External Funding Resources

Mason will help you find funding from outside sources to help cover the cost of your studies.  

An award or grant is external when the funding goes directly to the student from a source outside Mason. This includes such sources as government programs, professional organizations, or private foundations. When students apply for an external award, they compete with applicants from outside Mason on a regional, national, or international level.

Most external awards fund research, fieldwork, international experience (including foreign language training), dissertation writing, or professional development, although a few provide support for tuition.  

The Office of Fellowships provides support for applicants to external grants, fellows, and awards. Contact the Office of Fellowships for support with: 

  • Announcements of funding opportunities and deadlines; 
  • Information sessions; 
  • Application workshops; 
  • Individual / group advising and coaching; 
  • Feedback on application materials; 
  • Guidance on submission processes and university endorsements.

PhD and MFA students that receive an award may be eligible for additional financial assistance including tuition and health insurance subsidies. Fill out the Pre-Qualifying Award Form to see if you are eligible! Questions? Contact the Office of Fellowships.


Popular Fellowships

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Undergraduate seniors and first-year graduate students (that have not earned a MA or PhD previously); U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents. Funding for 3 years of STEM graduate program. Mason applicants must contact Office of Fellowships by June 1. More information.

DoD SMART Program

Undergraduate senior or currently enrolled graduate student in STEM program; U.S. citizens. Full funding for 1+ years of graduate STEM program, summer internships with DoD facility, DoD employment upon graduation. Applications due in December. More information.

Point Foundation Flagship Scholarship

Undergraduate and graduate students that are “out” as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Financial aid (amount varies), mentorship, and leadership development. Applications due in December. More information.

Soros Fellowship for New Americans

Prospective or current grad students that are “new Americans”. Funding for graduate school. Applications due in October. More information.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Students with a bachelor’s degree (you can apply as an undergrad senior); U.S. citizens. Funding to study, research, or teach English in 140+ countries. Mason applicants must contact Office of Fellowships by June 1. More information.

Boren Fellowship

Graduate students; U.S. citizens (note: must be enrolled at Mason during fellowship). Funding to learn a language critical to U.S. security overseas (grad students may also do research); federal employment upon return to U.S. Mason applicants must contact Office of Fellowships by November 30. More information.

Critical Language Scholarship

Currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students; U.S. citizens. Funding to learn ‘critical need’ language overseas during summer. Applications due in October. More information.

Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Award

PhD candidates in the research phase of their dissertation; U.S. citizens. Funding to research overseas and learn/improve foreign language skill. Mason applicants must contact Office of Fellowships by March 17. More information.

Cosmos Scholars

Currently enrolled graduate students. Funding for research project. Applications due in November. More information.

Ruth Kirschstein NRSA Award

Doctoral students; U.S. citizens. Funding for research related to NIH priorities, professional mentorship. Applications due in April, August or December. More information.

Center for Engaged Research Dissertation Grant

Social science doctoral candidates in last phase of dissertation. Funding for final year of dissertation work. Applications due in December. More information.

Presidential Management Fellowship

Current (preparing to graduate) or recent graduate students. Professional development and 2-year employment with federal government. Applications due in October. More information.

Bryce Harlow Award

Part-time graduate students pursuing lobbying career. Funding for grad school, professional mentorship. Applications due in May. More information.

Smithsonian Internships and Fellowships

Undergraduate and graduate students (varies depending on specific position). Paid research opportunity at Smithsonian museum or research institute. Application deadlines vary. More information.

American Association of University Women International Fellowship

International graduate students that identify as women. Funding for graduate school. Applications due in November. More information.

Quad Fellowship

Citizens of U.S., India, Japan, or Australia currently enrolled or intend to enroll in STEM. Funding for grad school. Applications due in June. More information.

Generation Google Fellowship (North America)

Undergraduate and graduate students in computer science/engineering. 1 year of funding for school. Applications due in December. More information.

Fulbright Foreign Student Program

Graduate students. Funding for graduate school. Deadlines vary by country; apply through individual country Fulbright Office. More information.