Financial Support

Three major categories of financial support are available for graduate students: assistantships, fellowships, and financial aid. Assistantships and fellowships are awarded on the basis of merit. Financial aid is awarded on the basis of need. The Ph.D. program only makes offers of assistantships (teaching or research) and fellowships. Students interested in locating potential sources of financial aid can find information on the Graduate College website.

Research and Teaching Assistantships

Financial support for doctoral students is competitive and merit-based. It usually consists of a paid half-time (20 hours of work each week) or quarter-time (10 hours per week) research or teaching assistantship and a full tuition and partial fee waiver. Many assistantships continue through the summer. Some doctoral students are supported by campus and departmental funds, many by faculty members, research projects, others by Fulbright or other competitive scholarships, and some by funds from their home institutions.

Many Regional Planning Ph.D. students find that their research skills enable them to obtain research or teaching assistantships with other campus units. Recent and current employers of our doctoral students include the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Economics, Economics, Geography, and Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, the Colleges of Education and Veterinary Medicine, and the Institute for Government and Public Affairs.


We nominate exceptional applicants for competitive fellowships offered by the Graduate College or the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. These fellowships provide a waiver of tuition and most fees and a stipend similar to assistantships, but without a work requirement.

We also nominate exceptional applicants from underrepresented minorities for additional competitive fellowships from the Graduate College's Office of Educational Equity programs. To be considered for these fellowships, fill out the racial classification information in the online application system.

Financial Aid

The Graduate College website on Financial Assistance for Graduate Students provides information about a range of options. The Graduate College also maintains a directory of fellowships for graduate study open for application by prospective students. Some students find assistantships through the Assistantship Clearinghouse, which may include tuition waivers in exchange for employment.

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