Many funding opportunities are available for graduate students, so don't let money worries stop you from applying to UC graduate programs.
We consider helping graduate students afford their education a top priority. Our students are among the top recipients of prestigious extramural awards, and our campuses provide a wide range of university and departmental financial support.
Many fellowships are based on academic merit, similar to undergraduate scholarships. Fellowships usually cover tuition and fees, plus provide a stipend to help cover your living expenses. Fellowships do not have to be repaid. Of course, you'll be expected to maintain a specific level of academic achievement in your graduate studies.
Generally, fellowships fall into two categories: extramural and university fellowships. You should apply for both types of funding.
These fellowships are highly desirable — and competitive — because they usually allow you to attend any university or program you choose and may provide a high level of multi-year funding.
UC fellowships and awards
All UC campuses offer university and department fellowships, including awards that build diversity in our academic community. To apply, submit a UC fellowship application with your admission application for each UC program you apply to. Pay close attention to the deadline to be considered for both; some programs have admission-only deadlines, which occur after the deadline for admission and fellowships, and these applications are not considered for university funding.
Need-based financial aid
Most graduate students also qualify for need-based aid, including work-study employment and subsidized loans. You must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for need-based aid.
In California, the deadline is March 2 to qualify for funding the following academic year.
Teaching and research assistantships
You may qualify for funding as a UC departmental teaching assistant (TA) or research assistant (RA), working for a professor to gain valuable experience. As a TA, you will help with a course during the academic year. You may lead discussion sections and hold office hours to aid undergraduate students with course material. RAs conduct lab, studio or field research.
Many UC campus programs and offices reserve positions for graduate students. Opportunities may range from administrative intern to residence hall counselor to undergraduate tutor.
Good to know
File a FAFSA by March 2 to qualify for aid the following academic year.
Search for extramural fellowships
Use UCLA's online database to find fellowships, even if you're applying to another campus or university.