Psychology Scholarships for Women

Like all students, psychology majors are continually on the lookout for psychology grants and scholarships. The best sources for grants and scholarships are those funds, organizations and institutions that are tailored directly to students like you.

To get the most out of your search for scholarships and grants, look for those on offer that cater to women psychology majors. This narrows down the applicant pool and helps ensure that you have a good chance of getting the money you need to continue your education.

The best way to go about your search for scholarships and grants is to look everywhere. Apply for as many scholarships and grants as you can find. Apply for as many as apply to your personal circumstances. You may not win all of them but if you cast a wide net you may still get the money you need. Here is a list of several scholarships and grants for women studying psychology.

Psi Chi

Women who excel in academics can always find scholarships and grants no matter their chosen course of study. The most common place that high achievers seek psychology scholarships and grants is through the school they are applying to. But in addition to their academic institution, women who excel in academics can apply for grants from the National Honor Society in Psychology.

The National Honor Society in Psychology, also known as Psi Chi, provides research grants for students pursuing their undergraduate or graduate degree in psychology. Psi Chi is known for large awards and long, supportive relationships with the applicants.

Many of the Psi Chi awards are only available to members of the National Honor Society in Psychology. Membership is inexpensive and available to most current undergraduate or graduate psychology students.

The Allyn and Bacon Award

The Allyn and Bacon Award is a research grant sponsored by Allyn and Bacon Publishers. Applicants turn in an empirical research paper. The best research paper wins $1,000. Second place wins $650, third place wins $350. In addition to the small grant, the winners have their photograph and a brief biography published in Eye on Psi Chi, the organization’s periodical. The application deadline for the Allyn and Bacon Award is May 1.

The Diversity Article Awards

Every year, Eye on Psi Chi — Psi Chi’s periodical — gives four awards in the amount of $300 for the best articles submitted by psychology students on the topic of diversity issues. Subjects include but are not limited to ethnic minorities, LGBTI, physical disabilities and other similar issues. The application deadline for the Diversity Article Award is July 1st.

The Guilford Awards

Like the Allyn and Bacon Award, the Guilford award is a research grant. First place winners are awarded $1,000. Second place receives $650. Third place receives $350. Winners and their faculty research advisers are also awarded a certificate. The abstract of the paper and a photograph of the winners will be published in Eye on Psi Chi. The application deadline for the Guilford Awards is May 1.

The American Psychological Association of Graduate Students/Psi Chi Junior Scientist Fellowship

This fellowship is earmarked for graduate students who excel in research. Any graduate students entering their first or second year are encouraged to apply. Awardees receive funding for their research project for the year.

In addition to this research grant, awardees receive coaching to strengthen their application for a larger graduate research fellowship from the National Science foundation. The award is based on the expenses associated with the research project. Applications must be received by June 30th.

The American Psychological Foundation

The Psi Chi honor society is only one of many psychological foundations that provide substantial grants and scholarships to women who major in psychology. There are many places that women can look to find supportive networks of professionals that are more than willing to provide aid. One of the largest foundations geared toward helping women in the field of psychology is the American Psychological Foundation.

The American Psychological Foundation was founded in 1953. The association’s sole purpose is to provide funding and financial support for research projects that have the potential to “elevate the human condition and advance human potential both now and in generations to come.” The American Psychological Foundation provides grants to women beginning their career in psychology who are interested in advancing the same goals that the foundation espouses.

In the past, the American Psychological Foundation has awarded research grants for research projects intended to prevent violence, understand prejudice, connect mental and physical health and combat homophobia. The American Psychological Foundation provides a number of grants totaling in several hundred thousand dollars in awards every year. Their grant program is competitive, designed to award the best in their field.

The Division 29 Early Career Award

The Division 29 Early Career Award is given to psychologists making novel and promising contributions to psychotherapy. Applicants must have an EdD, PsyD or PhD from an accredited university and be no more than 7 years postdoctoral. Each selected applicant is awarded a $2,500 grant.

Esther Katz Rosen Early Career Research Grant

The Esther Katz Rosen Early Career Research Grant is one of the largest grants awarded by the American Psychological Foundation. The award is earmarked for research psychologists conducting research to better understand the psychology of gifted and talented children and adolescents.

Applicants must have an EdD, PsyD or PhD from an accredited university and be no more than 7 years postdoctoral. Each applicant may request up to $50,000 to fund their research.

The National Association of School Psychologists

Women pursuing degrees in psychology can find many options for funding based on their career goals. Many psychological associations are established by organizations or professionals interested in supporting a specific profession within the field of psychology.

