Why Study at Penn State?

Our Ph.D. students get excellent jobs, in a variety of different careers

Our alumni hold positions in academia, government, nonprofits and industry. 

We provide excellent financial support

Doctoral students typically receive an award of five years of funding. We work to ensure that the assignments vary so that all students will have the opportunity to become better researchers and better teachers.  In a typical semester, about 30 percent of our students are Teaching Assistants, while 40 percent are RAs, and 30 percent have fellowships with no responsibilities.  

Most students are funded during the summers, and several competitive programs provide grants to support student travel, data collection, and writing the dissertation. More details can be found on our funding for graduate students page.

We prepare our students get involved in research right away

In the first two years of study, most students are already involved in collaborative research projects with faculty and other graduate students. Many students write publishable M.A. papers. This success is due to our excellent student-faculty ratio, early professionalization, and financial support. 

Graduate student publications
Current research projects 

Ready to apply?

All applications are submitted via the online Penn State GRADS portal.  We admit students for the Fall term only.  The deadline for admission is January 15 each year for enrollment in August. We start considering applications before those deadlines, however, and it’s sometimes a good idea to apply earlier.

Additional information on the application process.

Still not sure? See answers to frequently asked questions