Paying for Graduate School

Nearly half of the graduate students at The University of Alabama receive funding to cover some or all of the expenses associated with a graduate degree. Graduate students receiving funding from The University of Alabama must be admitted to a degree-seeking program and have completed an undergraduate degree at the time of enrollment.

What is the Cost of Attending The University of Alabama for Graduate School?

Student Account Services provides an overview of the expected costs associated with pursuing a graduate degree at The University of Alabama. International Student and Scholar Services provides an estimated cost of attendance (the funds necessary to obtain an I-20) for international applicants.

Potential Sources of Funding

Click on the links below to learn more about the ways that we can help you fund your graduate education.


Assistantships

Assistantships are the most common source of funding available to University of Alabama graduate students. There are three main types of assistantships available at The University of Alabama:

  • Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA): Student assists in the teaching mission of the University.
  • Graduate Research Assistant (GRA): Student assists in the research mission of the University.
  • Graduate Administrative Assistant (GA): Student helps support an administrative unit on campus.

Benefits

Most assistantships include:

Partial assistantships will only cover a portion of these charges. Tuition scholarships only cover distance or on-campus graduate courses and do not cover the Law School or programs with special tuition rates (e.g. the Executive MBA program). They also do not cover the international student fee, books or other ancillary costs.

If you have held an assistantship in the spring semester you may also be entitled to in-state tuition during the interim or summer sessions.

International students who accept a GTA with instructional duties must complete the International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP).

Students enrolled in the English Language Institute cannot hold internally funded assistantships.

How do I learn more?

Most academic departments offer GTAs and GRAs. If you are interested in a GTA or GRA you should contact the Graduate Program Director for the program that you are interested in. Assistantship positions (including GAs) are often advertised on the UA Student Job Site.


Graduate School Fellowships

Graduate School fellowships are designed for exceptional applicants and current students. Nominees must be admitted students, and nominations must be made by the student’s department.

Benefits

Graduate School fellowships include:

Fellowships and scholarships will affect a student’s allowable federal financial aid. Check with UA’s Office of Student Financial Aid before accepting any of the fellowships or scholarships listed below.

How do I learn more?

Applicants and students must be nominated by their program. As the process for selecting fellowship nominees varies by program, please contact the Graduate Program Director for your program to learn more.

Graduate School Fellowship Nomination Deadlines (for 2024/2025 academic year fellowships)

RoundNomination Deadline (4:30pm)Who is Eligible?
1December 7, 2023Final year master’s students and doctoral students who will have advanced to candidacy by May 15, 2024
2January 11, 2024Admitted students starting a new program in summer or fall of 2024
3February 8, 2024Admitted students starting a new program in summer or fall of 2024
4March 7, 2024Admitted students starting a new program in summer or fall of 2024

Graduate Council Fellowships

The University of Alabama awards almost 100 Graduate Council Fellowships each year.

New and current UA students: A $20,000 stipend for a full academic year (fall and spring semesters). Most awards are for one academic year. Exceptional nominees can be considered for a Capstone Graduate Council Fellowship that provides up to five years of funding.

Top applicants: The David A. Francko Fellowship includes a $25,000/year stipend for up to five years. This fellowship is only awarded in round 2.

McNair Graduate Fellowships

McNair Graduate Fellowships are designated for new and current graduate students who meet one of the following requirements:

1. They have completed a McNair Scholars undergraduate program.

2. They are McNair-eligible.

New and current UA students: A $20,000 stipend for a full academic year (fall and spring semesters). Recipients who are starting a master’s degree receive a one year fellowship followed by one year of assistantship support from their academic department. Recipients who are starting a doctoral degree receive two years of fellowship support followed by two years of assistantship support from their academic department. Recipients who are current UA students receive one year of support. Exceptional applicants can be considered for a Capstone McNair Council Fellowship that provides up to fives years of funding.

National Alumni Association Fellowships

The University of Alabama awards approximately 23 one year National Alumni Association Fellowships each year. Nominees must be classified as Alabama residents by The University of Alabama.

Joint Faculty Development Program Fellowships

This fellowship is available to practicing faculty members at Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Oakwood University, and Stillman College, who do not have terminal degrees in their fields of instruction. Faculty members must be nominated for the fellowship by their home institution. Faculty who participate in this program receive fellowship support from The University of Alabama for up to two academic years. Additional support from their home institution is negotiated with each institution’s vice president for academic affairs. This fellowship allows the faculty members participating in this program to complete most of their required coursework while supported by this fellowship. Contact Graduate School to learn more about this fellowship. This fellowship is not subject to the deadlines listed above.


Graduate School Scholarships

McNair Tuition Scholarships

Master’s or doctoral students who have completed a Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program at a U.S. university are eligible to be considered for a 100% tuition scholarship.

For more information, contact Graduate School.

Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholars Program

The SREB Doctoral Scholars Program supports newly admitted doctoral students planning a career in college teaching. Recipients receive a $20,000 annual stipend for up to three years from the SREB, and a 100% tuition scholarship from The University of Alabama (up to 15 hours per semester). Students receiving the three year award will receive an assistantship from their academic department in years 4 and 5.

