Regardless of the degree, the cost of graduate school is a primary concern for most students considering an advanced degree. Even those in lucrative fields like computer science look for ways to lower the cost of tuition, especially if they need student loans to help pay for school. Since qualified computer scientists are in high demand, a wide range of scholarships and fellowships are available to grad students in the field. This guide details specific scholarships and resources for computer science graduate students. It also provides helpful tips for standing out on your scholarship applications.
Available Graduate Scholarships for Computer Science Students
Whether the funding covers your tuition or helps offset your living costs, the extra financial support from a scholarship, grant, or fellowship can reduce stress by lowering school loan amounts and decreasing the need to work full-time while going to school. With less concern about paying for school, you can better focus your energy on your studies. Below is a list of funding opportunities, both general ones and those aimed at specific demographics, that can help computer science grad students pay for their education.
General Scholarships for Computer Science Grad Students
- Offered by the IEEE Computer Society
- $1,000 and up
- April 30th and September 30th
- Applicants must be IEEE members for at least three months, full-time students in a computer-related field, and have minimum GPAs of 2.5.
Description: Awarded to promising student leaders in STEM willing to serve as student ambassadors for the IEEE Computer Society
- Offered by Google
- Reopens in early 2023 for the 2023-2024 school year
- Applicants must be full-time students in a computer science program and demonstrate financial need.
Description: For STEM students committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and open to members of all demographic groups that serve marginalized communities
- Offered by RevPart
- First Place: $1,000; Runner-up: $500
- December 31, 2022
- Candidates must be enrolled in a U.S.-based STEM program.
Description: Open to promising graduate students in the STEM field and awarded based on academic performance and a ten-sentence essay submission
- Offered by Scholarship360
- August 31, 2022
- This scholarship is open to all STEM students.
Description: A straightforward scholarship for current or aspiring STEM students; Awarded based on the strength of a 250-word essay
- Offered by DevelopIntelligence
- September 1, 2022
- Full-time students who have completed one computer science class with a grade of 3.4 or better and who plan to take at least one computer science class the next school year are eligible.
Description: For those interested in employing technology to make a difference in the software industry and the world
- Offered by the Association of Former Intelligence Officers
- 2023-2024 academic year deadline to be announced
- Applicants must be serving the U.S. Government or plan to after graduating.
Description: Open to students interested in pursuing government careers in national security
- Offered by MyBioSource Inc.
- June 30, 2023
- Candidates must be currently enrolled in a STEM program.
Description: Open to a broad range of applicants with innovative ideas in the computer science field
- Offered by Creative Biolabs
- September 30, 2022
- This scholarship is open to students with GPAs of at least 3.0 in a science-related field.
Description: Available to students in science-related fields with a preference for applicants participating in public service
- Offered by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education
- $1,000 to $5,000
- February 1, 2023
- Open to students focusing on cybersecurity with minimum GPAs of 3.5.
Description: An annual scholarship for students looking to pursue a degree related to cybersecurity
Scholarships for Women
- Offered by Bold.org
- October 31, 2022
- This scholarship is open to aspiring female entrepreneurs in technology-related fields.
Description: Aims to empower future women leaders in the technology industry by supporting students with original and impactful ideas
- Offered by Society of Women Engineers
- Amount varies based on funding
- 2023-2024 applications open in December 2022
- Applicants must identify as women and plan to pursue a STEM degree as full-time students.
Description: Focused on increasing women’s visibility in technology-related fields with additional opportunities for reentry and non-traditional students
- Offered by Women in Defense
- Amount not disclosed
- Expected 2023-2024 deadline is March 2023
- This scholarship is open to women with financial need and minimum 3.25 GPAs.
Description: For women pursuing careers in national security or defense
Scholarships for Veterans
- Offered by HotelPlanner.com
- August 15th and December 15th each year
- Applicants must be veterans or their immediate family, have financial need, and be accepted to a technology-related program.
Description: Recognizes the bravery and service of veterans by supporting those seeking to finance a technology degree
- Offered by Google in partnership with Student Veterans of America
- Will reopen in early 2023
- Applicants must be veterans or active-duty military with strong academic performance and enrolled full-time in a computer science or engineering program.
Description: Assists veterans pursuing graduate degrees in computer science
Scholarships for Minorities and Historically Marginalized Groups
- Offered by Entertainment Software Association Foundation and Gay Gaming Professionals
- Amount not disclosed
- Expected 2023-2024 deadline is March 2023
- Applicants must be part of a marginalized group, pursuing degrees related to video game science, be full-time students, and actively serving the LGBTQ+ community.
Description: Promotes innovation in the video game industry by including LGBTQ+ and marginalized individuals with additional scholarships for minorities also available
- Offered by the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals
- $2,000 to $5,000
- June 2023 for the 2023-2024 academic year
- Applicants should identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, have GPAs of at least 2.75, and be active participants in organizations promoting LGBTQIA+ inclusion and visibility.
Description: Promotes the inclusion of talented LGBTQIA+ students in STEM to increase representation and visibility in the field
- Offered by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
- $3,000 to $10,000
- 2023-2024 applications accepted February to April 2023
- Applicants must be active SHPE members, have minimum GPAs of 2.75, and plan to pursue a STEM degree.
Description: For Hispanic students; multiple need or merit-based scholarships available
- Offered by the Lime Network
- December 2023
- Open to students with visible or invisible disabilities who are pursuing computer science degrees.
Description: Offers financial and networking assistance to computer science students with disabilities
- Offered by KnowBe4
- Closed for the 2022-2023 academic year.
