Funding opportunities

Financing graduate study

On the recommendation of department program directors, the Graduate School provides graduate student funding for a number of fellowship programs, oversees the awarding and administration of more than $5 million in university tuition and fee support and, pending available funds, supports graduate student research grants and travel programs. Eligibility is based on a variety of criteria, including academic performance and competitiveness.

The Graduate School regularly posts information about externally funded grants, scholarships and fellowship programs, as well as announcements of upcoming deadlines. Students can also refer to the Office of Financial Aid for additional scholarship programs. For general guidance on financing graduate education, please visit GradSense.

Tuition and fee support

Tuition and fee support associated with graduate fellowships and graduate assistantships varies from year to year and by program. Awards typically include the stipend plus university tuition. The minimum graduate stipend for a 9-month appointment is $9,000; 12-month appointment is $12,000. Payment of special program or class fees varies from program to program. Students are responsible for settling their accounts according to the rules and procedures of the university’s Student Accounting Department.

Tuition will be charged according to a student’s official residency status as determined by the university’s residency office. Questions related to residency status should be directed to that office.

Per the 2017 Virginia Acts of Assembly, “Nonresident graduate students employed by an institution as teaching assistants, research assistants, or graduate assistants and paid at an annual contract rate of $4,000 or more may be considered resident students for the purposes of charging tuition and fees.”  At Virginia Commonwealth University, the nonresident tuition waiver is applicable to Ph.D. and MFA students receiving a graduate assistantship. 

Graduate assistantships and fellowships

University graduate teaching and research assistantships and fellowships are awarded to continuing and newly admitted graduate students. Awards are considered when determining financial aid and any stipend support is reported to the Internal Revenue Service. For more information, consult the VCU Student Tax Reference Guide.

Graduate assistants at VCU are subject to the university’s policies and procedures. Program directors and prospective graduate assistants should agree upon specific conditions of employment before finalizing appointments. The full policy statement for graduate assistantships and fellowships at VCU is available in the Graduate Bulletin.

Eligibility for assistantships and fellowships is based on a variety of criteria. Specific inquiries should be made directly to the program in which the student intends to enroll.

Search for funding opportunities and collaborators with our VCU Libraries research guides.

Dissertation Assistantship Award Program

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the 2018-2019 Dissertation Assistantship award program . This funding program is for doctoral (Ph.D.) scholars who have completed all program requirements, including didactic courses, except for the dissertation and who will be defending the dissertation and graduating by the end of the fall 2018 or spring 2019 semesters. Qualifying students must be nominated to your school/college Dean’s Office by their program directors.  Due to the funding source, this program is only available to doctoral students. The Dissertation Assistantship offers a one-year, $18,750 stipend and university tuition only (not fees).

Department awards

Department awards, such as stipends and tuition and fee support, are granted each year to new and continuing graduate students. Eligibility is based on a variety of criteria, including academic performance and competitiveness. Inquiries about awards should be made to the director of the student’s program of study.

Graduate tuition and fees

Graduate students registered for nine to 15 credit hours are billed as full-time. Graduate students registered for more than 15 hours during any semester are charged an overload fee above the full-time tuition rate on a per-credit-hour basis.

Graduate students who are fully funded as graduate assistants or fellows must register for at least nine graduate hours per semester (up to six hours during the summer if funded on a 12-month stipend). Course work must be taken for credit. Departmental requirements may vary, so students should confirm enrollment requirements with their program directors.

The Student Accounting Department publishes a full schedule of tuition and fees and university charges, as well as billing policies and procedures. Complete information on all university charges may be obtained by contacting the Student Accounting Department at (804) 828-2228.

Additional Funding opportunities

Search for funding opportunities and collaborators with our VCU Libraries research guides. The Pivot program combines the most comprehensive, editorially maintained database of funding opportunities worth an estimated $33 billion with a unique database of 3 million pre-populated scholar profiles.

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program provides graduate thesis research opportunities at DOE laboratories. For more information, please visit the DOE’s website.

Travel grant program

The Graduate Student Travel Grant program encourages the presentation of research results or scholarly activity by providing travel grants of up to $300 for degree-seeking students enrolled in master’s or doctoral programs. Awards are made without regard to quotas or distribution among fields and departments; however, no student will be funded for more than one trip in an academic year.

All degree-seeking graduate students at VCU are eligible for this program. Students receiving funding from this program must be the presenter. Students can only apply in the semester in which they are presenting and must turn in their application at least one month prior to their proposed travel dates. Funding is limited, so students applying to the program are not guaranteed support.  Graduate Student Travel Grant

AERA funding

The American Educational Research Association’s fellowship and funding opportunities are dedicated to enhancing the pool of diverse graduate students and early career scholars in education-related fields.

VCCS Chancellor's Teaching Fellows Program

The Virginia Community Colleges Chancellor's Teaching Fellows Program is for graduate students who are interested in teaching and have completed at least 18 hours of graduate coursework.  For more information, view the links below:

VCCS Chancellor's Teaching Fellows Program