Financial support is available to graduate students in the form of a stipend, full tuition coverage, healthcare, and benefits. The primary sources of stipends come in the form of Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, and Fellowships. For over 35 years, all Psychology graduate students in good standing have been funded for (at least) five years.

Teaching Assistantships

All graduate students are eligible for a teaching assistantship during each year. Teaching assistantships are 9-month appointments with an approximate stipend of $19,125 plus tuition and student health insurance (current as of the 2021-2022 academic year). In addition, summer funding opportunities are available, supplementing the 9-month stipend with approximately $3,000 per year.

Research Assistantships

Graduate students often receive research assistantships of variable stipend and duration. Research assistantships are usually provided by federal or state research grants awarded to the student’s mentor. 


Several college or university fellowships are available on a competitive basis to incoming and continuing graduate students. All students admitted to the program are automatically considered for fellowship support. Fellowships are administered by the Dean of the Graduate School. Awards are made by the University Fellowship Committee upon recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the Departmental Admissions and Awards Committee.

The psychology department is also home to the Interdisciplinary Training in Alcohol Research grant. This NIAAA-supported T32 grant supports 2-year full research fellowships for graduate students whose research interests include the pharmacology of alcohol and alcohol use disorders.

Students in our doctoral programs are competitve for several other interdisciplinary TL1/T32 fellowships from the National Institutes of Health on campus that provide focused research and professional training opportunities in Drug UseClinical and Translational Science, and Rural Cancer Inequities. Our students have also been competitive for fellowships from the UK Center for Equality and Social Justice and the UK Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women

Dissertation Support

Some funds are available to support doctoral dissertation research. These funds may be used for equipment, supplies, postage, or other expenses incurred in gathering dissertation data.

Graduate Student Travel

Some funds are available to support graduate student travel to professional and scientific meetings to present the results of student research. Certain departmental funds are allocated specifically for students to attend a scientific conference during their first year in the program. Travel required for the collection of research data may also be supported.

Other Sources of Funding

In addition to the above awards, advanced graduate students are permitted to teach undergraduate laboratories, and in some instances independent courses. The number of these awards varies according to the needs of the Department and the capability of the student. The appointment is for the semester and carries a prorated stipend. Recipient pays for all fees, but some tuition scholarships are available. Deadlines are the same as for other awards.

In cases in which the above forms of financial assistance have been exhausted, all efforts are made to place students in part-time jobs which are consistent with their particular interests and talents. Placements have included research assistantships at the University Medical Center; psychological testing positions at local psychiatric facilities and school districts; and teaching assignments in nearby community colleges.

It should be noted that in the past all Psychology graduate students in good standing have been fully supported.

Cost of Living Comparison

Lexington is a very affordable city. Below you will find a 2019 cost of living comparison that estimates the equivalent 9-month stipend that would be needed to match the standard 9-month stipend offered to graduate students completing teaching assistantships in the Department of Psychology at UK:

Lexington compared to the five largest cities in the United States by population:

Lexington compared to similar sized cities (populations of 301,000 - 330,000 in 2018) that are also host to universities with psychology doctoral training programs: