Merit Based Financial Aid

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers merit-based awards on a competitive basis to incoming and continuing students. The primary purpose of this financial assistance is to support qualified graduate students in the pursuit of their academic careers and the timely completion of their Graduate School degrees.

Three forms of merit-based awards are available for master’s and doctoral students: scholarships, assistantships and fellowships (see chart below). Merit-based awards are given on the recommendation of each academic program. To be considered for merit-based aid, simply answer “yes” to the financial aid/scholarship consideration question within the online application.

Full details on the procedures, policies and type of awards are available on the Financial Support Policies page, found in the Recipient Obligations Statement.

Types of Merit Awards Available

Types of Merit Awards
Type of Award Definition Distribution Method

Partial or full award to cover coursework required for your degree.

*This does not include student fees.

Paid directly to the Office of Student Accounts


Stipend award for service

Paid directly to the student


Stipend with no service obligation

Paid directly to the student

Duration of Awards

Duration of Awards
Student Matriculation Duration
Ph.D. student Matriculated with full Graduate School merit scholarship plus stipend package

Five-year commitment

Ph.D. student Matriculated with a partial Graduate School merit package OR no merit package

Semester to semester or year to year
Up to five years, counted continuously from point of matriculation into Ph.D. program

Master’s students  

Semester-to-semester or year-to-year

Detailed award letters are distributed once every academic year. Only one year of award information is provided at a time.

Continuation and renewal of awards are contingent upon satisfactory progress towards the degree as determined by the academic program and the Graduate School.

Students should speak with their academic programs about specific merit criteria and the possibility of renewing awards for a future semester or year.