-competitive, but worth looking at. The DOE CSGF trains scientists to meet the nation’s workforce needs and helps to create a nationwide interdisciplinary community. The fellowship provides support and guidance to some of the nation’s best scientific graduate students and these graduates now work in DOE laboratories, private industry, and educational institutions. Open only to full-time students and legal US residents.
Crystallography – Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship
The Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship Award is an award to support the education and research program of promising graduate students in crystallography-related fields. The applicant should be a graduate student enrolled in a graduate degree program with major interest in crystallography (e.g. crystal structure analysis), crystal morphology, modulated structures, correlation of atomic structure with physical properties, systematic classification of crystal structures, phase identification and/or materials characterization.
Cybersecurity – (ISC)² Graduate Scholarship
This flexible scholarship for grad students was created to support students pursuing degrees related to cyber security or information assurance. Students can be full-time or part-time students and attend school either online or on campus. U.S. citizenship is not required, and a range of additional scholarships are available for women, veterans, and minorities.
Design/Architecture/Engineering/Materials Science – Richard L. Brooks Memorial Scholarship
The American Galvanizers Association’s (AGA) Galvanize the Future: A Richard L. Brooks Memorial Scholarship essay contest was developed to assist future specifiers with the rising cost of a college education. The scholarship is open to full- or part-time undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in an accredited college or university studying architecture, civil engineering, structural engineering, construction management, material science, or a related field.
Ecology – Garden Club of America Scholarships
The Garden Club of America offers 28 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 areas related to conservation, ecology, horticulture, and pollinator research. Individual criteria and deadlines vary by scholarships. Awards are offered in a variety of fields, supporting academic endeavors ranging from summer environmental study and field work, to graduate level research.
Economics – Hsiao Memorial Economics Scholarship
The Hsiao Memorial Economics Scholarship was established in honor of Liang-Lin Hsiao who was a professor of economics at Indiana State University. Applicants must be pursuing a graduate education in the social sciences and economics. Preference is given to students pursuing a career in economics and also to research/study topics that benefit Asians or Asian Americans, especially those in social/economic need. Preference is also given to students of Asian heritage, though this isn’t required.
Engineering – National GEM Consortium Fellowships
GEM offers MS students an outstanding opportunity and access to dozens of the top engineering and science firms and Universities in the nation. The GEM Fellowship was designed to focus on promoting opportunities for individuals to enter the industry at the graduate level in areas such as research and development, product development, and other high-level technical careers.
Engineering – SME Education Foundation Scholarships
The SME Education Foundation annually awards millions of dollars in scholarships to graduating high school seniors, undergraduates and graduate students pursuing two-year, four-year or advanced degrees in manufacturing or engineering. Applicants for any scholarship must be a permanent resident or citizen of the United States, have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and be on the path towards a degree in manufacturing engineering, technology, or a closely related field.
Engineering (Civil) – Matsuo Bridge Company Ltd. of Japan Scholarship
The Matsuo Bridge Company of Japan awards scholarships to grad student pursuing a degree in civil engineering, welding engineering, welding engineering technology, or related discipline. Must be enrolled at least part-time at an accredited college/university in the U.S. and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Priority is given to residents of California, Texas, Oregon, or Washington.
Engineering (Electrical) – IEEE Charles LeGeyt Fortescue Scholarship
The IEEE Charles LeGeyt Fortescue Scholarship is awarded annually for one year of full-time graduate work in electrical engineering at an engineering school of recognized standing located in the US. To be eligible, the student must be a resident of the United States of America, have majored in the field of electrical engineering, and have received a bachelor’s degree from an engineering college of recognized standing. The scholarship will be awarded to a first-year, full-time graduate student only (in the event the college is conducting a combined B.S. and M.S. degree program, the student in the penultimate year would be eligible for the award, which would apply in the final year of the program).
Engineering/Environmental Science – Eckenfelder Scholarship
Dr. Wesley Eckenfelder Jr.’s career as an environmental trailblazer spanned more than 50 years, during which time he trained thousands of graduate students and professionals in the science and art of industrial wastewater treatment. To honor his dedication to the environmental industry, this $5,000 scholarship is available to support students pursuing an environment-related career, with a declared major in civil, chemical, mechanical, electrical, or environmental engineering, or one of the environmental sciences.
Environmental Science/Engineering (Hydropower) – NHA Past Presidents’ Legacy Scholarship
NHA created the Past Presidents’ Legacy Scholarship to encourage students to consider becoming part of the U.S. hydropower industry. Candidates must be enrolled in a program of study related to the hydropower industry: engineering, sciences (biology, fisheries, and hydrology), communications, or environmental studies.
Environmental Science/Engineering (Water Quality) – NYWEA N.G. Kaul Memorial Scholarship
The N. G. Kaul Memorial Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to deserving students pursuing graduate or doctoral degrees in environmental/civil engineering or environmental science concentrating on water quality who show a commitment to government service.
Facilities Management – IFMA Foundation Scholarship Program
IFMA scholarships range in value from $1,500-$10,000 and are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students that are enrolled in facility management or facility management-related programs (FM related programs include, but are not limited to, construction management, architecture, interior design and some engineering disciplines).
Film/Theater – Francis D. Lyon Scholarship
The Francis D. Lyon Fellowship is awarded annually to a graduate student in the field of film making or a closely related field such as theatre/drama, writing or entertainment. Students of film making are given first priority.
Floriculture/Horticulture – American Floral Endowment Scholarships
AFE scholarships are intended for sophomore through graduate-level college students pursuing degrees in floriculture and horticultural fields. They award 17 scholarships annually.
Food Science (Potatoes!) – National Potato Council Scholarship
Really, $10,000 for potatoes! Each year, the National Potato Council Scholarship awards a scholarship to one graduate-level student conducting research for the benefit of the potato industry. The winner is selected based on a number of criteria, including a 200-word essay explaining how their studies benefit the U.S. potato industry. This makes me happy.
Food Science Research – AACC International Fellowship Program
For graduate students interested in grain-based food science and technology, this $3,000 scholarship provides money for research. Candidates must be full-time students enrolled in a university conducting relevant research as well as current AACCI members. The website is outdated, but the program still seems to be running.
Geophysics – SEG Scholarships
The Society of Exploration Geophysicists offers a range of different scholarship opportunities. Applicant must be a high school senior planning to attend college next year, or a current undergraduate or graduate student, have above-average grades, and intend to pursue a college curriculum directed toward a career in applied geophysics.
Health Education – Barbara A. Cooley Master’s Scholarship
The award is open to a master’s level student who is currently enrolled in a health education program at an accredited college/university in the United States or a U.S. territory. To be eligible, the applicant must have a minimum current overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Healthcare Management + Minority – Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship
The Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives established this scholarship in honor of Albert W. Dent, the first African-American Fellow of ACHE. This scholarship is offered to provide financial aid to minority students in healthcare management graduate programs to help offset tuition costs, student loans and expenses.
Healthcare Management – Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship
The American College of Healthcare Executives really likes to give out money. Offered annually, the Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship is designated for any student enrolled in their final year of a healthcare management graduate program.
Hospitality – AHLEF Graduate Scholarship
Both full-time and part-time grad students are eligible for this scholarship. Candidates should have a hospitality-related undergrad degree, or have four years of experience in the industry after undergraduate graduation, and must be studying in or accepted to grad school.
Interior Design – IFDA Education Foundation Student Scholarships
The International Furnishing and Design Association offers scholarships to students majoring in Interior Design or a related design/furnishing program. Scholarships are awarded to both undergrad and graduate students who are currently enrolled in an accredited institution, either full-time or part-time, and studying interior design, furniture design, sustainable design, textile design or a related field.
Journalism – Overseas Press Club Foundation
Graduate and undergraduate students, studying at American colleges and universities or Americans studying abroad, who aspire to become foreign correspondents, are invited to apply for one of the scholarships or fellowships to be awarded by the Overseas Press Club Foundation. Students win either a $2,000 grant or funding for their overseas experience.
Law + Latino Civil Rights – MALDEF Law School Scholarship Program
MALDEF’s Law School Scholarship Program is open to all law students currently enrolled full-time at an accredited United States law school. Applicants are evaluated for their academic and extracurricular achievements, for their background and financial need, and, most important, for their demonstrated commitment to advancing Latino civil rights in their careers.
