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 and usually cover tuition and fees, plus provide a stipend to help cover your living expenses. Fellowships do not have to be repaid, but you'll be expected to maintain a specific level of academic achievement.

Generally, fellowships fall into two categories: extramural and university. You should apply for both types of 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.

Campus employment

Many UC campus programs and offices reserve positions for graduate students. Opportunities may range from administrative intern to residence hall counselor to undergraduate tutor.

Undocumented students

UC campuses offer a host of programs to support students qualified under the California Dream Act, known as AB 540. The act provides financial assistance and other support to students who came to the U.S. as children and meet certain conditions.


Good to know

File a FAFSA by March 2 to qualify for aid the following academic year.

Other options

Prospective graduate students can browse a number of financial assistance resources, including some targeted towards: