Scholarships for Psychology Majors

Psychology remains one of the most popular degree choices among students, thanks in part to the wide variety of career options it can lead to in the public and private sectors. With a steady job growth of 19% over the next eight years, the demand for qualified psychologists in the workforce is also strong.

With a steady job growth of 19% over the next eight years, the demand for qualified psychologists in the workforce is also strong.

Psychologists who open a private practice or are employed by a government agency, health care facility, clinic, or school typically need a doctoral degree, though in some cases a master’s degree is acceptable, along with proper state certification. While completing the multi-faceted path to becoming a psychologist is ultimately rewarding, the process can also be costly. In this guide, we will explore various scholarship and financial aid options available specifically for students majoring in this field.

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The first step of finding and applying for aid involves completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Regardless of the school or psychology program, filing the FAFSA in a timely manner is one of the most crucial parts of the application process. Once submitted, the form is used to determine a student’s eligibility not only for federal financial aid, but also for various types of loans, including federal Perkins loans, Direct-PLUS loans, direct consolidation loans, and other forms of subsidized and unsubsidized financial aid. Students should prepare to submit a FAFSA the day it becomes available, on January 1 of each year.

Those who have already completed their psychology degree can find additional programs and services to assist with loan repayment and loan forgiveness. The NHSC Loan Repayment Program, for example, offers up to $50,000 in repayment assistance to medical and mental/behavioral health clinicians who practice at an approved NHSC site in underserved and/or high-need areas. The Students to Service program provides up to $120,000 in loan repayment assistance for medical students in their final year of school who commit to serving at an approved NHSC site in underserved and/or high-need areas after graduation for three years full-time or six years part-time.

In addition to federal financial aid psych_small_scholarship2 programs, there are a variety of scholarships available for psychology students to help offset high tuition and living expenses, among other costs. Students earning a doctoral degree in psychology, for example, must take on the financial responsibility of at least six years of full-time tuition on top of the cost of living and other expenses. Many psychology majors are unable to work full-time, if at all, due to a demanding schedule consisting of both coursework and a required internship or practicum. Psychology scholarships play a pivotal role in funding higher education in this field.

While funding entities like the National Merit Scholarship Corporation are among the largest organizations providing financial aid for students, many privately owned businesses, schools, and state agencies award scholarships. Organizations are often motivated to grant scholarships because they benefit as well; this is an effective way to recruit potential employees, demonstrate some measure of social/community responsibility, or simply promote their company or services.

Featured Scholarships for Psychology Majors

Division 53 Student Achievement Award

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Who’s Eligible? Division 53 of the APA is the classification for clinical child and adolescent psychology. A student achievement award is available annually to one undergraduate student (and two graduate students) for their contribution to this specialty field in the form of research, teaching, clinical work, mentoring, or community engagement.
Amount: $1,000
Deadline: May 30

AP-LS Award for Best Undergraduate Paper

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Who’s Eligible? This annual award recognizes an exceptional research paper written by an undergraduate student on an interdisciplinary topic exploring psychology and law (Division 41 of the APA.) Applicants must submit their manuscript or thesis in less than 20 pages of text, along with a letter of support from their faculty supervisor. Award recipients are encouraged to take part in a presentation at the annual AP-LS conference.
Amount: $500 award for first place, $300 award for second place, $150 award for third place
Deadline: June 30

Routh Research and Dissertation Grant

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Who’s Eligible? Designed to promote intensive, innovative research in Division 53 of the APA (child and adolescent psychology), the Routh award supports student research that is intended to significantly enrich and enhance research literature in this specialty area. Awards are granted to as many as four students annually.
Amount: $2500 award
Deadline: March 1

Kay Wilson Presidential Leadership Award

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Who’s Eligible? This award is granted annually to a Psi Chi chapter president that shows exceptional leadership skills. Awards are granted to as many as four students annually. Candidates must be nominated by members of their local chapter of Psi Chi, as opposed to submitting their own application. Recipients of this award are granted a cash prize, travel expenses to attend the annual APA convention, and a commemorative plaque.
Amount: $1,200
Deadline: April 1

