University of California, Riverside

Graduate Division

Funding Sources for your Education

Ways to Pay for Your Education

Choosing your course of study and finding a great graduate school are just the first steps of continuing your education. Putting together a great financial package can help make your educational dreams a reality.

A good financial package combines a variety of funding sources and experiences. For example, it could combine:

  • Fellowship
  • Teaching assistantship – gives you teaching experience.
  • Research position – learning to conduct research while earning salary.
  • TA and/or GSR/RA position promotes socialization of the student into the program/department environment.
  • TA may be core requirement of graduate program.

A poor financial package could have too much emphasis on one aspect of the graduate experience. Examples of poor packages include:

  • Total teaching assistant – too demanding.
  • Total fellowship – lack of teaching experience, lab experience.
  • Total research position – does not provide teaching experience; may not allow you to work on your own research (some exceptions).

Learn about the steps to building a great financial package.

Then see the steps on how to ensure  you keep your package.

Sources of Funding

There are a variety of resources for funding a graduate education, both internal to the University and external. Becoming familiar with the available sources of funding can help you navigate the variety of sources available.


Includes fellowships, teaching assistantships, researcher positions through the academic program. Learn more about the types of funding offered by the University .

State Government

Mostly need-based financial aid. In most cases, residency is required to be eligible. Funds are not transferable from state to state. Learn more about the general requirements for qualifying for state funding opportunities .

Federal Government

Funding is available through various U.S. agencies, foundations and departments including:

  • National Science Foundation
  • National Institutes of Health
  • U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education and Energy.
Fellowship programs include:
  • Jacob K. Javits
  • Grants for Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN)
  • Stafford Direct and Indirect Loans and other loan programs


The funding by foundations is provided in specific areas or for specific groups. For example:

  • Ford funds pre-doctoral, dissertation-year and post-docs, specifically for minority students.
  • Howard Hughes funds pre-doctoral students in the biological sciences.
  • Mellon awards in the pre-doctoral humanities.

Individual and Organizations

Provide various amounts of awards for students in particular fields, for particular purposes and sometimes for particular individuals.

Confused about some of the terminology? Check out our glossary of terms.

See a list of funding sources for graduate school.

Writing a Successful Funding Proposal

Convincing a review panel that your project is worthwhile and unique and that you are the best person to carry it out is the goal of writing a successful funding proposal. A group of faculty from UC Berkeley who have served on review committees and staff and students who have completed the task share their insight on writing a great funding proposal. Read these tips and tricks.

Tips for Finding Fellowship Opportunities

Not sure how to get started? Tips for finding fellowship opportunities, developing communication, and pitfalls to avoid

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

Graduate Division
University Office Building

Tel: (951) 827-4302
Fax: (951) 827-2238