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Financial Aid

AEREC graduate students can explore several different types of financial aid, including graduate assistantships, fellowships, and tuition grant-in-aid programs. Special programs are also available for qualified minority applicants.

Up-to-date information on tuition and fees can be obtained from the Bursar's Office . The University Office of International Programs compiles a list of Estimated Initial Graduate Student Expenses that includes tuition, living expenses, books/supplies, and health insurance.

Graduate Assistantships

For qualified applicants, we have a limited number of graduate assistantships. A graduate assistantship carries a stipend plus a waiver of all tuition and fees. The vast majority of our assistantships are research assistantships in which students work closely with faculty on research projects. The remainder are teaching assistantships.

Most of our graduate assistantships are half-time assistantships (20 hours of work per week). The two other levels of assistantship are a quarter-time assistantship (10 hours of work per week) and a three-quarter time assistantship (30 hours of work per week).

Assistantship offers are typically made for up to one year at a time. Continuation of a student's assistantship support beyond the initial offer is contingent on the student's assistantship performance, academic performance, and the availability of assistantship funding.

The maximum number of semesters that a master's student is eligible for an assistantship is 4 (counting Fall and Spring semesters). That works out to 2 calendar years. A student may receive less than the maximum.

The maximum number of semesters that a Ph.D. student is eligible for an assistantship is 7 (again counting Fall and Spring semesters). That works out to about 3½ calendar years. A student may receive less than the maximum. For Ph.D. students in one of our dual-title programs (Demography, International Agriculture and Development, or Operations Research), the maximum number of semesters of assistantship eligibility is 8. Dual-title Ph.D. students have an extra semester of eligibility because of extra course work involved in a dual-title degree.

Students with an assistantship are expected to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale).

You will automatically be considered for an assistantship when you apply unless you inform us otherwise.

Fellowships and Top-Up Funds

For outstanding applicants, we offer University Graduate Fellowships. These fellowships consist of a stipend over 10 months plus payment of tuition and fees. We utilize University Graduate Fellowships as part of a package of support for academically superior students that includes a graduate assistantship after the fellowship has ended.

We also have "top-up" funds that supplement other financial aid offers to highly recruited applicants. Our goal is to make sure that no outstanding applicant who would like to attend Penn State feels that they must go elsewhere because of financial considerations.

Programs for Minority Scholars

The Office of Graduate Educational Equity in the Graduate School assists in the retention, recruitment, and professional development of underrepresented graduate students. Within the College of Agricultural Sciences, the Assistant to the Dean for Multicultural Affairs, Dr. Patreese Ingram, is in charge of programs to recruit and retain minority students.

For qualified minority applicants, Penn State provides assistantships through the Bunton-Waller Graduate Awards Program . The program competition is open to incoming graduate degree candidates who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Other Financial Aid