Financial Support

PhD in Leadership Studies

Department of Leadership Studies

The Department of Leadership studies aims at supporting as many students as possible through a combination of scholarships and work opportunities in SOLES and at USD.  Through our scholarship funds, students can be offered tuition support in the amount of $2,000 to $15,000.

In addition to these scholarships, the various departments and centers in SOLES regularly hire hourly paid Research Assistants for up to 25 hours a week.  The following areas are examples:    

  • Dean's Office
  • Department of Leadership Studies
  • Department of Learning and Teaching
  • Leadership Studies Minor
  • Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research's Caster Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research
  • Institute for Entrepreneurship in Education
  • SOLES Assessment Support
  • SOLES Global Center
  • Student Affairs / SOLES Collaborative (SASC)
  • The Leadership Institute  


Applicants should be currently enrolled or newly admitted SOLES doctoral students in good standing, carrying a full course load (6 units per semester).

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find out about scholarships?

All admitted PhD students are eligible and will be considered for department and SOLES scholarships.

What do scholarships cover? 

Scholarships can be applied towards tuition in any semester within the academic year during which they are awarded.  Please note that the scholarship funds are taxable, and that the funds do not provide for the cost of books nor fees.

How much are the typical scholarships and can I combine them?

SOLES scholarships generally range from $2,000 to $15,000.  Other scholarships or grants may be awarded through USD based on need or through separate applications.  All awards need to be coordinated by the office of financial aid and cannot exceed a students’ determined need.

How can I apply to be a Research Assistant?

This first step is to apply to the PhD in leadership studies. Applicants and current PhD students are contacted in January or February of each year with information on available positions and application processes. The hiring process for the next academic year may begin as early as the campus visit day for admitted students, but will also continue throughout the year.

What are Research Assistants' responsibilities?

Responsibilities will vary by position. Some may include research, teaching and/or administrative work. Job descriptions for available positions are posted on a regular basis.

What hours do Research Assistants work?

Research assistants typically work 5 - 25 hours a week. Actual hours will vary by position, but are typically between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. with occasional nights and weekends. 

May I apply to more than one Research Assistantship or may I take other positions at SOLES during my Research Assistantship?

Yes, but student employment is limited to 25 hours a week at the university.  And, while research assistants in SOLES cannot work more than 25 hours a week, it is understood, however, that certain occasions may arise in which case it would be beneficial for the student to accept additional responsibilities. If these occasions arise, the extra hours required to fulfill the obligation must be approved by the Dean’s office. The individual’s advisor must assure (by signing this form) that the additional undertaking will not affect the individual’s satisfactory progress towards her or his degree. 

May I renew my assistantship contract?

Yes, contracts are renewable depending on the work that is available.