Sources of University Funding for Graduate Programs
Fellowships and Tuition Scholarships
Based on the student’s overall merit or academic strength, the university’s graduate school awards them. In general, the graduate school selects the fellowship or tuition scholarship recipients, but sometimes the candidates are asked to submit a separate application.
Merit-based financial aid takes into consideration past academic achievements, Scores on standardized admissions tests, Employment history and the student’s leadership potential and other personal characteristics.
Research Assistantships (RA)
Professors get funds from outside agencies to conduct research, who later select graduate students to assist them. Usually students apply their assistantship work toward their thesis research. Funding can be either partial or full tuition waiver along with a monthly stipend to assist with living expenses.
Teaching Assistantships (TA)
Individual departments require Teaching Assistants to teach labs for undergraduate students, and professors who teach those classes select graduate students to assist them in teaching, running labs and grading assignments. Funding can be either partial or full tuition waiver along with a monthly stipend to assist with living expenses. English fluency is mandatory for teaching assistantship.
Departments sometimes offer administrative assistantships that provide partial funding.
Under current U.S. immigration regulations international students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week on campus.
Internships are off-campus jobs that provide practical experience in the field of study. They are common in professional fields and require work authorization. When Internship is optional, you can work as an intern for 1 or 2 semesters (Not more than 12 months – More later). Internship increases your chances to get job and is a MUST for students without work experience.