Internal Scholarships

The scholarships listed below are available exclusively to OSC undergraduates and graduate students, thanks to a group of generous donors.

Friends of Tucson Optics Endowed Scholarships in Optical Sciences

Thanks to the remarkable generosity of OSC’s donors, the college is able to award up to 30 of our Friends of Tucson Optics (FoTO) Endowed Scholarships competitively each year to our best incoming Ph.D. applicants.  Students are offered a FoTO scholarship based on successful admission to the Ph.D. program. In other words, students do not apply for a FoTO Scholarship, as recipients are automatically awarded a FoTO scholarship if admitted to the Ph.D. program! The OSC advantage!

What does this mean for you, the student?

During their first year, science and engineering Ph.D. students at U.S. institutions are most often supported by teaching and research assistantships but are expected to quickly transition upon finding their dissertation advisor to funding under a specific research project. Performing up to 20 hours per week as a teaching or research assistant, while doing challenging coursework, can make finding a funded advisor stressful – and sometimes lead to premature or uninformed decisions about your future.

At OSC, we recognize that most of you have not had a chance to fully appreciate the amazing breadth of optics and photonics research that the College of Optical Sciences has to offer, and as a result, you may not know what you want to do for your graduate research. Did you know that during the first year a large fraction of students change their mind about what area of optics they want to specialize in?

Make an informed choice with a FoTO Scholarship

We feel that it is important to give our Ph.D. students a chance to explore all exciting research opportunities during their first year while they master the core courses. Our generous donors have provided FoTO Scholarships as a special gift for you to do exactly this – to find out what is most exciting to you and make an informed choice – before committing to a specific project under a faculty advisor, the primary support that typically funds the remainder of your degree program. If you’re certain right away, you may commit sooner. 

FoTO scholarship endowments each hold a minimum $500,000 balance, and the investment income provides the foundation for a very generous stipend. With tuition fully covered by the college, and opportunities for additional compensation for summer research, these first-year scholarships provide an unmatched opportunity to launch your professional career. This is the OSC advantage!


Start the Application Process

OSC offers many funding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. See the list below for a description of all scholarships, fellowships, and awards available to students. Please note that all awards listed below (except the FoTO Scholarship) may be applied for through the University's Scholarship Universe. For guidelines and more information click here.

Graduate Student Fellowships

Fellowships offered to graduate students to support their education and research. Interested students should apply through the University's Scholarship Universe Portal.

Undergraduate / Graduate Student Scholarships

Offered to both undergraduate and graduate students who show promise and drive. Interested students should apply through the University's Scholarship Universe Portal.

Ph.D. Research Award

Research awards only extended to Ph.D. candidate students currently pursuing their thesis work who would benefit from some extra support. Interested students should apply through the University's Scholarship Universe Portal.

Undergraduate Student Scholarships

Scholarships only available to undergraduate students to help support them in their pursuit of a degree in optical sciences. Interested students should apply through the University's Scholarship Universe Portal.

Find out more about a particular award below

All FoTO Scholarships listed below are awarded to admitted Ph.D. students. Application via Scholarship Universe is not required.

FoTO Graduate Student Scholarships