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Funding Opportunities

What SDSU Scholarships Am I Eligible For?

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The CSU Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP) provides student loans to doctoral students who show promise of teaching within the CSU system, as well as loan forgiveness to those who obtain a CSU instructional position. The Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive loan is $10,000 per year over five years, with a maximum amount of $30,000 and is forgivable for those with full- or part-time teaching appointments at a CSU campus. Recipients must be CSU employees in order to receive loan forgiveness. Being awarded the CDIP loan is not a guarantee of employment at the CSU. Recipients who do not obtain CSU teaching appointments may pay back the loan according to a 15 year schedule (see https://www2.calstate.edu/csu-system/faculty-staff/cdip/Pages/what-is-cdip-loans.aspx ). Each applicant is required to have a full-time tenure/tenured-track CSU faculty advisor who will provide professional mentoring and networking opportunities throughout the student's educational experience. Mentors may be eligible for additional support, such as funding to accompany their student to conferences. Established in 1987, the CSU C-DIP is the largest program of its kind in the United States. As of June 2018 the program has loaned $51 million to over 2,100 doctoral students enrolled in universities throughout the nation, and 1,281 of these participants have successfully earned doctoral degrees. Among participants who have earned their doctoral degrees, 769 (60 percent) have subsequently obtained employment in CSU instructional faculty positions.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Anyone interested in doctoral study, including lecturers without terminal degrees, current MA and MFA students, and undergraduate seniors may apply for C-DIP.
  • The program is open to applicants who will be new or continuing full-time students in doctoral programs at regionally accredited universities anywhere within the United States.
  • Applicants are not required to have attended the CSU nor to have been accepted in a doctoral program at the time of their application.
  • Each applicant is required to have a full-time tenure/tenure-track CSU faculty advisor who will provide professional mentoring and networking opportunities throughout the student’s educational experience.

The 2022-2023 application cycle has closed. Information about the 2023-24 application will be available in December 2022.

The California Pre-Doctoral scholarship program is designed to increase diversity within the pool of university faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of students in the CSU who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages.

The California Pre-Doctoral Program will award funds to approximately 70 juniors, seniors and graduate students in the CSU. These funds are designed to enable current students to explore and prepare to succeed in doctoral programs in their chosen field of study. Awards are based on competitive review of student applications and given to current upper-division or graduate students who, in the judgment of the review panel, demonstrate academic excellence while having experienced economic or educational disadvantage, and who are committed to a career in teaching and research at the university level. The program places a special emphasis on increasing the number of CSU students who enter doctoral programs at one of the University of California (UC) institutions.

Students who are chosen for this prestigious award are designated Sally Casanova Scholars as a tribute to Dr. Sally Casanova, for whom the Pre-Doctoral scholarship is named. As a Sally Casanova Scholar, students will have unique opportunities to explore and prepare to succeed in doctoral programs. Students will have the benefit of direct one-on-one guidance afforded from faculty members from within the CSU, and the opportunity to work with faculty from doctoral-granting institutions. In addition the program provides:

  1. Travel Funds for the student to visit U.S. doctoral-granting institutions and/or to attend professional meetings appropriate to the student's development.
  2. Development Funds for other related activities, such as student membership in professional organizations, subscriptions to academic journals, graduate school applications and test fees, GRE preparation, and the cost of minor research materials, for example.
  3. A Summer Research Experience following the award of the scholarship, recipients are given the opportunity at a University of California campus or other U.S. major research university, fully funded by the Pre-Doctoral Program, so that the scholar can participate in doctoral-level research prior to enrolling in a Ph.D. program.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Juniors, seniors and master's degree students (Students interested in obtaining professional masters or doctoral degrees such as law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, or an MBA degree, for example, are not eligible)
  • Must be enrolled at a CSU campus for at least one semester of the academic year that they apply for the scholarship
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Current or previously awarded Pre-Doctoral Scholars are not eligible to re-apply. Each applicant must have a faculty sponsor from the student’s home campus who will be available for the duration of the plan specified in the application.

The 2022-2023 application cycle has closed. Information about the 2023-24 application will be available in December 2022.
The Graduate Equity Fellowship program provides support for economically disadvantaged graduate students, especially from groups who are underrepresented within their respective disciplines. Fellowships range from $500 to $2,000 for an academic year depending on the demonstrated need. Students may receive awards for a maximum of two academic years, but they must apply each year. Post-baccalaureate, second master's degree students and doctoral students are ineligible. 

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Students that are legal California residents
  • Master's students (not available for second master's degree students or doctorate students) that are conditional classified or classified
  • Completed the free FAFSA or Dream Act application
  • Enroll in at least 6 units of graduate work related to the master's degree for the fall and spring semesters
  • Maintain a 3.00 GPA
  • Have at least $1,000 of financial need as determined by the Financial Aid Office

Interested students should complete an application and a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, available online at www.fafsa.gov. Those eligible for the CA Dream Act application can apply online at https://dream.csac.ca.gov/.

Application Submission Checklist:

  • Student Essay: The essay should address specific circumstances that contribute to the need as well as your academic progress toward earning your degree. Limit 1 page (single spaced, or 2 double spaced).
  • Graduate Advisor Endorsement: The completed form will be uploaded to your application.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate coursework (and unofficial SDSU transcripts for continuing Master's students)
  • Two letters of recommendation (preferably from faculty members)

The 2021-2022 application cycle has closed. Information about the 2022-23 application will be available in July 2022.

These support travel associated with scholarly research and creative activities.  There are two funds, and each has a different deadline and set of constraints.  Students may apply to both funds for the same travel, but can only be awarded from one fund.

Graduate Student Travel Funds

List of Additional Fellowship Programs

Visit the Financial Aid Homepage for additional opportunities.

Visit the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement Scholarship page for more scholarships and fellowships!