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How to fund graduate school

There are multiple methods by which graduate and professional students can fund college at the University of Houston.  Graduate funding is available in the form of scholarships, assistantships, grants, work-study, and loan support. In addition, there are numerous external resources available for students to obtain funding for their respective programs.

Scholarships

All domestic students must complete a Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for the scholarships listed below.

  • Graduate Tuition Fellowship

    The Graduate Tuition Fellowship (GTF) is a competitive award program administered by the Graduate School that covers the cost of in-state tuition and mandatory fees for qualified Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA), and Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) students. Selections for these fellowships are made by each respective college.

    Amount

    Covers the cost of in-state tuition and mandatory fees for full-time enrollment of nine (9) credit hours per term (fall and spring); some amounts may vary by college/department, click the corresponding link below for more information on your college's GTF policies.

    Eligibility

    • All domestic students must complete a Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    • Possess an undergraduate degree or its equivalent and be admitted to a Ph.D., DMA, or MFA degree program.
    • Maintain full-time enrollment (enroll and complete a minimum of nine (9) credit hours during an academic term (fall and spring)).
    • Minimum academic standing requirements:
      • Begin doctoral program with a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0.
      • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
      • Demonstrate satisfactory progress in course work, and timely progress in completing the degree requirements as defined by the enrolling graduate program. Note: Degree requirements include both course work and thesis/dissertation.

    Click the corresponding link below for more information on your college's GTF policies.

  • Graduate School Fund

    Available starting in the 2018-2019 academic year, the Graduate School Fund provides financial assistance for state of Texas resident graduate and professional students who demonstrate financial need.

    Amount

    Award amounts will be based on a student's financial need and the availability of funds. The Graduate School Fund can only be applied to the cost of tuition and mandatory fees. This award is non-refundable and will be adjusted if the scholarship amount exceeds the actual cost of a student's tuition and mandatory fees.

    Eligibility

    1. Complete the FAFSA (Federal Application for Federal Student Aid) annually and if selected, complete the verification process
      1. Must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen to be eligible to complete a FAFSA
    2. Demonstrate financial need
    3. Residency status must be classified as a Texas resident
    4. Full-time enrollment during a long term (Fall/Spring), according to the policy set in the Graduate Catalog
    5. Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by the college (GPA and course completion rate included)
    6. Demonstrate satisfactory progress in course work, and timely progress in completing the degree requirements as defined by the enrolling graduate program. Note: Degree requirements include both course work and thesis/dissertation

    Deadline

    Priority Deadline (2018-2019): May 4, 2018

    Application

    Submit a FAFSA for the 2018-2019 academic year by the priority deadline. To complete a FAFSA and find out more information, visit fafsa.gov.

  • Houston Endowment and Presidential Fellowship

    The Presidential and Houston Endowment Fellowships were established to assist programs to identify and recruit highly-qualified PhD students. These two-year (Presidential)/five-year (Houston Endowment) fellowships are available to students entering doctoral programs at the University of Houston. Selections for these fellowships are made by each respective college.
  • Graduate School Stella L. Ehrhardt Scholarship

    The Graduate School Stella L. Ehrhardt Scholarship is a two-year fellowship available to admitted students entering a masters program at the University of Houston. Selections for this scholarship are made by each respective college.

    Amount

    $1,200 annually (renewable for up to two years), as funds are available. Students who are non-residents or international will also qualify for a non-resident tuition waiver.

    Eligibility

    • All domestic students must complete a Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    • Possess an undergraduate degree or its equivalent and be admitted to a masters degree program.
    • Maintain full-time enrollment (enroll and complete a minimum of nine (9) credit hours during an academic term (fall and spring)).
    • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
    • Demonstrate satisfactory progress in course work, and timely progress in completing the degree requirements as defined by the enrolling graduate program. Note: Degree requirements include both course work and thesis/dissertation.
  • Graduate School Research Incentive Cullen Fund

    The Graduate School Research Incentive Cullen Fund provides support for student research initiatives, at the doctoral level only.

    Amount

    One-time award of up to $1,000.

