A variety of resources exist to help finance your graduate degree and support you as a continuing student. Funding exists in the following forms:
- One time, partial tuition scholarships are offered at the time of admission (not all students receive scholarships)
- Potential salary support for professional internships
- Honors Awards recognizing outstanding achievements in specific areas
- Travel support for presentations at conferences, symposia and professional development meetings
- Funds to cover travel-related to master’s projects, practica, or theses
Applying for external funding (see database link below) is strongly encouraged. Due to limited funding sources, we are unable to offer partial tuition scholarships to meet the full demonstrated need of all of our students.
Your application to SEAS serves as your application for our recruitment tuition grants. These are competitive, merit-based, non-renewable grants. The majority of financial recruitment offers each academic year will be made by mid-March. Additional funding opportunities from SEAS and U-M will be available after you accept admission.
The links below, including the SEAS Funding Database, are meant to help you find funding opportunities. You can expand your search by visiting Fastweb, Pivot, SPIN, or another clearinghouse for student-centered grants.
How Do SEAS Students Pay for Graduate School?
- Federal and university financial aid: Funding considers financial need and sources include grants, loans, and student employment. A completed FAFSA is required.
- SEAS funding: These merit scholarships are awarded by the school, generally at the time of admission.
- GSA student employment: These competitive positions—Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA), Graduate Student Staff Assistant (GSSA)—often include a full-tuition waiver, health and dental benefits, and a monthly stipend.
- External funding: Fastweb, Pivot, and SPIN are three popular clearinghouses for student-centered grants offered by independent organizations.
- Rackham funding (Scholarships, Fellowships, Travel): Similar to SEAS funding, these competitive grants are offered by the Rackham Graduate School.
READ MORE: Understanding Financial Aid and Funding for Master’s Students
Funding for PhD Students
If awarded admissions to our PhD program, you will receive five academic years of tuition support (four pre-candidate semesters and six candidate semesters), along with Gradcare health insurance, which covers five school years and four summers. You will also receive a monthly stipend from September through April, as well as a lump-sum stipend of $5,000 for the summer months. Your monthly stipend will be equal to a 50% Graduate Student Research Assistant (GRSA) appointment. In 2018-2019, that was roughly $2,635 per month. As a stipulation of this “full funding” package, you will be expected to make satisfactory progress toward your degree.
Important Dates to Consider
January 15, 2020: Application Deadline. Master's applicants must apply by this deadline to be considered for SEAS funding. Ninety percent of SEAS financial aid is awarded through this process.
Early October and late February: GSI application period.
For GSI positions, the application process is similar to an application for any other employment. Read the position description carefully and use your cover letter wisely. Make it easy for reviewers to connect the relevant dots across your résumé, transcripts, and other materials by calling out your qualifications in your cover letter. Request to meet with faculty; some will likely accept your invitation. The final hiring decision for a GSI position is NOT up to the individual faculty member, but rather is determined by a separate authority, typically either a review committee or an assistant dean. In addition, many of the SEAS graduate-level courses require that you have taken the course before becoming a GSI. The likelihood of obtaining a position increases the longer you are here. You must be a matriculated student and be enrolled to apply and/or be eligible for positions.
GSRA positions are not posted or advertised; professors with grant funds will handpick their researchers.