Financing your education

Navigating the maze of graduate student funding can be a daunting task. You will find some helpful information below. You may also want to visit the University’s website on Funding & Aid.

Master's Degree

Estimated Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance (COA) estimate below is based on full-time enrollment in a 9-month master’s program and consists of tuition and fees for the 2017–2018 academic year. You should estimate at least a 3 to 7 percent tuition and fee increase for your own planning purposes for each subsequent academic year.

Cost of attendance for 2017-2018
  • MA (9-month)
  • Tuition $55,836
  • Student Life Fee $1,173
  • Health Insurance $3,921
  • Subtotal $60,930
  •  
  • Books and Supplies $1,000
  • Living expenses $19,347
  •  
  • TOTAL: $81,277

A one-time, lifetime transcript fee of $60 is assessed in full once (to new students) in the autumn quarter billing. This figure is not added in the total COA above.

  • NOTE: Health-insurance coverage is mandatory for all registered students. More information can be found at Student Health Insurance.

Billing and Loans

On the Office of the Bursar website, you will find detailed information regarding billing dates and payments, electronic billing, agency billing, tuition payment plans, and required fees.

Loans for Domestic Students

Admitted students may need to apply for loans (private or federally supported) and/or the federal work-study program to cover any tuition and living expenses not covered by a University award. If you need to subsidize your graduate studies through loans and/or work-study, you will need to complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for student loans through the University’s Student Loan Administration. When submitting the FAFSA, be sure to fill out the form that corresponds to the year in which you plan to matriculate. The FAFSA should be filed with the Federal Student Aid Information Center by May 1. The University’s code is 001774.

Visit the Student Loan Administration website to download loan forms and to search the frequently asked questions.

Students admitted for the autumn quarter who wish to be considered for a student loan should submit a loan application to the SLA office by the priority deadline; notifications concerning loan approval are sent out in the summer. SLA also determines eligibility for the Work-Study program, but job assignments cannot be made until the student is actually on campus.

Loans for International Students

Some international students may qualify for student loans in the United States, although international students are also encouraged to research loans available in their home countries. The Student Loan Administration provides information about loans available to international students. Please note that some of these loans may require a co-signer in the United States.

Merit-based Scholarships and Fellowships for M.A. Students

All applicants who indicate on the graduate application that they would like to be considered for financial aid will be reviewed for merit-based scholarships and fellowships; there are no separate forms to complete. The Division of the Social Sciences has limited resources, which are allocated based on the criteria of academic record and scholarly promise; financial need and United States citizenship are not factors.

The Division is unable to provide extensive financial support for students in our stand-alone master’s degree programs. We offer a limited number of partial tuition scholarships (one-third tuition, one-half tuition, two-thirds tuition) along with a very small number of full-tuition awards. Students who we admit without a financial award or with partial tuition scholarships pay the balance of tuition from a combination of their own resources and educational loans.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is not required to qualify for University fellowships because these fellowships are merit based, not need based. Please note, however, that the FAFSA is required for federal student loans, the federal work-study program, and for many outside scholarships and grants.

Doctoral Degree

Estimated Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance (COA) estimate below is based on full-time enrollment in a 12-month PhD program and consists of tuition and fees for the 2017-2018 academic year. These figures are taken from the Office of International Affairs Financial Resource Statement used to figure the student budget for international students for visa purposes. You should estimate at least a 3 to 7 percent tuition and fee increase for your own planning purposes for each subsequent academic year.

Cost of attendance for 2017-2018
  • PhD (12-month)
  • Tuition $55,836
  • Student Life Fee $1,173
  • Health Insurance  $3,921
  • Subtotal $60,930
  •  
  • Books and Supplies $1,000
  • Living expenses $19,347
  • Summer expenses $6,449
  •  
  • TOTAL: $87,726

A one-time, lifetime transcript fee of $60 is assessed in full once (to new students) in the autumn quarter billing. This figure is not added in the total COA above.

  • NOTE: Health-insurance coverage is mandatory for all registered students. More information can be found at Student Health Insurance.

Billing and Loans

On the Office of the Bursar website, you will find detailed information regarding billing dates and payments, electronic billing, agency billing, tuition payment plans, and required fees.

Loans for Domestic Students

Admitted students may need to apply for loans (private or federally supported) and/or the federal work-study program to cover any tuition and living expenses not covered by a University award. If you need to subsidize your graduate studies through loans and/or work-study, you will need to complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for student loans through the University’s Student Loan Administration. When submitting the FAFSA, be sure to fill out the form that corresponds to the year in which you plan to matriculate. The FAFSA should be filed with the Federal Student Aid Information Center by May 1. The University’s code is E00377.

Visit the Student Loan Administration website to download loan forms and to search the frequently asked questions.

