Departments sometimes employ administrative assistants in positions that provide partial funding.
Sources of University Funding for Graduate Programs
Fellowships and Tuition Scholarships
Awarded by the university’s graduate school and based on the student’s 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.
The student’s 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.
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?
EdUSA Connects Session – Researching Graduate Choices