This page provides information on funding opportunities for graduate students in physics. Graduate students interested in nationally competitive scholarships and external funding opportunities (such as the Fulbright Scholars Program, the Rhodes Scholars Program, or National Science Foundation (NSF) programs) should consult the UIC Office of External Fellowships (OEF) at the links below. Scroll down to view scholarships available through the Department of Physics, selected graduate college scholarships, and selected NSF programs.
Office of External Fellowships Links Heading link
Departmental Scholarships Heading link
Paul M. Raccah Award for Doctoral Studies in Physics
This award has been established for the Physics student who passes and obtains the highest score on the Physics Qualifying Examination for Doctoral Studies in the spring of each year.
This fellowship shall be awarded annually to a student who is an excellent academic standing in the physics graduate program at UIC and has passed the Preliminary Examination. The recipient, is a different student each year, is to be selected by the Physics department Head at UIC, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Advisory Committee of the department.
University Scholarships Heading link
Graduate College Fellowships
The UIC Graduate College offers a variety of fellowship opportunities, including the Dean’s Scholar Fellowship and the Access Fellowship. Click the link below for full details on Graduate College Fellowships.
Provost's & Deiss Awards
The Graduate College’s longest-running support for research by graduate students at UIC is the Provost’s Award for Graduate Research and the W.C. and May Preble Deiss Fund for Biomedical Research Award; which are collectively called the Provost/Deiss Award. The Provost’s Award is open to all graduate students currently enrolled at UIC and the Deiss Fund is for graduate students engaged in research in clinical or basic medical sciences. Click the link below for full details, including eligibility requirements and submission instructions.
Outstanding Thesis and Dissertation Award
The Annual Graduate College Outstanding Thesis and Dissertation Award is given to the most outstanding doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis in each of the four Graduate Program divisions. Each of the awards include a monetary award ($500 for master’s thesis winners and $1,000 for doctoral dissertation winners). Click the link below for full details.
University of Illinois-Chicago and Northern Illinois University, in partnership with Argonne and Fermilab National Laboratories, have developed a comprehensive two-year program (C2-THE-P2 program) to train physics and computer science students in the computational tools necessary to advance the particle physics field.
Students accepted into the C2-THE-P2 program will begin their course work at either UIC or NIU with their general graduate curricula, but will also take several courses in computational physics taught by UIC and NIU faculty and experts from the local labs.
- Earn an M.S. degree while being trained by exceptional scientists.
- Students receive tuition waiver plus a stipend.
- Participate in monthly technical seminars, hands-on learning experiences and bi-annual program events.
- Benefit from close connections to the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) for training and workshops.
Exceptional Faculty Mentors
Physics faculty have connections to ATLAS, CMS, DUNE, g-2 and the Mu2e experiments and the computer science faculty are leaders in the data science and high-performance computing (HPC) fields.
- Open to students 18+ years of age.
- U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.
- Applying to the UIC physics graduate program or the UIC computer science graduate program or the NIU physics graduate program.
Priority consideration is given to applicants who apply by Feb. 1.
For more information, please contact the program contacts:
UIC Physics Graduate Program
UIC Computer Science Graduate Program
C2-THE-P2 program/NIU Physics Graduate Program
NSF/NDSEG Fellowships Heading link
Are you a graduating senior or first year graduate student considering earning a PhD in physics? If so, you should consider applying for the NSF or NDSEG fellowship.
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
The NSF scholarship provides $30,000+ and tuition for 3 years for students pursuing graduate work in science, math or engineering. The NSF also has fellowships for minorities in these fields and for women in engineering, and computer and information science. 1000 scholarships are awarded each year in the US.
The candidate must be an U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident. The applicant must also be a senior or graduate student with fewer than 24 graduate hours (having completed no more than 1 year of graduate study), have an outstanding GRE, and have a GPA of at least a 3.75. The national deadline is November 1st-December 10th depending on your field of study.
Click the link below for full details.
NDSEG - National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program
The National Defense Science and Engineering GraduateThe National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship is a highly competitive, portable fellowship that is awarded to U.S. citizens and nationals who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in one of fifteen supported disciplines. NDSEG confers high honors upon its recipients, and allows them to attend whichever U.S. institution they choose. NDSEG Fellowships last for three years and pay for full tuition and all mandatory fees, a monthly stipend, and up to $1,000 a year in medical insurance (this excludes dental and vision insurance).
Please direct any questions to the Office of External Scholarships if you are a graduating senior or in one of the professional programs.
Click the links below for full details.
Other NSF Programs Heading link
National Science Foundation LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate:
The Bridge to the Doctorate program was created as a response to the dearth of researchers from underrepresented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The Bridge to the Doctorate is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is locally administered by the Illinois Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (IL-LSAMP), which is headquartered at Chicago State University. This program is charged with enrolling, retaining, and graduating doctoral students from STEM disciplines at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Click the link below for full details
National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program
The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative models for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate education training. The NRT program seeks proposals that explore ways for graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. For full details, click the link below.