Overview of Funding for Graduate Education

If you have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, then you should be aware that receipt of a fellowship, scholarship or assistantship may reduce your eligibility for federal student loans.  Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at if you have questions.


The most common form of graduate support, teaching and research assistantships, include a stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance. Recipients are assigned to a faculty adviser who supervises the experience. Appointments are available only to graduate students who are enrolled in a graduate degree program. Students whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate a sufficient level of English language proficiency in order to receive a teaching assistantship.



Fellowships are financial awards that support graduate study. Most are awarded by colleges, graduate programs, or outside funding agencies. Unlike assistantships, they do not have a required instruction or research responsibilities. Recipients must be enrolled in a degree program. MSU offers several highly prestigious financial support packages including University Fellowship Programs and King-Chávez -Parks Future Faculty Fellowship Program.



Training grants are derived from agencies outside the University and are intended to support specific student learning experiences in core curricular areas and research methods. Institutional awards, typically under the direction of a faculty principal investigator, afford funding to support selected students with stipends, tuition, and often include a subsidy for health insurance. Each traineeship has its own rules and regulations, so be sure to check the traineeship website for details. Popular traineeships at MSU include the ASET program (Physics) , the IMPACTS program (Computational Biology), and Biochemistry Research Trainee Program.



Educational loans are available through the Office of Financial Aid and eligibility criteria apply. Student interested in federal aid should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1st.



Opportunities for hourly work are available on campus. Visit the Career Services Network for possible leads. Students are limited to 29 hours per week of work on campus during the school year.


Assistantships | Fellowships | Research Support | Travel Funding | Tax Information | External Funding