Financial Assistance

Numerous sources of financial assistance are available to graduate students entering the School of Planning and Public Affairs. Many students receive departmental funding through graduate assistantships to help cover tuition and living expenses. Students must take at least 9 semester hours of planning (URP prefix) or public affairs (PBAF prefix) courses during the first two semesters in which they receive aid in order to be eligible for a graduate assistantship. Sources of support include departmental research or teaching assistantships, research assistantships on externally funded grants, loans, and part-time positions at local planning agencies.

  • The typical departmentally supported assistantships range from half to one-quarter time, including one-third time, (with a 20-10 hour/week work requirement) and are accompanied by a tuition scholarship. Quarter-time or greater assistantships qualify students to pay the in-state tuition and fee rate, with in-state tuition covered by the tuition scholarship. Spouses of students with assistantships also qualify for the in-state tuition rate. The stipend for quarter-time assistantships in 2019-20 will be $9,814.50 per year (payable through direct deposit in ten monthly payments of $981.45 per month), and will be accompanied by the 100% tuition scholarship for the each semester.
  • You will receive a scholarship for 50% of the mandatory student fees assessed to you per semester. You are responsible for the other half of the mandatory fees assessed and for 100% of all other non-mandated fees.

In addition to the stipend and tuition scholarship, funded graduate students are awarded a health insurance allowance to be applied toward student health insurance programs or toward the comprehensive health insurance program available to University faculty and staff.

The application for graduate awards must be submitted early in the year. The admissions committee will start reviewing applications on January 15th and continue until all funding has been awarded. (For Fall 2020 MPA admission, applications will be reviewed starting March 1st.) Students receiving aid will be informed as early as possible of their award and will be advised of their assistantship duties at the beginning of classes.

Other sources for funding your education are available, including the Graduate Diversity Scholarship and the Kenneth T. Key Scholarship for Taiwanese-born graduate students. Graduate assistantship positions offered by other departments are posted on the Graduate Assistant Job Board and sources of external support may be located through the Division of Sponsored Programs. The American Planning Association has a scholarships and fellowships website as well.