These associations are not just of interest to like-minded psychology students. If the scholarship is large enough and financial support is a big enough factor, the award may help an unsure student decide what profession they wish to pursue.

One such organization is the National Association of School Psychologists. This association was established in 1995 to aid minority graduate students in psychology who face financial barriers to continuing their education. Today they offer scholarships open to minority women graduate students pursuing a Specialist Degree or its equivalent in School Psychology.

It is a bit of a mouthful to say, but applicants who are awarded the National Association of School Psychologists Minority Scholarship Program for Graduate Training in School Psychology are expected to enter the work force as school psychologists. By encouraging minority school psychologists to enter the field, the National Association of School Psychologists hopes to encourage diversity and cultural awareness in school communities.

Every year the National Association of School Psychologists awards several applicants with $5,000 each in scholarship funds. The scholarship is open to both full-time and part-time undergraduate students. Applicants must be in good academic standing and maintain an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must also be members of the National Association of School Psychologists at the time their application is reviewed. The application deadline is November 15th.

The American Psychological Association

To find the biggest scholarships and grants available for women pursuing careers in psychology, it’s a great idea to go to the largest organization for psychologists. The American Psychological Association is the largest association of psychologists in the world. To date they have over 154,000 members.

One of the ways that the APA promotes psychology is to provide scholarships and grants to women studying psychology in undergraduate or graduate programs. This professional research organization provides most of its support to undergraduate psychology majors, graduate-level researchers and professional psychologists who are making important inroads into the field of psychology through their research.

The Carol Williams-Nickelson Award for Women’s Leadership

This award is reserved for women currently pursuing their doctorate in psychology whose research focuses on women’s issues. Applicants must be members of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students. The amount of the scholarships depends on several factors including the type of research conducted. Applicants may apply at any time during the year.

The Deborah Partridge Wolfe International Graduate Fellowship

This grant provides $1,000 for African-American women currently enrolled in graduate school with the intent to study abroad. Applicants may apply at any time during the year.

The Career Advancement Scholarship

This variable scholarship is awarded to undergraduate women currently studying psychology at a 4-year accredited university in the United States. Applicants must be under the age of 25. The amount awarded depends on the academic standing and financial need of the applicant. Since the establishment of the Career Advancement Scholarship over $6 million has been awarded to over 8,000 women. Applicants may apply at any time during the year.

The Nancy B. Forest and L. Michael Honaker Master’s Grant for Research in Psychology

This grant is open to women conducting Master’s thesis research in psychology. To be eligible, applicants must be enrolled in graduate school and belong to the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students. The chosen applicant will receive $1,500. The deadline for application is May 1.

The Basic Psychological Science Research Grant

This grant is designed to fund innovative research in psychology. The $1,000 grant is open to women pursuing graduate-level research in psychology. The funds must be used to support the research or dissertation. Applicants must join the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students. The deadline for application is May 1.

Minority Grant Program

The Minority Grant Program offers grants designed to increase the number of ethnic minority professionals in the field of psychology. By doing so, the APA hopes to promote understanding of the life experiences of ethnic minorities in the United States. The grant is open to minority women excelling in postdoctoral studies in psychology. The award is based on the cost of the program and the needs of the applicant.

Predoctoral Scholarship in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

This scholarship is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It is open to women currently planning to enroll in a full-time APA-accredited doctoral program in the fall following the application deadline.

The scholarship is open to everyone; however, African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are specifically encouraged to apply. The award provides up to three years of funding. The scholarship must be annually renewed. On average, 200 to 300 applications are received and five to six percent of those applicants are granted awards. The application deadline is January 15.

Health Organizations

Not all scholarships for women in psychology are provided through psychological associations. Many health organizations have branches that focus specifically on students studying psychology. Some awards are available to all applicants as long as their major is psychology. Some, like the United Health Foundation and PacifiCare Foundation’s Latino Health Scholars Program, focus specifically on students of a specific gender, race and background.

The United Health Foundation and the PacifiCare Foundation came together to fund and administer the Latino Health Scholars program to encourage the proliferation of Latinos in the field of psychology. This program is open to women currently enrolled in high school who speak both English and Spanish fluently and are interested in entering the field of psychology.

Each year, the fund awards 75 scholarships that total to roughly $2,000,000. Out of that applicant pool, the foundation will select two of the most worthy applicants and award them with the Freedom Award scholarship worth $25,000 each.

To be eligible, applicants must be high school seniors who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Students must be in good academic standing with a G.P.A. of at least 3.0. Transcripts and a letter of recommendation from a teacher on school letterhead must accompany the application.

Applicants must also write an essay enumerating their academic and personal achievements, academic goals, community involvement and the reasons why they want to enter the health care field. The essay must be completed in English and then translated into Spanish.