Law/Public Advocacy – Thomas J. Henry Leadership Scholarship Program
Even undergraduate applicants may apply for this scholarship, though it places a special emphasis on aspiring personal-injury lawyers. This scholarship is interested in students motivating others inside and outside the classroom, whatever that might mean.
Law/Policy/Public Administration (Water Resources) – Stephen K. Hall ACWA Water Law & Policy Scholarship
To be eligible for the Stephen K. Hall ACWA Water Law & Policy Scholarship, applicants must be pursuing a graduate degree (master’s, PhD, or law school) in water law, water policy or public administration with a demonstrated concentration in the field of water resources.
Liberal Arts + University Teaching Career – ISI Henry Salvatori Fellowship
Amount: Up to $15,000
The ISI Salvatori Fellowship seeks to further an understanding and appreciation of the principles held by the American Founding Fathers and the culture that formed their values and views. Eligible applicants must: be members of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute; and, pursuing graduate studies for the purpose of teaching at the collegiate level. Pre-professional students (medical, law, divinity, business, etc.) are not eligible.
Liberal Arts + University Teaching Career – ISI Richard M. Weaver Fellowship
Amount: Up to $15,000
Each year ISI grants Richard M. Weaver Fellowships to students who intend to use their advanced degree to teach. The fellowship seeks to uphold the idea of academic excellence and the role of education in producing persons capable of making reasoned choices in favor of liberty. Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens who will be enrolled in a full-time graduate program, and be members of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Those attending pre-professional (medical, law, divinity, business, etc.) programs are ineligible.
Marine Biology – Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship
Amount: To be determined
The Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship is intended to help support a first meaningful field station experience for a first or second year graduate student, or an advanced undergraduate to take courses or to carry on research on invertebrates at a marine, freshwater or terrestrial field station.
Marketing – Marketing EDGE Scholarship Awards
Heard of the Marketing EDGE program? Join one of their E-Learning courses and you’ll be qualified for these scholarships available to students committed to a marketing career. Applicants must have a related major (marketing, advertising, analytics, business, communications, economics, graphic design, psychology, mathematics, sociology, etc.)
Nursing/Oncology – Oncology Nursing Foundation Master’s Scholarship
Provides scholarships to registered nurses who are interested in and committed to oncology nursing to continue their education by pursuing a master’s degree. The candidate must be currently enrolled in (or applying to) an accredited masters nursing degree.
Nursing/Perinatal – Perinatal Graduate Nursing Scholarships
The March of Dimes Dr. Margaret C. Freda Graduate Nursing Scholarship Award was established in 2016 to honor long-time March of Dimes National Nurse Advisory Council Chair, volunteer, and friend, Dr. Margaret Comerford Freda. This award is given each year to the highest scoring graduate nursing scholarship applicant.
Nursing (WOC) – WOCN Society Scholarship Program
The WOCN has established a program to award educational scholarships to deserving individuals who are committed to working in the specialty practice of wound, ostomy, or continence nursing. Scholarship applicants must hold a current certification from the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB®) to apply.
Occupational Therapy – AOTF Scholarship Program
The AOTF offers scholarships to graduates currently enrolled as a full-time student at an AOTA accredited or developing professional level (master’s or OTD) or occupational therapy assistant (OTA) program, and who have completed at least one year of occupational therapy specific course work.
Physical Therapy – AMBUCS Scholars- Scholarships for Therapists
National AMBUCS, Inc. has awarded scholarships to students pursuing degrees in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology and hearing audiology.
Project Management – PMI Dr. Harold Kerzner Scholarships
The Dr. Harold Kerzner Scholarships are four academic scholarships valued at up to US $7,500 with each of the four scholarships being open to all students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in Project Management or related fields of study from accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities.
Psychology (Mental Illness Research) – Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship
The APF Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship supports graduate-level scholarly projects that use a psychological perspective to help understand and reduce stigma associated with mental illness. The scholarship helps address research which shows that stigma is a significant barrier to treatment and recovery for many of the 50 million Americans living with mental illness. Available to master’s students in thesis-based programs.
