Financial Aid and Funding

There are several different forms of financial aid available to incoming graduate students: fellowships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and tuition and fee waivers. These forms of financial aid are explained below.

Fellowships

Graduate fellowships are awarded in recognition of scholarly achievement and promise. Fellowships enable students to pursue graduate study and research without a service requirement, and they vary in amount and duration. For legal and taxation purposes, fellowships are regarded as gifts, not as compensation for services rendered.

UIC’s Graduate College is responsible for awarding fellowships. Unless stated otherwise, all fellows supported by the Graduate College are exempt from tuition and service fees. Students who hold fellowships are required to complete at least 12 semester hours each term.

Funding for Graduate College fellowships is derived from both university and external sources. Please visit the Graduate College fellowships page for information on fellowships that are currently offered to graduate students and the terms and conditions applicable to each.

Teaching and Research Assistantships

Teaching and research assistantships are another way in which graduate students can fund their education.

Teaching assistants typically support faculty members who are teaching large-enrollment courses. Teaching assistants may handle laboratory and discussion sections and/or grade papers. The department determines the number of teaching assistantships that will be available, based on instructional needs and other priorities, and assigns students to these roles. The work of each teaching assistant is then determined by his or her supervising faculty member. No student may be appointed as a teaching assistant for more than a total of eight semesters, excluding summer semesters.

Research assistants are appointed by individual faculty members to help them in their scholarly research work.

Teaching and research assistantships are determined by a percentage of time. Assistantships in either of these categories with an assignment between 25% and 67% time will carry a tuition exemption. Assistantships for international students may not exceed a 50% assignment during the fall and spring semesters. Students who receive assistantship-based tuition exemption for the spring semester will also receive tuition exemption for the summer term immediately following, even if the assistantship does not continue through the summer.

Students holding 50% teaching or research assistantships must register for at least 12 credit hours each semester.

Tuition and Fee Waivers

The department faculty may nominate a select few entering students for University Fellowships and tuition-and-fee waivers. These nominations are forwarded to the Graduate College, which makes waiver decisions. The director of graduate studies is the primary resource for information on these waivers, which are reserved for the most advanced and high-performing students. Fellows and students with a tuition-and-fee waiver must register for a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester.

Financial Aid

In general, financial aid information is available from UIC’s student affairs office. Visit the Office of Student Financial Aid website to learn about:

  • Cost of attending UIC
  • Financial aid processes
  • Types of financial aid
  • Necessary forms

The Office of Student Financial Aid can be reached at (312) 996-3126 or money@uic.edu.