Federal Government & Local Funding Sources

Federal Opportunities

The government is another great place for women to look for scholarships and grants for women. Psychology may sound like a field that governmental institutions have no interest in funding, but assuming so is a good way to miss out on money. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a number of scholarships to men and women who are pursuing careers in a number of medical fields, including psychology.

One popular scholarship offered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services offers scholarships to graduate students concentrating in Clinical Psychology. This scholarship is special because it does not provide funds to all psychology students, but focusses on applicants whose only restriction is financial. Specifically, this scholarship is earmarked for applicants who come from disadvantaged background or families with limited income.

“Disadvantaged background” is defined as “one who comes from an environment that has inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skill, and abilities required to enroll in and graduate from a health professions school, or from a program providing education or training in an allied health profession; or comes from a family with an annual income below a level based on low income thresholds according to family size published by the U.S. Bureau of Census.”

In addition to a disadvantaged background, applicants must have good standing in school and be full-time students currently enrolled in an accredited graduate school. The amount of assistance given to each student is determined by the student’s available resources, the amount of his tuition and his living expenses.

The scholarship is also available to undergraduate students who are attending school full-time and enrolled in any health care program including psychology.

State & Local Programs

A great place for women to search for scholarships and grants is in their own home state or the state they reside or attend school in. The primary reason is because the applicant pool is smaller when it is limited by geography. The second reason is because of the depth of support. Students who receive scholarship funds from the state they reside in develop connections and support that last a career or longer.

For example, the Washington State Association of School Psychologists offers a scholarship to minority women pursuing graduate training in School Psychology. The Washington State Association of School Psychologists started this scholarship to address the problem of excessive financial pressure on minority students in Washington State who desire to pursue a career in school psychology.

By helping overcome this financial obstacle, the Washington State Association of School Psychologists hopes to encourage diversity in the school psychologist population and accommodate the needs of all the students in Washington State’s schools.

The scholarship is available to minority women who are enrolled full-time or at least half-time in an accredited school psychology program in Washington State. The school must be approved by the Washington State Association of School Psychologists. Applicants must also plan to become a practicing School Psychologist in Washington State soon after completion of their program.

Applicants must be in good standing in their current program in a Washington State school. Only students with a 3.0 GPA or higher should apply. Doctoral students are ineligible. Only students who are enrolled in a specialist level or the equivalent should apply. Every applicant must be a student member of the Washington State Association of School Psychologists during the time that the application is reviewed. The application deadline is November 1.

More Specific Financial Aid Options

Opportunities For Graduate Students

Scholarships and grants are not just available for women pursuing their undergraduate degrees in psychology. A great way for graduate women to shrink the applicant pool and increase the likelihood that they will receive an award is to focus on societies and organizations that reserve their awards for women in graduate programs. Contact with these organizations is a great way to network and gain professional as well as financial support.

A great organization for women in psychology is the Graduate Women in Science Society. This society was established in 1921 by graduated students from Cornell University. It was originally a sorority (Sigma Delta Epsilon) established to encourage networking amongst women in the sciences.

Today the Graduate Women in Science Society helps to advance the position of women in science. It awards seven grants to women conducting research in the sciences.

Three of those grants are earmarked for women conducting research in the field of psychology: the Eloise Gerry Fellowship, the Vessa Notchev Fellowship and the SDE Fellowship. The Graduate Women in Science Society’s awards are competitive. They are reserved for women who currently hold a degree in psychology and are currently conducted research at a recognized institution.

Applicants to each of the three psychology fellowships may request up to $10,000 per application. The Eloise Gerry Fellowship traditionally awards two grants per year totaling $6,000. The Vessa Notchev fellowship awards one grant, usually around $3,000. The SDE fellowship traditionally awards $4,000 to one applicant.

The due date for each application is January 15. The winners are announced on or before July 1. Applicants do not have to be members of the Graduate Women in Science Society to be eligible.

Blended Opportunities

Sports Psychology

The more specific their career and study goals, the more awards women pursuing psychology will find. Often times, this means searching outside of the traditional places for scholarship awards. If your goals are to blend psychology and sports medicine for example, it is beneficial to look for scholarships and grants with organizations or funds that provide scholarships to students studying sports medicine.

For example, the Dorothy Harris Endowed Scholarship provides scholarships for women in sports, including those studying sports psychology. The Dorothy Harris Scholarship was established in September 1990 by the Women’s Sports Foundation. The award was established in honor of Dr. Dorothy Harris who spent her career battling for equal rights for women in sports. Every year, two scholarships are awarded to women who are pursuing a full-time master’s or doctoral program in sports psychology. Each award is up to $3,000.

The amount of the award depends on several factors including but not limited to financial need, G.P.A., the nature of the applicant’s research and career goals and their level of participation in the sport of their choice. Applicants apply for the award through the Women’s Sports Foundation website.

Niche Scholarship Programs With Limited Competition

Psychology is a broad field. Students and professionals working on the fringes of psychology often assume that because supporting organizations are few, that funds are few as well. But pursuing a niche section of psychology can result in lots of financial support. Because the applicant pool is quite small, there are lots of awards to go around and a small community to provide lots of support during all aspects of a career.

For example, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology provides support solely to psychologists pursuing studies or research in the field of transpersonal psychology.

Transpersonal psychology is a holistic approach to psychotherapy. Instead of just dealing with the mind as in traditional psychology, transpersonal psychology treats all six aspects of human existence: intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual, creative and relational.
Students in this field enjoy being at the forefront of psychological research and integrating many disciplines into one.

The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology offers full and partial scholarships to African-American PhD candidates who intend to pursue the field of transpersonal psychology. Students must be currently enrolled as full-time students taking online courses working with a PhD mentor or taking courses on campus. Applicants must exhibit significant financial need.

Applicants must also be in good academic standing with a grade point average of at least 3.0. A number of awards are provided every year. Most awards provide $1,000 in scholarship funds per quarter. Applicants may apply every quarter they are enrolled full-time in a PhD program. However, only $3,000 total may be awarded to any one applicant. The application deadline is June 1 each year.

Political Opportunities

Women who pursue degrees in psychology in order to aid the general public and the health of the country will always find awards available to them. A great way to approach a search for scholarships and grants is via the benefit that your future career goals will have for your local and national community. For example, women who pursue degrees in psychology in order to provide drug and alcohol counseling often find funding from national programs to end drug abuse.

The National Federation of Republican Women National Pathfinder Scholarship was established in 1985 to commemorate First Lady Nancy Reagan’s campaign against drug and alcohol abuse. Once a year, three scholarship awards of $2,500 each are awarded to the three women conducting research on drug and alcohol abuse in psychology or related fields.

To be eligible, applicants have to be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in psychology and intend to pursue a career related to the study of drug and alcohol abuse or the counseling of drug and alcohol abusers and their families.

To apply, applicants must submit a complete application to the National Federation of Republican Women representative in your state by June 1. Applicants may apply every year, but they may only receive the scholarship once.

Religious Opportunities

Women pursuing degrees in psychology rarely look to their religious organization for support. However, overlooking these institutions is a good way to miss out on a valuable source of support. Many religious institutions in a variety of faiths provide support specifically for women who are pursuing studies in the field of psychology. Often these studies do not have to be pursued at a religious school.

For example, the Bethesda Lutheran Communities is a Lutheran organization that aims to aid and support children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through Christian-centric services. Part of the way they support children and adults with disabilities is to encourage Lutheran students to pursue careers in psychology. Once they matriculate, these students will be in an ideal position to offer Christian-centric services with a medical background.

Each year, Bethesda Lutheran Communities offers two scholarships for $3,000. The scholarships are open to women currently enrolled in at least their sophomore year in college or university and pursuing or intending to pursue study or a career in the area of developmental disability.

The college or university must be a four-year and accredited institution, but does not have to be a Lutheran institution. Applicants must be active members of a Lutheran church. The scholarship is not necessarily merit-based. However, students must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0.

Applicants must turn in application packages that include a short essay about their career and study goals, evidence of 100 hours of paid or volunteer work with people with disabilities and letters of reference. The deadline for application is April 15.

Other Places to Look

No online list of scholarships and grants is exhaustive. And you need to be exhaustive to get the money you need to make sure that you get school paid for. Always check with your school. Virtually every school has a scholarship program. Many schools have funds earmarked specifically for psychology students or for women.

Call the financial aid office and ask for a list of available scholarships offered by the school. Peruse the list to find the scholarship most suited for you. Ask the guidance counselor for help if necessary. They can evaluate your school record and help you get the largest amount of available funds.

The key to finding funding for a career in psychology is to leave absolutely no stone unturned. At the same time that students apply to schools and programs, they should make a list of all the possible scholarships that they may qualify for.

Don’t stop the search just at scholarships for women or scholarships for psychology students. Think outside of the box. Scholarships based on economic need or on related fields like sports medicine or school counseling open up entirely new areas of scholarship and grant opportunities.

Applicants must devote as much time to the search for scholarships and grants as they devote to searching for worthy educational institutions. With diligence and perseverance, women can find funding for their programs no matter how small and esoteric or large and fraught with competition.