Psychology/Psychiatry/Neuroscience (Mental Health) – The Melanie Foundation Scholarship
The Melanie Foundation Scholarship is awarded to a candidate pursuing a doctoral or master’s degree in the mental health field. Applicant must be currently enrolled or accepted into a graduate program majoring in the mental health field in the United States and demonstrate experience and interest in one or more of the ideals to which Melanie Merola O’Donnell committed herself.
Public Policy/Administration (Water Resources) – Stephen K. Hall ACWA Water Law & Policy Scholarship
Each year, the Association of California Water Agencies awards one scholarship to a qualified student pursuing a graduate degree (Master’s, PhD, or Law School) in water law, water policy or public administration with a demonstrated concentration in the field of water resources.
Risk Management/Insurance – Spencer Educational Foundation Scholarships
Spencer Education Foundation awards scholarships to full-time undergraduate and graduate students, pre-dissertation students, PhD candidates, and professionals pursuing master’s degrees part time in risk management and insurance. Applicants must be full-time students majoring or minoring in risk management, insurance, actuarial science, business, finance or a related field, with a minimum GPA of 3.3. Applicants must be seeking a career in risk management or pursuing a master’s degree or PhD in the field.
Social Justice Activists – Davis-Putter Scholarship
The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund aids people active in movements for social and economic justice. These need-based scholarships are awarded to students who are able to do academic work at the college or university level or are enrolled in a trade or technical program and who are active in the progressive movement.
Speech Pathology/Communication Disorders – ASH Foundation’s Graduate Scholarship
Amount: Up to $5,000 per recipient
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation invites full-time students who will be or who are currently enrolled in a graduate program in communication sciences and disorders to apply for graduate scholarships. Scholarships are available to students who are undergraduate seniors or who are currently pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees. Both research and clinical doctorate candidates are eligible.
Additional endowed scholarships are available for international and minority students.
Statistics – American Statistical Association Scholarships
Amount: Up to $2,500
The American Statistical Association offers multiple scholarships to graduate students, including the Annie T. Randall Innovator Award, the ASA Pride Scholarship, the Gertrude M. Cox Scholarship for women, and more. With awards for all kinds of subfields, the ASA really wants to support its students.
STEM (All) – NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Amount: $34,000 stipend + $12,000 tuition
The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The incredibly prestigious program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees in the U.S. and abroad. Must be a US citizen or permanent resident. Deadlines vary by field of study.
Teaching – “Inspire our Future” Scholarship
Every little bit helps. Teacher.org aims to inspire the next generation of teachers. This $500 award is available to both aspiring teachers and current teachers who hope to continue their education. Additional scholarships and grants are available for teachers in the arts.
Teaching (Special Education) – Order of Alhambra Scholarship
Amount: To be determined
The Alhambra Scholarship award is to assist teachers and those in junior or senior study programs preparing to teach intellectually and developmentally disabled disabled personal students. Eligible applicants must either be upper-level undergraduates, master’s degree students who have accrued 50% of required graduation credits, or community college students who have accrued 50% of required graduation credits. Canadian residents are eligible.
Theology – Marguerite Young Endowment Fund
The Marguerite Young Endowment Fund was established to provide assistance for students pursuing theology. Applicants must attend a Protestant seminary as a master of Divinity candidate, preparing for full-time ministry and/or be a seminary intern working at a Protestant Church as a requirement for the degree program.
Other Scholarship Resources for Master’s Students
This list certainly isn’t comprehensive. In fact, there are tons of regional scholarships available to students who live in specific localities across the country.
The best thing about these local scholarships is that often…no one applies. I’ve known multiple students who applied after deadlines had ended, only to learn that they were automatic winners because no one else even bothered.
Want to see if there’s a local scholarship available for you? Use one of the following resources to find out:
If the prospect of taking on loans has you nervous, don’t fret too much. Whether one of the academic awards above, a regional scholarship, or funding based on your ethnicity (coming soon!), there is money available for graduate students.
Some of these scholarships are incredibly competitive and prestigious. Others are so unknown, few students ever apply! But if you start early, you just might find a small amount of funding to keep you worry-free as you dive into the books and start your graduate career.