Assistance Available for Graduate Students
All graduate applicants who are US citizens, permanent residents or immigrants should file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible. This form, submitted directly to the Federal Student Aid Program Office, Iowa City, Iowa, is used to determine financial need only, a component of the eligibility criteria for many fellowships, and for all forms of financial aid. The FAFSA can be obtained from the Financial Aid Office or by accessing the free FAFSA Web site.
Fellowships are highly competitive and vary widely with regard to stipend and/or tuition support they offer. In addition, UC Davis offers a special graduate opportunity program for qualified minority and/or economically disadvantaged students that offers a twelve month stipend based on financial need, as determined by the Financial Aid Office.
Graduate Student Research positions are based on research grant funding, and are arranged with individual faculty members. Applicants interested in a GSR position should make early contact with individual faculty members in their areas of interest (see faculty web pages) to discuss possible research funding opportunities. GSR positions are primarily available to MS I and Ph.D. students. Graduate Student Research positions provide full remission of the in-state fees and the non-resident supplemental tuition (NRST).
Teaching Assistant positions are allocated by the department, include partial remission of instate fees, and for entering students are normally awarded only to domestic students. Readerships involve marking homework solutions submitted by students, and are arranged with individual instructors prior to the beginning of each quarter. Readerships are hourly positions, and include partial fee remissions for in-state fees. Readership positions should not be considered as a sole means of support.
For international and non-California students, non-resident tuition often poses the greatest financial difficulties. TAs, Readerships and regular fellowships do not necessarily include support for out-of-state tuition. Full or partial Non-Resident Tuition Fellowships (NRTF) may be offered by the department. US citizens and permanent residents are expected to become California residents after one year of study. For international students there is a waiver of the non-resident tuition for three years following advancement to candidacy for the PhD degree (after completing the qualifying exam).
Exemption from Non-Resident tuition (AB 540) is available to certain non-resident students (citizens and undocumented students) who have attended high school in California and received a high school diploma or its equivalent. For more information, please visit https://undocumented.ucdavis.edu/legislation/ab540. Undocumented status, DACA and AB 540 create special categories of financial aid eligibility. For more information about what you may be eligible for, and additional guidelines regarding these categories, please visit https://undocumented.ucdavis.edu/graduate-student-guidelines.
NEW! Master's for the Future Initiative
Professional engineers with MS degrees are leading transformational efforts across all areas of Civil & Environmental Engineering. To support the next-generation of MS-trained engineers the MFI provides fellowships and Academic Student Employment opportunities to qualified MS applicants. For AY24-25 approximately 55 MFI awards will be offered. All prospective students who apply before the priority deadline (Dec. 15) will be considered for an MFI award, and prospective students who apply by the General Deadline (Feb. 1) will be considered as funding allows.