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Can PhD Students Work Part Time?

March 26, 20242 min read

Can PhD Students Work Part Time?

There are many things to consider in your planning for your PhD, including where you’ll live, what you’ll study, and of course how you’ll fund yourself.  PhD programs can be an incredibly fulfilling time in your life emotionally and professionally, but for some, it can also be a stressful period of life where you constantly have to worry about money.  

Fully Funded Programs

In the case of fully funded PhD students, they have the benefit of tuition remission.  For graduate assistants, they have the additional benefit of a stipend, awarded for research or teaching assignments they perform throughout their time in their program.

Graduate Assistantships

If you need funding and you’re interested in completing your program debt free, applying for fully funded programs allows you to ensure you’re still paying rent AND getting your degree underway.  In addition, you’ll be getting some great professional experience in your area of study by performing the tasks of a graduate assistant!

But this isn’t enough- can I have another job?

Unfortunately, most graduate programs will not allow you to hold any other position while you are under contract as a graduate assistant.  This is because your position as a graduate student and graduate assistant is full time.  While many PhD programs can offer you a generous stipend, not all can, and this is why shortlisting your schools is a vital part of your application process.  You shouldn’t apply anywhere if you won’t be able to sustain yourself during your time in that program.  Schools understand the life of a PhD student is hard, and many times they can work with you to ensure you succeed.  In fact- all departments have an “emergency fund” set aside for exactly this reason.  

Interested in finding a fully funded program and a graduate assistantship? Join us in the Fearless Grad Program so you can get paid to get your degree.  


Phdshould I do my phdgraduate schooltimePhD or job
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Dr. Natalie Morse

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