17 Responses to “Psychology Scholarships for Women”
  1. Karin Rittvo
    08.25.2012

    Hello,
    I am a 59 year old elementary arts educator in the Louisiana public school system. I am also a single grandmother, raising an 8 and 11 year old. Many of the African American students that I work with are suffering from loss, grief, and stress. My goal is to return to graduate school at Southwestern College for a master’s degree in art therapy so that I can better serve children. I am seeking a way to pay for this continuing education, as I am still in dept for other college loans. Because I am committed to raising my 2 grandchildren as well, I continue to work until they graduate from college…any ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

  2. Carol
    08.28.2012

    Why is this process so difficult? I just want to find a scholarship for black females pursuing a degree is Psychology and eventually a Master for counseling. I’ve been searching for over two hours; I have a disability that only allow me so much time at the computer…PLEASE, can you make this an easier process. I just want an opportunity to apply for a scholarship.

    Thank you,

  3. Terri B
    08.29.2012

    Looking for scholarships in Christian Counseling. I’m currently a student at Liberty University Online. Pursuing a masters in Christian Counseling emphasis on Family aand marrige

  4. Gladys Chegenye
    09.08.2012

    I would like sponsorship to study my masters program at Felician college, NJ . I am an international student from Kenya.
    Thank you.
    Gladys.

  5. Mahbuba
    09.26.2012

    Hi.
    I want to make a research work in psycology and i want to help people.

  6. Elizabeth Gaytan
    09.26.2012

    would like to know how to apply for a scholorship for myself. Thank you.

  7. Lori Egebrecht
    01.25.2013

    Hello,

    I’m a second year undergraduate Psychology major pursuing a scholarship that would allow me to further my education. At the moment I am focusing on childhood development as well as abnormal childhood development. I am not a minority, which unfortunately gives me a huge disadvantage when it comes to scholarships and grant opportunities. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thank-you!

  8. Angie Ely
    02.20.2013

    I am an psychology undergraduate at Liberty University and am in the process of internship; however, still have five more classes to go before graduating. I am hoping to obtain a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and am in desperate need of money to continue, as financial aid is coming close to the cap amount. Any information is greatly appreciated.

    God bless!

  9. Terri Goodwin
    03.01.2013

    I am looking for scholarships for beginning undergraduate students in their 50′s. If anyone
    has any information please forward them to my
    email address.

  10. Sarah Nordgren
    03.12.2013

    I am a first-generation female returning to school for my MS in general psychology following a year and a half hiatus, with hopes to obtain my Ph.D. or MD. I aspire to use my degree to contribute to research and teaching that focuses primarily on women’s issues, as well as behavioral methods for treating ADHD in children. As a dumb undergrad, I managed to amass a large amount of student loan debt, the fear of which has kept me from continuing my education until this point. I am seeking opportunities to repay my debt while funding grad school.

  11. penni ford
    04.03.2013

    This is my first time looking for scholarships. I want to go back to school online for my masters in psychology. Most of the scholarships you have to already be enrolled in the program. I do understand that, but does that mean I have to pay for my first classes or are there any scholarships you can apply for before hand? Thank you!

  12. Holly
    05.17.2013

    I have searched many sites about scholarships, and many of them are confined to one particular genre of student, with understanding. However, I’m a 33 year old single mother, who is returning to school in Psychology – as an undergraduate. I have approximately one year left to obtain my first Bachelors degree and then I plan to enter a Masters degree program, followed by a Doctoral program in Psychology. I haven’t been able to find any scholarships that I would be eligible for. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you for posting this site. It has been very helpful.

  13. tewedage
    06.16.2013

    I am a 38 years old women graduated my first degree in general psychology and my masster degree in coucling pschology .and by now i want to study my PHD by conucling pschlogy and help me the acsess how i get this chance .
    thank u so much

  14. emma
    01.06.2014

    I am a 40 year old woman and so much wish i went back to school online for a Bachelor’s in Counseling Psychology, I hold a University Certificate in Counseling. I would like to help individuals who seem to have lost meaning to life it pains me to see them live a hopeless and helpless life.

  15. Sheila
    01.30.2014

    I am in my last class of pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

    My next endeavor will begin in September ’14, as I begin my Master’s Program. Not bad for a 54 year old, who is interested in fullfilling her desire to assist homeless women develop their fullest potential.

  16. zainabu
    03.31.2014

    please am a 30 years Tanzania woman, am also asking for the scholorship

  17. sylvia
    04.01.2014

    Hi! am a student at Makerere university pursuing a degree in Community Psychology. i need help am tied up. no tuition yet. any on hear to stand with me please!


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