Finding Funding and Fellowships

The first source for financial aid for all students is through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

U.S. residents, make sure that you file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Apply as early as possible for financial aid and make sure your funding is spread across the entire program (Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters). For a list of competitive graduate funding opportunities, please consult the Pivot and GRAPES databases.

International students, there are a number of awards available to fund, on a competitive basis, graduate education in the U.S. One useful listing is provided by Swarthmore College. To learn more about such awards, please contact us at

Graduate Assistant (GA) tuition waivers, the Qualified Tuition Reduction (QTR) Program, and the Domestic Partner Tuition Program (DPTP) may be used to waive the costs of the MDP program. Students are urged to contact the MDP management team for support in pursuing alternative funding opportunities.

Please download the document at the bottom of this page for a list of resources and links to potential funding sources and fellowships.

Peace Corps Fellow Program at the University of Arizona

The Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows Program allows Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to attend the University of Arizona with reduced expenses while serving in an internship that benefits an underserved domestic community. For more information about this program and to apply, please visit:

A Guide to Finding an RAship or TAship at the University of Arizona

What is a TA-ship or RA-ship?

A TA-ship refers to a “teaching assistantship” and a RA-ship refers to a “research assistantship”. Both positions qualify as “graduate assistantships” (GA-ships) and come with certain tuition, health coverage, and stipend benefits depending on the level of employment.

Who is eligible for a TA or RAship?

            In order to be considered for a Graduate Assistant position, a graduate student must:

1      Be admitted to a graduate degree seeking program. Certificate only programs do not satisfy this requirement. Furthermore, Law, Medicine and Pharmacy students are not normally eligible for a GA position unless concurrently enrolled in a regular degree-seeking program.

2      Have a minimum GPA of 3.0. If a student is newly admitted, the admission GPA is considered for this requirement. A student must also maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 during their appointment. Appointing departments may also require a higher GPA.

3      Be enrolled in at least 6 graduate level units. Undergraduate, Outreach, or audited courses do not satisfy this requirement. Appointing departments may also require a higher enrollment.

Appointing departments may also have additional criteria that a graduate student must meet in order to be appointed into a Graduate Assistant/Associate position.

For more information on eligibility, please visit:

What are the benefits associated with these positions?

A Graduate Assistant/Associate (GA) who is appointed during the Fall and/or Spring academic semesters will receive tuition remission. Tuition remission is a reduction in the tuition amount that a student will be charged. The tuition remission is an amount which is dependent on FTE, enrollment, and dates of the appointment contract. The tuition remission benefit is only available for Fall and Spring semesters. This benefit is not available for Winter and/or Summer semesters. Tuition rates for nonresident GAs will be automatically recalculated at the resident rate (GA Reduced Tuition).         

GAs are eligible to receive single student health insurance coverage. The University of Arizona will cover the premium charges for a GA during their appointment. The health insurance and health services are provided through the University of Arizona Campus Health. This benefit is non-transferrable. To receive this benefit, a student must enroll in the student health insurance program during the open enrollment period.

For more information on benefits, please visit:

How do I find a TAship or RAship position?

  1. Contact faculty directly: By far the best and most secure way to find a TAship or RAship is to approach faculty directly. If you are not already connected to faculty who can offer you guidance, a good way to begin is by reading faculty websites, making note of faculty with active research projects and grant funding, and reaching out to faculty who share your research interests. If you are close with faculty, ask them for recommendations regarding whom you should contact for potential positions. Send a friendly email to faculty to introduce yourself, your skillset (attach an updated CV), and your need for TA/RA position to help fund your MDP studies. Oftentimes, faculty come into grant monies and may not have graduate students at hand that can carry out the research. While RAs do not necessarily have to match your own research interests, obviously there is a lot that can be gained by pursuing an RAship with natural synergies with your own research interests and experiences.
  2. Contact a department directly: Graduate students who are interested in a GA position are encouraged to contact the department they would like to work for directly regarding available positions. If you have a skillset in a particular area (e.g. you speak a foreign language), consider contacting particular departments that require those skills (e.g. the Spanish department). Oftentimes departments privilege TA/RAs from within their own department but may not have enough grad students to fill all positions. If they have your CV on file, they may contact you with these opportunities. 
  3. Visit the Wildcat Joblink: Some GA positions may also be listed on the Wildcat Joblink. Wildcat JobLink is UA’s job listing and campus interviewing system.  Here you can find part-time on and off campus positions (including WorkStudy), internships and full-time positions specifically targeted to University of Arizona Students and Alumni.

Additional Resources: -- The GA Manual contains the information that a student, faculty, or staff member would need to know about Graduate Assistant/Associate (GA) appointments at the University of Arizona. For any questions or concerns regarding this information, please contact -- UA’s Career services advice on how to build a CV. The site also has links to drafting a resume.

Article on how students can finance studies in international development

Qualified Tuition Reduction/Educational Assistance Program 

For eligible active and officially retired employees, their spouses and dependent children The Arizona Board of Regents provides a Qualified Tuition Reduction (QTR) and Educational Assistance Program (EAP) that enables eligible individuals to enroll in courses of study at reduced tuition rates. The QTR/EAP is reciprocal among the three state universities and may be used for regular semesters (Spring and Fall), winter session or summer sessions (Pre-Session, Summer I and Summer II).

For more information on QTR, please visit: