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Fellowships & Assistantships


Graduate School Fellowships
A limited number of Graduate School Fellowships are awarded to graduate students on a universitywide basis by competition. They are intended to encourage and assist superior students in pursuing graduate study and in completing the requirements for graduate degrees in the minimum possible time.

The award stipend is payable from September through May. Graduate School Fellowship awards are for one year and may be renewed upon departmental nomination and Fellowship Committee recommendation. These fellowships also provide for waiver of tuition, curriculum fee waiver, and arrangements for payment of the Health Benefit (if the Health Benefit is not covered by another appointment, i.e., Research Assistantship, Teaching Assistantship), but not general fees. A recipient of a Graduate School Fellowship must enroll as a full-time student.

Prospective students may indicate their desire for a fellowship or an assistantship as part of the admissions application form supplied in the regular admissions material by the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Interested incoming students should have their completed applications packet on file in the Graduate Admissions Office no later than January 15. Current students should check with their graduate program director for this information. Awards are announced for incoming students by mid-March. Information is available at

Graduate Student Travel Grants
The Graduate School offers funding to degree-seeking, in-residence graduate students presenting the results of their research, creative, or scholarly activities at major professional meetings, exhibitions, symposia, or conferences. While the purpose of the funding is to supplement expenses incurred in such activity, students must approach other sources such as their department, program, or adviser before applying to the Graduate School. For further information, contact the Graduate Program Director, the Graduate Dean’s Office or

Federal Fellowships
The university participates in the various federal fellowship programs sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Education. For further information, contact the department or the Graduate Student Grants Service, tel. (413) 545-3428.

Other Fellowships
Direct fellowship awards are available from a number of sponsors. Students may obtain information concerning these fellowships by calling the Graduate Student Grants Service.


The university offers graduate assistantships in the research and instructional programs of the various departments. Graduate assistants and associates making at least the minimum stipend set by the campus are not required to pay tuition, Curriculum Fee, and most of their Health Fee. For further information, contact the Graduate Program Director of the department involved or the Assistantship Office of the Graduate School.

Research Assistantships
A number of research assistantships are available to qualified graduate students. These are made possible through research grants awarded to members of the Graduate Faculty from sources outside the university or from funds provided by the university’s internally sponsored programs. Stipends vary with the type of work and the amount of time involved. A full-time research assistant is normally required to devote 20 hours per week to research. For further information, contact the department involved.

Teaching Assistantships
Many departments offer teaching assistantships to qualified graduate students. A full-time teaching assistant is normally required to devote 20 hours per week to preparation and teaching. The stipends vary with each department. For further information, contact the department involved.

International Teaching Assistants

Many departments offer teaching assistantships to qualified, enrolled graduate students. International applicants are eligible for these assistantships. Since teaching assistantships involve instruction, students who are awarded a teaching assistantship and whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate oral English proficiency. Students may do this either by passing the Test of Spoken English administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) before their arrival on campus and at their own expense or by passing the SPEAK test upon arrival on campus at no cost to them. A score of 50 or above is required to pass the TSE or SPEAK test. Information about the ETS may be obtained online at or by writing to: TOEFL Services, Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151.

If the teaching assistantship is awarded, the test result has no bearing on the funding of the teaching assistantship. Students who do not pass the test are assigned responsibilities corresponding to their level of proficiency in spoken English and asked to enroll, at no cost to them, in the spoken English Communication Instruction classes offered by the Graduate School.

This requirement may be waived upon the Graduate Program Director’s request for students in the following categories: a. students who have taken and passed a test with similar purpose at another U.S. university; b. students who have an undergraduate degree from a U.S university; or c. students whose entire education has been in the United Kingdom, Ireland, English-speaking Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Commonwealth Caribbean, or the United States.