Grawemeyer Award in Psychology

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Who’s Eligible? The Grawemeyer award is open to nominated candidates with original and creative ideas that are intended to significantly impact the field of psychology. The purpose of the award is to recognize and celebrate an innovative and insightful idea in regards to psychological medicine, as opposed to a large scope of work or research in the field. Candidates must be nominated by someone other than themselves in order to be eligible.
Amount: No less than $100,000
Deadline: February 28

Frank X. Barron Award

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Who’s Eligible? Created in 2006 as an annual gift and sponsored by Division 10 of the APA, the Barron Award recognizes significant contributions to the psychology of aesthetics, creativity, and the arts. Applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation, their current vitae and 3-4 publications that are representative of the applicant’s talents and accomplishments in this specialty.
Amount: Amount varies
Deadline: December 9

American Addiction Center's Behavioral Health and Addiction Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The ACC offers three annual scholarships to exceptional students who are studying behavioral health, counseling, psychology, social work, nursing, or a related science. Eligible candidates may be high school graduates or full-time or part-time college undergrads or graduate students. Applicants are required to submit an essay addressing a specific prompt as well as complete an application.
Amount: $5,000 first place award, $2,500 second and third place awards
Deadline: May 31

Fontana Transport Inc. Scholars Program

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Who’s Eligible? Each year, Fontana Transport Inc. sponsors a full-time undergraduate student enrolled in an accredited four-year college or university program. Preference is given to students who are from low-income or underrepresented populations, or who are first-generation college students; psychology is among the accepted majors for those applying for this award.
Amount: $5,000
Deadline: March 15

Franklin D. Boyce Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The namesake of this scholarship was the first CEO of the John Randolph Foundation, which sponsors this award. The purpose of the scholarship is to promote professional health occupations, including psychology, for students majoring in a health-related field who demonstrate financial need and have a GPA of at least 3.0.
Amount: $2,500 award, eligible for renewal for up to three consecutive years
Deadline: February 15

Health Careers Scholarship Program

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Who’s Eligible? Sponsored by Arthur J. Gallagher and Co. insurance firm, this scholarship is limited to students entering their junior or senior year of full-time undergraduate study in the upcoming fall term. Candidates are expected to be in pursuit of a healthcare career, as well as demonstrate financial need and provide transcripts, an essay and two letters of recommendation as part of their application for this award.
Amount: $7,500
Deadline: May 6

Medical and Health Professions Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? Sponsored by the Community Foundation of Shelby County, Ohio, this scholarship is open to undergraduate and master’s students majoring in a healthcare field or health specialty at a Shelby County public school. Candidates must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 and may apply for the award during any year of study.
Amount: $1,200
Deadline: June 1

Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Achievement in Psychology and the Arts

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Who’s Eligible? This award, under Division 10 of the APA (psychology of aesthetics, creativity, and the arts), recognizes outstanding achievements in this specialty and contributions made to creative psychology in general by candidates in various stages of their career. Applicants may be self-nominated or nominated by others. Winners deliver the Arnheim address at the annual APA convention.
Amount: Award amount varies
Deadline: December 9

PHN Health Professionals Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? Provided by the Primary Health Network Charitable Foundation, this scholarship serves students in select PA counties who are enrolled in a certificate or degree program resulting in an administrative or clinical healthcare profession. Finalists for the award are required to complete an interview with the PHN Scholarship Committee as part of the official scholarship review process.
Amount: $5,000
Deadline: March 31

PHN Charitable Foundation Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? One of four scholarships available through the Primary Health Network Charitable Foundation, this signature namesake award is specifically for students in select PA counties working toward a certificate or degree in administrative or clinical healthcare. Three scholarships are awarded each year to students who meet the stringent criteria, including submitting a 600-word essay outlining future career goals in healthcare and maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA.
Amount: $2,000
Deadline: March 31

Valparaiso University Ament-Brenner Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? Valparaiso University offers this scholarship to members of the Lutheran congregation in Saint Louis, MO who are working toward a healthcare profession or in pre-med studies. Preference is given to students who demonstrate financial need in addition to meeting the criteria of the stringent application process.
Amount: Award amount varies
Deadline: March 1