- Applications are open to full-time students who are Black, have GPAs of at least 3.2, and are planning to pursue degrees in cybersecurity or information assurance.
Description: Aimed toward Black students with strong academic performance and financial need who are pursuing careers in cybersecurity
Fellowships for Computer Science Grad Students
- Offered by the National GEM Consortium
- $8,000 yearly stipend, full tuition and fees, paid summer internship
- November 15, 2022
- Applicants must be members of an underrepresented group in science and have GPAs of at least 2.8.
Description: Offers funding and internships to People of Color pursuing advanced engineering and computer science degrees
- Offered by the National Science Foundation
- $37,000 yearly stipend for five years
- October 18, 2022
- Open to full-time computer science and engineering graduate students who have completed no more than one academic year of study.
Description: A well-funded fellowship for high-achieving graduate students just starting their studies
- Offered by the Association for Computing Machinery
- $15,000 yearly stipend for up to two years.
- Expected 2023-2024 deadline is April 2023
- Students must be women or members of a minority group who have completed less than half of their degrees.
Description: A fellowship targeted at women and minority groups to increase representation in the computer science field
20 Resources for Grad Students in Computer Science
Successful grad students take advantage of the many resources available to them, including those to help with workload management, self-care, making connections, and discovering career opportunities. Available resources are offered both internally by schools and universities as well as by many outside organizations.
- Health Services: Many universities offer free or discounted health plans and access to on-site physical and mental health care because they know that a healthy body and mind allow you to better focus on your studies.
- Advising: Regular meetings with your advisor will help you stay on track and overcome roadblocks in your research.
- Alumni Associations: Reaching out to past students through your alumni association is a great way to connect and get real-world advice. Alumni association members are usually enthusiastic about their alma mater and willing to provide career advice, mentorship, and networking connections.
- Conference Travel Resources: Participating in conferences expands the reach of your work, boosts your resume, and generates new ideas. Many universities have funding available for grad students to travel to conferences.
- Job Boards: Even full-time grad students can benefit from perusing job boards. Find opportunities that excite you and take note of the job requirements and company values. Knowing what future employers are looking for helps you build your qualifications while in school to ensure you’re ready to enter the workforce when the time comes.
- Networking Opportunities: A 2016 study by Linkedin found that up to 85% of all jobs are filled through networking connections rather than via traditional application systems. As a future computer science professional, start building these connections while in school. Attend technology-related events, expert talks, and university events and don’t be afraid to mingle.
- Professional computer science organizations: The Association for Computing Machinery provide computer science grad students with industry-specific information, career advice, and opportunities for funding and mentorship.
- Affinity groups:Pride in STEM and the Society of Women Engineers provide connections for those in underrepresented groups or niche interest areas in the tech field. These organizations offer resources, support, and a community to help you meet your goals.
- Community connections: Getting outside the university bubble and engaging in your community can be a refreshing change of pace and help you maintain enthusiasm for your studies. As a bonus, volunteering in your field looks great on your resume. Ideas include getting involved with programs in your area that teach kids to code and helping with tutoring.
- Don’t let all those connections you’ve made during your studies go to waste. Instead, maintain an up-to-date LinkedIn profile and connect with everyone you meet in your field. Staying networked online exposes you to industry-specific information and is a convenient way to keep in touch.
- Joining online platforms like Stack Exchange’s Theoretical Computer Science Board
can help you build a virtual community and share information.
How to Stand Out on Your Scholarship Application
Scholarship programs are highly competitive, so it’s important to find unique ways to stand out on your applications. Maximize your chances of success by submitting a top-notch application. With some thought and attention to detail, you can stand out from the pack. The strategies below will help you submit exceptional applications in no time.
Enhance Your Extracurriculars
Help your enthusiasm for computer science shine through with a robust and exciting set of extracurriculars. Possibilities include participating in coding competitions, building a robot, and joining a local coding club. Document your successes in your application and find ways to incorporate the knowledge you’ve gained through this participation. Additionally, many of the scholarships above are explicitly looking for leadership, new ideas, and varied experiences, so don’t be afraid to highlight your non-STEM-related accomplishments.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation are a crucial component of scholarship applications, especially merit-based ones. The best recommendations come from teachers, mentors, and industry professionals who know you well, understand your potential, and have personal experience with your work. To get the best possible recommendations, choose your recommenders thoughtfully, submit your request well in advance of the application deadline, and note if there are any specific characteristics or achievements you’d like them to highlight.
Wow With Your Essay
For many, application essays are the hardest part of the process. At the same time, they’re your greatest opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Ensure a quality essay by starting early. Read the prompt and all the scholarship information carefully, then identify the traits you want to highlight. Write a quick outline of the points you want to cover and how they relate to your qualifications. Next, find a solid way to start your paper and engage your reader. Consider incorporating a personal story or a bold statement. Finally, be sure to edit and proofread. Go over your work multiple times and ask someone whose opinion you trust to give you feedback.
Be First in Line
When applying for scholarships, organization is critical. Make a list or spreadsheet of all your applications, their application requirements, the date submissions open, and the deadline. Aim to have all your applications in as close to the opening date as possible. For many scholarships, this puts your application at the top of the pile. Planning to submit your applications early also provides a buffer in case life gets in the way.
Follow Instructions and Be Thorough
Read all the application instructions and materials carefully. Include all your application materials and make sure your essays are relevant to the prompts. Being thorough prevents your application from being thrown out for not being complete. Plus, a by-the-book application also demonstrates that you can read and follow instructions, which helps set you apart from sloppier candidates.