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 and fellowships to help cover tuition and living expenses. Estimates for these expenses are available for both URP and MPA students. 

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. 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.


Fellowships are offered primarily to new students and are a flat sum of money. There is no work requirement for a fellowship.

Graduate Assistantships

Students must take at least 9 semester hours of planning (URP prefix) or public affairs (PBAF prefix) courses during the first two semesters in order to be eligible for a graduate assistantship.

  • The typical departmentally supported assistantships range from 1/3 to 1/2 time (with a 13-20 hour/week work requirement)
  • These are accompanied by a tuition scholarship.
  • One-third and half-time 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 1/3 time assistantships in 2024-25 is $14,219 per year (payable through direct deposit in ten monthly payments of $1421.90 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.
  • Graduate students with assistantships are awarded a health insurance allowance to be applied toward the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) or the UIGRADCare plan.

Other Support

Other sources for funding your education are available.