Fulbright Tuition Scholarships

International students receiving support to pursue a degree program in the US through the Fulbright program receive a 100% tuition scholarship (up to 15 hours per semester) while supported by the Fulbright program.

For more information, contact Graduate School.

Stillman College Faculty/Staff Tuition Scholarships

Faculty and staff who work full time at Stillman College are eligible for a tuition scholarship if they have been admitted to a graduate program at The University of Alabama. Please contact the Stillman College Office of Human Resources for more information on eligibility.

Alumni Heritage Graduate Scholarships

The Alumni Heritage Graduate Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship for first-semester graduate students who are Alabama residents and children or grandchildren of UA graduates. Parents or grandparents must be degree holders from The University of Alabama and active members of the National Alumni Association for three of the past five years. The scholarship awards $500 toward the cost of in-state graduate tuition. To qualify, the student must be enrolled part or full-time in a degree-seeking program.

To apply, please submit an AHGS scholarship form.


On-Campus Employment

Hourly on-campus jobs are available in many campus departments. These are frequently advertised on the UA Student Job Site. International students can only work 20 hours/week on-campus during the academic year. This is increased to 40 hours/week in the summer.


Conference and Research Funding

The Graduate School provides supplemental funding for graduate research and conference/exhibit/performance participation, to advance students’ research and professional goals. Students are eligible to apply for one conference award and one research award per year. (A “year” is defined as fall-spring-summer.) Each application is routed through the department, which must provide matching funds. Maximum funding amounts from the Graduate School are as follows:

  • Conferences within North America/Caribbean: up to $500 from Graduate School
  • International Conferences beyond North America/Caribbean: up to $800 from Graduate School
  • Research costs within North America/Caribbean: up to $300 from Graduate School
  • Research costs beyond North America/Caribbean: up to $600 from Graduate School

Departments may have lower maximums, depending on their budgets; in such cases the Graduate School amount is also lowered, to a 1:1 match. Departments may have higher maximums as well; in those cases, Graduate School matches are limited to the above-outlined caps.

Research awards prioritize thesis, pre-dissertation and dissertation research, but are also available for other eligible and approved costs. Conference awards are reserved for graduate students who have been accepted to present their work or chair a session at a national or international meeting related to their discipline, or otherwise showcase their work through invited exhibitions or performances. (Conference attendance, without an accompanying presentation or session chairship, will not be eligible for Graduate School match.)

The student’s application must include a budget, information about cost sharing, and, if conference/exhibit/performance travel is involved, a confirmation that the student will be personally presenting their own work.

How to Apply:

Students initiate their requests to the Graduate School by logging into the UA Grad Student Portal. Once logged in, students should select “Funding”, then “CRF Request Form.” Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the form.  After the student submits the request, it is routed through the student’s advisor and department chair, for confirmation of matching funds. The request is then routed to the Graduate School for final approval.

Priority deadlines for applications:

Fall: August 31

Spring: January 31

Summer: April 30

The Graduate School will consider additional requests, pending funding availability. After major deadlines, requests will be reviewed at the end of each month.

If the request is approved, funds will be sent to the department; students will then present a single set of receipts to their department for reimbursement, for both the departmental and the Graduate School funds. Then, disbursement of funds will be processed through the department to the student’s UA account. Please contact your department regarding reimbursement questions.

For more information about the Graduate School’s Conference and Research Funding program, please contact Ms. Catherine Doughty-Walker.


Federal Financial Aid

Domestic students enrolled in graduate degree programs are eligible for federal financial aid. For more information, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid.


Federal Grants and Scholarship

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Graduate fellowships for beginning and first-year graduate students. The areas of study for these programs include physical, biological, social and behavioral sciences, engineering, mathematics, and computer science.

Visit the DHS Student and Recent Graduates Scholarship page for or more information.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

The U.S. Department of Energy provides various fellowships opportunities for graduate students.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program is open to applicants who are citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. at the time of application. The three-year awards are intended for students at or near the beginning of graduate study. The second and third years of the award are contingent upon satisfactory progress and availability of funds. Visit the NSF GRFP page for more information.

The Jacob Javits Fellowship Program

The Jacob Javits Fellowship Program is a grant program for students in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

The G.I. Bill

Veterans or qualified dependents of veterans may use their educational benefits for training at the graduate and professional level. Please contact the University of Alabama Office of Veterans Affairs for more information.


Foundation Grants and Fellowships

Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has awarded fellowships for graduate study since 1945.

The Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is well known for its support of graduate study and research abroad. There are several awards for graduate study and advanced research, including postdoctoral fellowships for American scholars and non-U.S. scholars. For further information visit the Fulbright Program page.


International Student Loans

Most student loans for international students will require a U.S. co-signer.  Information about loan options can be found in the following web sites:


Other Scholarship Opportunities

International Scholarships with Advisors in The University of Alabama Capstone International Center.

The National GEM Consortium provides funding support and internship opportunities for graduate students in engineering and science fields.

Alabama Army National Guard education assistance program is funded annually by the state legislature. The program is designed to supplement available federal programs.

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College Board

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U.S. Department of Labor (CareerOneStop)