Financial Support

Financial Support

Doctoral students at the Missouri School of Journalism receive a maximum of six semesters of full financial support for their three years of study. This support includes assistantships, scholarships, fully subsidized health insurance and support for dissertation research and travel to conferences. The cost of your education is largely paid for so that you can concentrate on your doctoral program. Financial assistance during the summer term is limited. Information about the benefits and subsidy program is available through the MU Graduate School.


We guarantee two assistantships each semester. Assistantships may be in teaching and/or research. Research assistants support faculty members in their research or creative projects, and all doctoral students are eligible for them. Teaching assistants typically perform teaching-related activities such as guest lecturing, writing and grading exams and meeting with students. International students and permanent resident aliens are not eligible for teaching assistantships until they have been enrolled at the university for one semester and have passed a language screening exam.

Doctoral graduate assistants usually work for 20 hours a week. They are paid a monthly stipend for the nine-month academic year. Students must be enrolled for at least nine hours while working as an assistant. To continue as a graduate assistant, students must maintain a 3.5 GPA and receive positive evaluations of their performance.

Assistantships also provide a waiver of resident and non-resident educational fees, providing doctoral students with a substantial savings. Students are still required to pay the incidental fees such as the computing fee and the student activities fee. At this level of assistantship commitment (20 hours per week), the MU Graduate School provides a full subsidy of the cost of student health insurance; your cost will be completely subsidized.

It is the policy of the Missouri School of Journalism that students who hold an assistantship must be present on campus and in residence during the duration of their assistantship assignment. Assistantships cannot be completed “long-distance.” Students who are not on campus and in residence, including students in the online MA program, are ineligible to hold an assistantship.


In additional to assistantships, we provide scholarship support each semester to offset the costs of books, incidental fees and living expenses.

In addition there are several campus-wide fellowships and scholarships available. These are highly competitive and require a very high grade point average and exceptional letters of recommendation. The journalism graduate studies center will select qualified candidates and send their nominations to the MU Graduate School at the time of admission. In limited circumstances, there are additional funding opportunities provided by the Missouri School of Journalism.

Research and Travel Support

Doctoral students receive financial support for direct expenses incurred in conducting research for their dissertation.

When finances allow, we provide yearly travel support for two professional conferences (typically one is for the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication), should you have a paper accepted there. Students with approved conference travel receive reimbursements of expenses for each trip.

To receive the full package of financial support outlined above, the graduate studies center requires an updated copy of the FAFSA each year you are enrolled in the journalism doctoral program at MU. We provide a different form for our international students.

Special Funding Opportunities

Doctoral Teaching Fellowship Program

This program provides support at $25,000 per year, over the course of four years, for the newly-admitted student who has significant professional experience, the desire to do research, and the desire to delve into teaching pedagogy and instruction in the field of Journalism. One successful applicant is selected every other year.

Paul J. Synor Fellowship Program

This program provides support at $28,000 per year, for three years, for the newly-admitted student who plans focus their research in Strategic Communication; in particular, advertising and/or persuasion. The Synor Fellowship is made possible by a generous gift from Paul J Synor (BJ, ’42), who spent most of his life working in the creative department for advertising agencies in New York, Chicago, Toronto and London, including Leo Burnett in Chicago, the advertising agency responsible for creating Tony the Tiger, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Morris the Cat, Charlie the Tuna, the Marlboro Man and other brand icons. The Synor Fellowship is awarded to one to two incoming doctoral students per year, as funding allows.

Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellowship Program

The Reynolds Journalism Institute at the School of Journalism provides six doctoral research assistantships each year, allowing our doctoral students to do research for top journalism professionals and entrepreneurs who come to Missouri as RJI Fellows each year. In addition, RJI provides one $21,000 RJI Doctoral Fellowship, in which an advanced doctoral student is free to pursue research that supports the innovative, digital focus of the Institute.

Federal Financial Aid

If you are interested in applying for a federal educational loan, please contact the MU Student Financial Aid Office. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to be eligible for federal financial aid.

International students should contact the MU International Center about funding opportunities.

In addition to the above information, the MU Graduate School has information about funding your graduate program.


Contact Kathy Appuhn-Hodges.