24 months prior to U.S.study:

Administrative Assistantships

Departments sometimes employ administrative assistants in positions that provide partial funding.

Where can you find more information about funding opportunities for graduate programs?

Sources of University Funding for Graduate Programs


Fellowships and Tuition Scholarships

Awarded by the universitys graduate school and based on the students overall merit or academic strength. Usually, the graduate school selects fellowship or tuition scholarship recipients, but candidates are sometimes asked to submit a separate application. Recipients do not have to work for the university in exchange for these funds.


Merit-based financial aid considers:

        Past academic achievements.

        Scores on standardized admissions tests.

        Employment history.

        The students leadership potential and other personal characteristics.

Other Sources of Funding for Graduate Programs


What is an internship?

Internships are off-campus jobs that provide practical experience in

your field of study. They are particularly common in professional fields. Payment varies, and you must obtain work authorization.

Can you get a job on campus to help cover educational expenses?

Current U.S. immigration regulations allow international students to work up to 20 hours per week on campus during their first year of study. Under current U.S. regulations, after your first year of study, you may apply for permission to work off campus for up to 20 hours a week. You should note, however, that there is no guarantee that this request will be granted.

Research Assistantships

Professors apply to outside sources (foundations, agencies, etc.) for funds to conduct research and then select graduate students to assist them. Many students apply their assistantship work toward their thesis research.   Funding consists of a partial or full tuition waiver plus a monthly stipend to assist with living expenses.

Teaching Assistantships (TA)

Individual departments determine the need for TAs in undergraduate classes, and professors who teach those classes select graduate students to assist them in teaching, leading discussion sections, running labs or grading assignments. TAs gain experience and build teaching skills to help them when they become professors. Funding consists of a partial- or full-tuition waiver plus a monthly stipend to assist with living expenses. English fluency is a prerequisite for a teaching assistantship.

What questions should you ask the admissions staff at your chosen institution(s) about funding for graduate programs?

        How many first-year international graduate students received financial assistance?

        What are some common factors demonstrated by students who receive substantial funding?

Work with an EducationUSA Adviser early in your financial planning process to ensure you have a strong application.


The key to receiving admission to a U.S. graduate school with funding is to distinguish yourself from the competition by finding opportunities and putting together a strong application.

Research assistantships are generally reserved for doctoral students, although exceptions are sometimes made.


It is occasionally possible to get a teaching assistantship in a department other than the one in which you are studying. For example, an engineering graduate student might be awarded an assistantship in the department of mathematics. Assistantships may also be available in foreign language departments for native speakers of languages other than English.


You should always check with your international student adviser before considering any form of employment.


If you are married and in the United States on an F-1 student visa, your spouse does not have permission to work. However, if you are in the United States on a J-1 student visa, your spouse is allowed to request a temporary work permit.


Identify Types and Sources of Financial Aid

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Graduate Funding

Loans for International Students

Loans for International Students

        Global Student Loan Corporation

        International Student Loan.com

        Access Group