Psychology Scholarships for Graduate Students

National Register Credentialing Scholarships

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Who’s Eligible? Sponsored by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists, these scholarships are intended to cover the cost of credentials and review fees for postdoctoral trainees and doctoral students seeking certification. Applicants must either be currently enrolled in a doctoral psychology program and doing an internship or completing their postdoctoral supervised experience.
Amount: Award amount varies
Deadline: April 15

Stephanie Nicole Ross Foundation Graduate Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? This foundation offers two annual scholarships to graduate students studying psychology, cognitive or behavioral science, or a related field at a college or university in the state of Florida. Scholarships are intended to further education and understanding of the human brain, in honor of the namesake of this scholarship, who lost her life pursuing this cause.
Amount: $1,000
Deadline: April 15

David Pilon Scholarship for Training in Professional Psychology

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Who’s Eligible? Sponsored by the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students, this scholarship is intended to promote supplemental training and education for professional psychology practitioners. Applicants must hold “graduate student affiliate” status as members of the APA to be eligible for this award.
Amount: $1,000
Deadline: May 4

Esther Katz Rosen Fund Grants

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Who’s Eligible? Sponsored by the American Psychological Foundation, this scholarship is intended to help fund and promote research and programs aimed at the advancement of studying psychologically gifted children and adolescents. Applicants may seek funding for research-based pilot or ongoing programs, and may be in graduate or postgraduate study.
Amount: $1,000-$50,000
Deadline: March 1st

Annette Urso Rickel Foundation Dissertation Award for Public Policy

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Who’s Eligible? This scholarship offered through the American Psychological Foundation is specifically for dissertation research on public policy and psychosocial issues affecting children and their families. Applicants must be a current graduate psychology student in good standing at an accredited college or university in the U.S. or Canada.
Amount: $1,000
Deadline: October 1

Benton-Meier Scholarships

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Who’s Eligible? This annual scholarship is offered by the American Psychological Foundation to two graduate students studying neuropsychology. Applicants must demonstrate competence in and commitment to this specialty area of psychology. Applications must be co-signed by the applicant’s mentor or director-of-training.
Amount: $2,500
Deadline: June 1

F. J. McGuigan Dissertation Award

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Who’s Eligible? This award facilitated by the American Psychological Foundation supports dissertation research centered on a greater understanding of the connection between the brain’s neurological components and psychological behaviors. Applicants must have completed doctoral candidacy and proposed research must be in accordance with specific guidelines of this program’s goals.
Amount: $2,000
Deadline: June 1

Scott and Paul Pearsall Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? This American Psychological Foundation scholarship was created to support graduate psychology students who are researching public stigma surrounding physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy and the psychological effects of social stigma in adults. Applicants must be graduate students in good standing at an accredited U.S. college or university.
Amount: $10,000
Deadline: October 1

Ungerleider/Zimbardo Travel Scholarships

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Who’s Eligible? Seven Ungerleider/Zimbardo travel scholarships are awarded each year to qualified graduate students to present their research in psychology at the annual APA convention. Applicants must be full-time graduate psychology students in good standing at an accredited U.S. college or university. They must also be student affiliates/associate members of the American Psychological Association.
Amount: $300 award
Deadline: April 1

Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? This scholarship offered by the American Psychology Foundation supports study at the graduate level of the limitations created by the societal stigmas of mental illness, and the ways in which reducing such stigmas can help aid in the psychological recovery of those living with mental illness. Applicants must be full-time graduate students in good standing at an accredited U.S. college or university, with demonstrated experience in this topic.
Amount: $5,000
Deadline: May 15

Psychology Scholarships for Minorities

Predoctoral Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (MHSAS) Fellowship

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Who’s Eligible? This award offered through the Minority Fellowship Program of the American Psychological Association supports psychology and behavioral health practitioners-in-training. Like all MFP scholarships, the fellowship is designed to increase job growth for qualified minority practitioners in the field. Candidates must be working toward a career in ethnic minority behavioral health services or policy.
Amount: Award amount varies, may be renewable for up to three consecutive years
Deadline: January 15