    Eligibility

    The following minimum requirements must be met to qualify for a Graduate School Research Incentive Cullen Fund:

    • Pursuing a doctorate degree, and not in graduating term
    • GRaSP participant (does not exclude GRaSP winners)
    • Minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0
    • Full-time enrollment (enroll and complete a minimum of 9 credit hours)

    Application

    Applicants must attach the following documents through the ticket form below:

    • Statement of research focus
    • Explanation of how the Graduate School Research Incentive Cullen Fund will support research (i.e. thesis/dissertation, culminating project and/or field based work)
    • Explain how funds will be used for data collection
    • If Human Subjects are involved in your research, you must obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Please follow the link below for more information.
      • Log into AccessUH
      • Click on the “ICON” icon
      • Submit documents that are relevant to your research.
      • Use the following link to determine which documents you will need to submit. 
      • Committee members will then review your submission to determine approval.
    • Budget sheet
    • Budget narrative detailing costs included on budget sheet

     

    Deadlines

    • Spring 2018: April 1, 2018
    • Summer 2018: June 17, 2018
    • Fall 2018: September 20, 2018
    • Spring 2019: February 14, 2019
    • Summer 2019: June 16, 2019

    Deliverables

    If selected, applicants must complete the following after research in order to receive funding:

    • Research dates
    • Follow up report will need to be submitted within 30 days after conclusion of research
  • Cullen Fellowship Travel Grant

    The Cullen Fellowship Travel Grant (CFTG) is a competitive fellowship program established to support graduate student travel to meetings, conferences, performances, and exhibits to showcase their research and scholarly work.  This travel grant program is designed both to enhance professional development opportunities for students and to further promote the status of the University of Houston as a Carnegie-designated Tier One research university.  The CFTG is open to all masters, doctorate, and professional students.

    Amount

    This fund is a reimbursement award and will reimburse the student upon submission of the deliverables.

    • Doctorate/Professional: CFTG will cover up to 75% of the event and travel costs, or up to $750.00, whichever is less.
    • Masters: CFTG will cover up to $500 of the travel costs.

    Eligibility

    The following minimum requirements must be met to qualify for the Cullen Fellowship Travel Grant:

    Doctorate/Professional:

    • The applicant’s work must be accepted to be presented at a competitive meeting, conference, performance, or exhibit.  Only travel to the events with competitive selection criteria for the participants is supported by this travel grant;
    • Event dates must occur within the travel dates for the application term
    • The applicant’s college/department/program has to commit to cover a minimum of 25% of the conference costs.

    Masters:

    • The applicant’s work must be accepted to be presented at a competitive meeting, conference, performance, or exhibit.  Only travel to the events with competitive selection criteria for the participants is supported by this travel grant;
    • Event dates must occur within the travel dates for the application term

    Application

    Applicants must attach the following documents through the ticket form below:

      • Cover Sheet
      • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
      • Abstract
      • Written description by the applicant of the event detailing the following: event selectivity, what it means to be “invited” to the event, and the applicant’s research that will be presented;
      • Support letter from the applicant’s faculty advisor or graduate chair attesting the following: quality of the work presented, quality/prestige of the event, event selectivity, what it means to be “invited”, and how the event participation is directly related to the applicant’s work at the University of Houston;
      • Conference host letter (scanned copy of paper letter or email is acceptable) with the applicant’s name clearly listed as a presenter or performer to verify the student’s acceptance to participate in the event.

    Deadlines

    Due to the wide-ranging schedules of conferences, there is one deadline per term for Cullen Fellowship Travel Grant applications. There will be a 3-4 week review period following these deadlines. Applications must be received by 11:59PM CST on the deadline provided below.

