28 Super Smart Gifts For Ph.D. Students

By Candice Elliott | Updated: December 10, 2022

    Studying for a Ph.D. is hard work, and it requires years of intense studying and lots of student loan debt! Your grad student deserves an excellent reward and a little treat. We have the best gifts for Ph.D. students to make their lives and studies easier!

  1. Digital Voice Recorder 
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    Practical gifts are among the best for Ph.D. students, and this voice recorder will get tons of use! The recorder can be used to record their lectures. Voice-activated will only record when the professor is speaking, and the noise-canceling microphone helps eliminate background noise, so the lecture is crisp and clear. 

  3. Noise Canceling-Headphones
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    Outside noise can be distracting when you’re trying to study or listen back to recorded lectures! These noise-canceling headphones will give them the peace they need when hitting the books as they reduce ambient noise by up to 90%! In addition, fast charging, just five minutes plugged into the charger, will provide up to four hours of battery life, while a full charge offers 40-60 hours of life. 

  5. Smart Reusable Notebook
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    This notebook contains 36 lined pages that can be written on with the included pen and wiped clean with the included microfiber cloth. The Rocketbook app, which works with iOS and Android, can send their notes to cloud services, so even when the notes are wiped away, they still have them! 

  7. Padfolio
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    This gift is so neat and helpful you might want one for yourself! The Padfolio has a wireless charging port, three slots for business cards, ID, or credit cards, a pen loop, a smartphone stand, and a lined notebook. The Padfolio is great for any college student or busy professional. 

  9. Presentation Clicker
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    Ph.D. students give a lot of presentations, and this clicker will make them more professional and smooth. The clicker supports hyperlinks, has volume control, can page up, page down, play slides, and insert black screens for PowerPoint presentations. 

  11. Folded Book Art Sculpture


    This sculpture is custom made using second-hand, repurposed hardcover books. The dates are folded from the pages to create a unique 3-D sculpture and you can choose the date of their graduation. 

  13. T-Shirt
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    Part of that Ph.D. life explains you’re not that kind of doctor. This funny Ph.D. t-shirt will do the talking for them. The shirt is available in Men’s, Women’s, and Kid’s cuts, several sizes, and five colors. 

  15. Phinished Coffee Mug
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    One day, after years as a graduate students, they will leave the world of academia behind (unless they become a professor!) and be phinished with their Ph.D. program! This ceramic mug is an excellent gift for those who have finished their doctorate. 

  17. Stainless Steel Tumbler 


  20. College students often run on coffee, so this Yeti tumbler is a great gift for graduate school students and undergrads. The tumbler holds 30 ounces and has a sliding lid to avoid losing a drop. The Yeti is available in several colors. 

  21. Messenger Bag
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    Being a doctoral student often means long hours away from home, especially if they’re working and going to school simultaneously. This messenger bag will hold all of their essentials. The bag is made of sturdy canvas material and has nine pockets to help keep everything organized. 

  23. Lunch Tote 
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    Eating lunch out every day gets expensive fast, and it’s not great for your health either! This lunch tote keeps their packed lunch hot or cold, and it has an expandable outer pocket for a water bottle or tumbler. The tote is available in several colors.

  25. Sunrise Alarm Clock
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    Unless you’re a morning person, there is no easy way to wake up in the morning. But this alarm clock is much more gentle than a screeching cell phone alarm! The alarm clock simulates the sunrise, gradually getting brighter and with seven natural sounds to help them wake up slowly over a 10, 20, or 30 minute period. 

  27. Business Card Holder 
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    Once that Ph.D. degree is their’s, they’ll need some new business cards with DOCTOR prominently printed! And of course, they’ll need something to carry those cards in. This stainless steel business card holder is available in rose gold, silver, and black. 

  29. Coffee Maker
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    We love this coffee maker because it can hold a large tumbler and brews in just 30 seconds, perfect for the grad school kid on the go and in a rush. The maker can also use K-cups or the included filter and the coffee of their choice. The machine brews 14 ounces per cycle. 

  31. Fountain Pen
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    A fountain pen is a classic graduation gift idea. This pen includes two fountain pen ink cartridge refills in black and blue and an ink converter, so it’s easy to refill. The whole set comes in a gift box, so it’s ready to give on their big day.


    Cuff links are always an elegant gift. These cuff links are stainless steel and come in a gift box ready for gifting. They’ll be a small reminder of all the hard work they did. 

  33. Compass Necklace
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    A Ph.D. opens many possibilities and new adventures, but this compass necklace will remind her that she can always find her way. The necklace is gold-dipped and on a 16-inch chain with a spring-ring clasp. 

  35. Desktop Organizer 
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    This natural wood organizer will help keep their study area neat. The organizer can be stacked and adjusted to suit their needs. The unit has two racks with five different units and can display and organize everything they need when studying. 

  37. Book Darts 
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    Book darts are so much better than a regular old bookmark! Darts save the exact line in the book you stopped at, so you never have to backtrack. The darts are made of stainless steel, and there are 50 in the tin. 

  39. Photo Frame
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    Being a Ph.D. is a serious thing, but there’s always room for a little bit of humor! This frame provides just that. The frame measures 8×10 and holds a 4×6 photo. You can choose the location of the photo slot and add a name or phrase as well. 

  41. Dry Erase Calendar Kit
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    Life is busy when you’re a Ph.D. student, especially if you also have a job and a family. Help them keep track of things without additional clutter with this dry erase calendar set. The calendar is magnetic, so it can be posted on the fridge where it’s front and center. The set comes with five markers and an eraser.


    This little box contains one of the most unique gifts ever featured on one of our gift lists! Inside is a little gadget that plugs into the TV and displays 500 priceless paintings and information about them. It’s the perfect way to wind down after a long day or a soothing background to study by. The gallery is a perfect gift for an art lover too! 

  43. Wall Art 
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    Sometimes motivation isn’t enough; perseverance is what it takes. That’s especially true of earning a Ph.D.! This canvas wall art can help keep them going when things get tough. The print comes ready to hang and is available in several sizes. 

  45. Spa Collection 
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    When they’re on that Ph.D. grind, a little self-care is in order! This spa set contains all the relaxation essentials including a bath bomb, a candle, soap, and bath salts, all designed to melt away stress. This set is Citrus and there are other scents available. 

  47. Sleep Kit
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    There is a lot of stress when you’re working towards your Ph.D. which means sleep is hard to come by. This kit will help them get the sleep they need. The kit includes a silk eye mask, a gel eye mask, a muslin pouch, dried lavender and chamomile, and a soothing pillow mist. 

  49. Lap Desk
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    Sitting behind a desk to work or study gets tiresome. This lap desk lets them move around. The desk can be used on the couch, a chair, the floor, and the bed. A change of scenery is nice! The desk accommodates laptops up to 15.6 inches and most tablets and has a slot to hold a cell phone. 

  51. Throw Pillow
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    I mean, it’s funny because it’s true! This throw pillow is a cute gag gift for your Ph.D. student. The pillow is available in two sizes, 16×16 inches, and 18×18 inches. Note that this is a pillow and not just the pillow cover. 

  53. Ornament
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    Almost only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and getting that Ph.D.! This porcelain Christmas ornament will have a place on their tree long after it’s no longer a matter of almost being a doctor. The image is printed on both sides of the ornament.