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Funding Opportunities

All students admitted to the Ph.D. program are offered funding, which includes a 12-month stipend, a full tuition waiver, and student health insurance*. If students continue to make good progress in the program, funding typically continues for five years. Outstanding applicants may also be eligible for departmental, College of Arts and Science, or University fellowships that supplement the standard stipend. The department nominates outstanding applicants for these awards; there is no separate application process. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Department offers a Fellowship that also provides a supplement to the standard stipend for selected students with health and health policy research emphases.

Most funded students work as graduate assistants to the department faculty members. To support themselves beyond the usual five years of graduate assistant funding, students may work as research assistants to faculty members in sociology or in other parts of the University, or teach at Vanderbilt or in other local colleges. Students also benefit from numerous internal funding opportunities, such as dissertation-year fellowships from the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities; summer research awards from the College of Arts and Science; small research grants from the Department of Sociology; and travel grants from the Graduate School Students are also encouraged to compete for national external graduate fellowships sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Jacob Javits Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the American Sociological Association.

For more information about Meharry Medical College see: and for its Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded Center for Health Policy see:


* University Tuition Scholarships are service-free awards that pay all or part of tuition costs. The following graduate awards are normally supplemented by a full University Tuition Scholarship, which usually includes student health insurance coverage: University Fellowships, Graduate Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Research Assistantships, Traineeships, and Teacher Training Awards.