Students admitted for the autumn quarter who wish to be considered for a student loan should submit a loan application to the SLA office by the May 31 priority deadline; notifications concerning loan approval are sent out in the summer. SLA also determines eligibility for the Work-Study program, but job assignments cannot be made until the student is actually on campus.

Loans for International Students

Some international students may qualify for student loans in the United States, although international students are also encouraged to research loans available in their home countries. The Student Loan Administration provides information about loans available to international students. Please note that some of these loans may require a co-signer in the United States.

Merit-based aid for Ph.D. Students

All applicants who indicate on the graduate application that they would like to be considered for financial aid will be reviewed for merit-based scholarships and fellowships; there are no separate forms to complete. The Division of the Social Sciences has limited resources, which are allocated based on the criteria of academic record and scholarly promise; financial need and United States citizenship are not factors.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is not required to qualify for University fellowships because these fellowships are merit based, not need based. Please note, however, that the FAFSA is required for federal student loans, the federal work-study program, and for many outside scholarships and grants.

Every year, there is intense competition for admission to our doctoral programs. As a general principle, we provide extensive funding for all students who matriculate in our doctoral programs. Since we have a limited number of awards that we can fund, every year we must turn away many stellar applicants because we do not have the resources to support them.

Applicants to our doctoral programs are considered for all fellowship resources at the University of Chicago for which they are eligible, including diversity fellowships, Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships, fellowships offered through a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, and the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Quantitative Methods in Education and Human Development, as well as Divisional fellowships.

We offer Divisional fellowships that provide support for up to five years, are contingent on good progress, and are renewed annually.

  • Five-year Fellowships: Full tuition, University student health insurance, and an annual combination of stipend and teaching assignments of at least $24,000, and four summer grants of $3,000 each, disbursed over the five years of the award.

Teaching is a requirement of all of our doctoral programs. Doctoral students must complete the equivalent of five teaching assistant appointments. For students receiving divisional fellowships, the annual support of $24,000 incorporates the teaching component, configured as two teaching assistantships in the third year, two teaching assistantships in the fourth year, and one teaching assistantship in the fifth year.

When a student wins an external fellowship, the Division combines it with the Divisional fellowship, typically reducing the stipend portion of the Division’s award. In combining the fellowships, the Division will maintain at least the stipend level of its fellowship, and may provide a supplement such that the combined awards total more than either alone, up to a maximum of $28,000 in annual stipend.

In some cases, applicants who do not already hold master’s degrees in related disciplines, whom our faculty feel would be very strong students, and whom we cannot fund in our doctoral programs, will be offered the opportunity to enroll in one of our intensive master’s degree programs.

The Division occasionally admits without Divisional funding a small number of Ph.D. students who hold fellowships from external agencies that provide at least four years of full funding, including tuition. These funding agencies are generally, although not exclusively, international agencies, including the Kwanjeong Educational Foundation and the Becas Chile Scholarship. Questions regarding agency funding should be directed to the Dean of Students, Patrick Hall, at ssd-dos@uchicago.edu.

External Fellowships

We encourage applicants to our graduate programs to apply for external fellowships. Below we have listed several fellowships that our students have won in the past. You may want to consult the Fellowship Databases listed through our Office of Graduate Affairs for more comprehensive lists.

Jacob K. Javits Fellowship
  • Supports doctoral studies in selected fields within the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The four-year renewable award includes tuition, fees, and a stipend. United States citizens or permanent residents who are fourth-year college students or who have not finished their first year of graduate studies are eligible.
Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships
  • Approximately sixty predoctoral fellowships awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies on behalf of the Ford Foundation.
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships
  • For graduate study leading to research-based master’s or doctoral degrees in the fields of science, including the history of science, international relations, and the social sciences. The thirty-six month fellowships include tuition, fees, and a stipend. United States citizens or permanent residents in their fourth-year of college, first year of graduate school, recent college graduates, or students in joint B.A./M.A. programs are eligible, but applicants who have earned any medical degrees are not.
Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans
  • One-half tuition plus a maintenance grant for up to two years of graduate study in the United States. Fourth-year college students and persons up to age 30 in possession of a bachelor’s degree who meet the foundation’s definition of a new American are eligible. A new American is a permanent resident, a naturalized United States citizen, or the child of two parents who are both naturalized citizens.
Diversifying Faculty in Illinois Program
  • The purpose of DFI is to diversify the faculties and professional staffs at higher education institutions in the state of Illinois with the major emphasis being on the diversification of faculty. DFI provides financial assistance, based on demonstrated financial need, to graduate students traditionally under-represented in higher education who have received high school diplomas or postsecondary degrees from educational institutions in Illinois or who have three or more years of residency in Illinois and are citizens or permanent residents of the United States. The DFI provides a stipend of up to $20,000.