Your Game Plan
Internal and external resources exist to finance your graduate education at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS). Funding may be designated for a variety of purposes.
- Offsets cost of tuition and fees
- Provides salary for professional internships
- Recognizes outstanding achievements in specific areas
- Supports travel for presentations at conferences, symposia and professional development meetings
- Funds off-site research
- Covers some costs incurred completing master’s projects, practica, or theses
Select financial assistance for incoming and continuing students is available directly from SEAS, however, funding opportunities are very competitive within the school. Due to limited funding sources, we are unable to offer partial tuition scholarships to meet the full demonstrated need of all of our students. Additional fellowships are available through the Rackham Graduate School and other units within the University of Michigan, however, these are also competitive and not available to every student. Interested students may also apply for external funding, including student loans.
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, or another clearinghouse for student-centered grants.
Understanding Financial Aid
- Fellowships/Scholarships: The student does not need to repay these awards.
- Loans: Payments to the student that must be repaid with interest. They are offered through the United States government and private lenders.
- Graduate Student Appointment (GSA) Employment: These limited and competitive positions - Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA), and Graduate Student Staff Assistant (GSSA) - often include a full-tuition waiver, health and dental benefits, and a monthly stipend. There are three types of appointments.
- Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) provides instruction in courses designed and supervised by faculty. Appointments are for one term. Time commitment varies by department and course.
- Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) works on funded research projects under faculty supervision. Most appointments are for one term.
- Graduate Student Staff Assistant (GSSA) completes administrative assignments under the supervision of faculty or staff. Appointments are for one term.
- Of the SEAS Master’s April 2019 graduates, 55% have secured a GSI/GSRA appointment at some point during their college career at SEAS.
- Note that these positions are limited and highly competitive. It is not typical for an incoming student to receive a GSA appointment within SEAS their first year. Many of the SEAS graduate-level courses require that you’ve taken the course before being appointed as a GSI. The likelihood increases after you build relationships with faculty and have taken the course.
- Student Hourly Employment: This includes 1) hourly part-time work; 2) work study, which is partially funded by the federal government. To qualify, students must have a work study allocation as part of their funding package. International students are not eligible. Check with SEAS faculty regarding hourly employment opportunities.
- Financial Literacy: Learn more about financial literacy with these online resources
- Emergency Funding: It It is important to know that emergency funds though Rackham Graduate School and Financial Aid exist and how to apply for them.