All students accepted to the Ph.D. major in Psychology as of 2016 are guaranteed 5 academic years of financial support, provided that they are in good academic standing in the major. The department tries to provide this full support (what the university calls a "half-time" appointment) to all students, and the large majority are supported at this level, although a minority of students are funded at less. Although limited summer funding is available, it is not guaranteed.
Applicants do not need to request consideration for a department program assistantship. With your application you will automatically be considered for a departmental teaching or research assistantship.
Most entering graduate students are funded by a departmental assistantship, which provides a stipend and tuition waiver for the nine-month academic year. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the stipend is $17,830 (22.86 per hour) for incoming and continuing students. The tuition waiver covers full tuition costs. Students will be responsible for paying all academic fees, which are expected to be approximately $800 per semester (Fall and Spring) and approximately $500 in the Summer. These are current rates and are subject to change. These assistantships require a 16-20 hour per week work assignment. The hiring process for the assistantship position appointment would include completing an online employment application and payroll paperwork at Human Resources, passing a background check, and providing reference letters and original documents used to verify work authorization.
The Office of Graduate Studies requires all prospective TAs whose native language is not English to earn a minimum score of 26 on the speaking subsection of the internet based TOEFL (iBT-S) or 160 on the spoken portion of the TOEIC test administered by ETS.
One benefit of being a Graduate Assistant (GA) is eligibility to receive a subsidy from the University to help offset the cost of health insurance and make it more affordable for GA's who participate in the USF Student Health Insurance Plan. The individual annual premium cost is $3,310. The University of South Florida will pay up to $3,151 of the annual premium for eligible GA's with at least a .25 FTE appointment (10 hours per week). The University's contribution is paid directly to the insurance company. Students will be responsible to pay the $159* difference in annual health insurance premium (*rates contingent on collective bargaining agreement). This amount will be deducted from the student’s paycheck in two payments during the fall semester and four payments during the spring semester for annual coverage. GA's must enroll in the Plan during the Open Enrollment period to be eligible and insurable for the semester(s) of employment, and must maintain eligibility throughout the semester(s).
After the first year, most students work throughout the calendar year in paid research, clinical, or teaching placements. Opportunities to teach an undergraduate course, funded by a departmental assistantship, have been ample for post-master's students. We have a long track record of funding 100% of the students who request funding.
A limited number of graduate assistantships (GA) are awarded each year on a competitive basis. To be considered for a GA position, your application must be received by February 1. GA positions are 20 hours per week (Fall and Spring only), involve teaching or research, and come with a tuition waiver. Summer funding is not available at this time.
Fellowships and Scholarships
Eligible applicants should apply for applicable fellowships, scholarships, and similar awards. See the Office of Graduate Studies fellowship/scholarships website. Students who receive such awards receive the same support package as other students but have less work obligation.
The fellowship our students most often apply for and receive is the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship. An applicant must be African American or Hispanic, a U.S. citizen, and hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
In addition to fellowships and scholarships for which applicants may apply, there are some that are by departmental nomination only (e.g., Graduate Student Success (GSS) Fellowship, Delores Auzenne Fellowship, McNair Doctoral Fellowship (part of the GSS Fellowships), and Presidential Graduate Fellowship).
The department offers several monetary awards and scholarships for Psychology graduate students. Please visit our Awards and Scholarships page for requirements, applications, and deadlines.
Those interested in financial aid should contact the USF Financial Aid Office in the SVC building (813-974-4700) as soon as an offer to attend the program has been accepted. For loan applications, students should try to apply by May. Using a lender in Tampa is much easier than using an out-of-state lender. Note that the lender will consider your tuition waiver part of your assets and income, so be sure to inform them of the tuition waiver amount.