One of your biggest questions is probably, "How will I pay for UC?" Fellowships are one of the best places to look for graduate school funding.

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. You should apply for both types of funding.

Extramural fellowships

Extramural 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. Most allow you to use the award at any university or program, which is why they are sometimes called portable fellowships.

These include prestigious national fellowships, such as the National Science Foundation Fellowship and Ford Foundation Fellowship. There are also many other types of fellowships, spanning a wide range of disciplines and funding amounts.

What's so great about extramural fellowships?

In addition to helping pay for graduate school, an extramural fellowship also provides you with the most flexibility when it's time to select your institution. Plus, receiving one is a significant achievement that will strengthen your academic résumé.

How do I qualify?

Many fellowships are based on academic merit; some are targeted toward specific types of students, such as underrepresented minorities and women. There are hundreds of public and private fellowships, each with different requirements, so do your homework and apply to all you qualify for.

How do I learn more?

  • Ask current graduate students and faculty about possible fellowship opportunities.
  • Explore online resources, such as UCLA's online Graduate and Postdoctoral Extramural Support Database — better known as GRAPES — which provides information on more than 500 public and private fellowships. Anyone can access the databases; you don't have to be an applicant to a particular institution to use these convenient resources.

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.

    Search for fellowships

    Use UCLA's GRAPES database to find fellowships, even if you're applying to another campus or university.