Fellowships and Assistantships
Approximately 85% of students in the graduate research programs are fully funded through fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships. The most common forms of funding in MechSE are fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships.
MechSE offers prestigious, multi-year fellowships to top applicants. Additional fellowships are also available from the College of Engineering and the Graduate College at the University of Illinois. MechSE nominates top applicants for all of these fellowships. M.S. and PhD Applicants are automatically considered for these awards; there is no separate application. Fellowships provide a monthly stipend and are typically accompanied by a tuition and fee waiver.
After you have received your offer of admission from MechSE, you may begin contacting faculty to inquire about research assistantships. Faculty in MechSE typically hire newly admitted students in the March-August timeframe. MechSE faculty seek to hire both admitted applicants who are starting at the MS level as well as admitted applicants starting at the PhD level. Research assistantships provide a monthly stipend and are typically accompanied by a tuition and fee waiver as compensation for research carried out through the completion of the degree.
Admitted students may receive an offer of financial support that includes a teaching assistantship. Teaching assistantships provide a monthly stipend and are typically accompanied by a tuition and fee waiver as compensation for teaching duties carried out through the completion of the degree.
English requirements for admission differ from English requirements for teaching assistantship (TA) eligibility. In order to be eligible for a TA and any type of funding that includes a TA, all non-native English speakers, regardless of US Citizenship or prior enrollment at Illinois, must have a minimum of 24 on the speaking portion of the TOEFL or at least an 8 on the speaking portion of the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores must be taken within 2 years of the proposed term of entry. This policy is required by the State of Illinois. Please be aware that meeting these requirements is not an automatic award of a TA.
Guaranteed Research and Teaching Assistantships
Admitted applicants may receive an offer of admission with a guaranteed assistantship. This is an offer of financial support that allows the admitted applicant to start preparing for research and graduate study in MechSE.
Applicants should also consider fellowships for which they apply directly. A few which might be considered are:
AAUW (American Association of University Women) Fellowships
Department of Energy Fellowships
Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellowships
Ford Foundation Minority Fellowships
Gates Millennium Scholars
National Defense Science and Engineering Grants (NDSEG)
National Science Foundation Fellowships (NSF)
Office of Naval Research Fellowships
Please check with the Graduate College Fellowships website for additional fellowships for which you may be eligible.