Sources of financial support
By field of study
In 2016, fellowships or grants were the most common primary source of financial support for doctoral students in life sciences, with 41% of this group reporting such support. Research assistantships were the leading source of support in physical sciences and earth sciences (49%), mathematics and computer sciences (37%), and engineering (57%). Teaching assistantships were the most common source for doctoral students in humanities and arts (40%). In other non-science and engineering (non-S&E) fields and in psychology and social sciences, similar proportions of doctorate recipients reported fellowships or grants, teaching assistantships, and their own resources as their primary source of financial support. Doctoral students in education fields were the most likely to rely on their own resources, with 46% reporting this as their primary source of support.
Primary source of financial support for U.S. doctorate recipients, by broad field of study: 2016
|Primary source||Life sciences||Physical sciences and earth sciences||Mathematics and computer sciences||Psychology and social sciences||Engineering||Education||Humanities and arts||Other non-S&E fields|
|Fellowship or grant||4,671||40.8||1,326||23.5||588||16.6||2,107||26.8||1,916||22.9||559||12.4||1,738||35.7||601||23.8|
- S&E = science and engineering.
- NOTES: Percentages are based on the number of doctorate recipients responding to the primary source of financial support item. Own resources include loans, personal savings, personal earnings outside of the institution sources listed, and earnings or savings of spouse, partner, or family. Other sources include employer reimbursement or assistance and foreign support.
- SOURCE: Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities 2016. Related detailed data: tables 35, 36, 37.