      • Spring 2018: April 1, 2018
        • Travel Dates: December 1, 2017 - May 30, 2018
      • Summer 2018: June 3, 2018
        • Travel Dates: June 1, 2018 - August 31, 2018
      • Fall 2018: September 4, 2018
        • Travel Dates: September 1, 2018 - January 31, 2019
      • Spring 2019: January 6, 2019
        • Travel Dates: February 1, 2019 - May 30, 2019
      • Summer 2019: June 2, 2019
        • Travel Dates: June 1, 2019 - August 31, 2019

    Selection Criteria

    Due to the limited availability of funds, the applications received for the Cullen Fellowship Travel Grant will be ranked in the following order:

    • 1st Priority: Presented work will appear in a peer-reviewed publication.
    • 2nd Priority: Presented work will appear in published proceedings of the event.
    • 3rd Priority: Abstract or digest of the presentations will be published or appear online.

    Deliverables

    If selected, recipients must complete the following after travel in order to receive reimbursement:

      • Based on format presented at the event, submit the following corresponding document within 30 days for returning from travel:
        • Talk: Fully completed paper
        • Poster: PDF file of the poster
        • Workshop: A short story detailing the events of the workshop
      • Final Travel Report
      • Application to the annual UH Graduate School GRaSP for any of the 4 categories:
        • Talks
        • Demonstrations & Performances
        • Posters
        • Publications

      *If the recipient fails to apply for the GRaSP event, the CFTG award will be revoked.

    Additional Resources

    Traveling abroad? The Learning Abroad office at the University of Houston is officially designated as a U.S. Passport Acceptance Facility by the U.S. Department of State. Their acceptance agents are authorized to facilitate and receive your applications for a U.S. passport book and/or card. Visit the Passport for Coogs website for additional information.

  • Stella L. Ehrhardt Graduate Research and Scholarship Project (GRaSP) Award

    The Graduate Research and Scholarship Project (GRaSP) event will showcase the rich array of groundbreaking research undertaken by University of Houston graduate students across all disciplines, provide networking opportunities, and celebrate the research, scholarship and creative endeavors of our students. Students will compete within each category to receive a trophy and scholarship award.

    Amount

    • 1st Place: $1,000
    • 2nd Place: $750
    • 3rd Place: $500
    • People’s Choice: $250 (Publications are excluded from this category)

    Eligibility

    The following minimum requirements must be met to qualify for GRaSP:

    • Complete an application for one of the 4 categories before the deadline (Note: Although students can apply for more than one category, they will only be allowed to present in one, unless one of the categories is Publications.)
      • Talks
      • Posters
      • Demonstrations/Performances
      • Publications
    • Attend all trainings and compete on GRaSP Day

    Application

    Visit the GRaSP website for more information on how to apply.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate student assistantships encompass the positions of teaching fellow, teaching assistant, instructional assistant, research assistant, and graduate assistant. Graduate students must meet minimal university requirements to be eligible for a graduate assistantship. For university policies on graduate assistantships, please refer to the graduate catalog.

Work-Study

If you're eligible for financial aid at the University of Houston, your financial aid package could include a work-study* award. Work-study jobs go to students with demonstrated financial need, and most students can work 12 to 20 hours each week during the academic year. This award provides you the opportunity to search and apply for College Work-Study (CWS) jobs through University Career Services' Cougar Pathway.

Visit University Career Services' website For more information on work-study jobs and how to apply

*Any scholarship counts as a financial resource and must be considered when constructing a student award package. Total student aid cannot exceed a student’s cost of attendance. The cost of attendance (COA) is an estimate of what it costs the typical student to attend the University of Houston. Your COA includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses. University of Houston awards are subject to change depending on the entire student award package and the students’ COA.

Loan Support

Educational loans come from a variety of sources. The federal government, for example, sponsors several loan programs that offer below-market interest rates and other beneficial features. Other loan options, such as private bank loans, provide valuable help to students who may not qualify for federal loans. Even our own Dean of Students Office offers short-term emergency loans to current students.

Questions? Contact the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid or visit the loans website for more information.

Financial Aid by College

The following is a list of financial aid segmented by college:
 College of Optometry Financial Aid

College of Optometry

External Scholarships

There are thousands of scholarship opportunities available for nearly every graduate or professional student available through outside sources.  Click your respective college or program to find scholarships that may pertain to you.

Scholarship Databases