Postdoctoral Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (MHSAS) Fellowship

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Who’s Eligible? This award supports specialized training of doctoral recipients in the early phase of their career. Like all Minority Fellowship Program awards, this fellowship promotes increased availability of mental health services for ethnic minorities, and an increase in the number of qualified care providers who belong to an ethnic minority themselves. Candidates must have received a conferred doctoral degree in psychology in the last five years.
Amount: Award amount varies, may be renewable for up to two consecutive years
Deadline: January 15

Services for Transition Age Youth (STAY) Fellowship

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Who’s Eligible? This award supports graduate students training to provide mental health services to ethnic-minority transition age youth (ages 16 through 25) and their families. Under the Minority Fellowship Program, this award assists in the development of qualified care providers who belong to, and treat patients who belong to, ethnic minorities. Candidates must be enrolled full-time in a terminal master’s psychology program with a commitment to this specialty.
Amount: Up to $6,000
Deadline: January 22

Kenneth and Mamie Clark Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Professional Development of Ethnic Minority Graduate Students

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Who’s Eligible? Sponsored by the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students, this award supports psychology professionals who belong to an ethnic minority and are actively contributing to the training and professional development of ethnic minority graduate students in the field. Candidates must be nominated by at least two APAGS students, and must participate in student-interaction in a research, clinical, academic, or administrative environment.
Amount: Award amount varies
Deadline: April 1

Pioneer Award

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Who’s Eligible? Under division 35, section five of the APA, the Pioneer Award is granted to a mid-career psychologist of Asian-Pacific descent who is dedicated to research involving the psychology of feminist Asian-Pacific identity. Candidates must be current members of APA division 35, section 5 and be mid-career in professional psychology. In addition to the monetary gift, the recipient also receives a meal with the current president and chapter mentor, an APA authorship opportunity and a certificate of appreciation.
Amount: $250 honorarium
Deadline: May 15

Psychology of Black Graduate Student Women Award

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Who’s Eligible? Sponsored by division 35, section one of the APA, this scholarship is intended to support black women who are graduate psychology majors researching gender roles of black females in society. To be considered for this scholarship, candidates must submit an empirical or theoretical paper, dissertation, book chapter or other written work or publication.
Amount: $250
Deadline: May 22

Carolyn Payton Early Career Award

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Who’s Eligible? One of two awards offered through division 35, section one (Psychology of Black Women) of the APA, this scholarship recognizes the achievements of early-career black women professionals in the field of psychology. Candidates must be postdoctorate for no more than 10 years, and their written submission for consideration must be published.
Amount: $500
Deadline: May 22

Henry Tomes Awards for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Psychology

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Who’s Eligible? Sponsored by the Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs of the APA, this scholarship recognizes the achievements of psychologist belonging to ethnic minorities. Awards are granted on a rotating basis to a psychology professional from African-American, Alaska Native/American Indian, Asian-American/Pacific Islander and Latina/o American ethnic communities. Recipients receive a cash award as well as a commemorative trophy at the APA’s National Multicultural Conference and Summit.
Amount: $500
Deadline: October 1

Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Mentoring of Ethnic Minority Community Psychologists

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Who’s Eligible? Sponsored by Division 27: Society for Community Research and Action of the APA, this scholarship recognizes an NCA member who has positively impacted the early career of a person studying psychology and belonging to an ethnic minority through mentorship and professional guidance. Candidates may be nominated by others or self-nominated, and must be an active member of the SCRA for at least one year.
Amount: Award amount varies
Deadline: December 1

Filipino-American Psychology Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? This award, offered by the Asian-American Psychological Association, Division of Filipino Americans of the APA, is aimed at increasing field opportunities for Filipino-American professionals in the field of psychology. Applicants may be undergraduates planning to pursue a graduate psychology degree or students in their first two years of graduate study. Recipients receive mentorship in addition to a cash prize.
Amount: $500
Deadline: February 1