Graduate Division

Funding for International Students

Funding for international graduate students is available but is primarily on a case-by-case basis that considers country of origin, program, field of study, program level etc. Funding for international graduate students may require extra time and patience to locate. Below are a few ways to help locate funding; however, all international graduate students seeking funding should always inquire with their department/programs as a first step in the search process.

1. Plan Ahead. Take the time to understand your anticipated finances while studying at UCI and living in the U.S. Consider your tuition, fees, and living expense and estimate a 6-10% increase each year for financial safety. (Identify what kind of support you can receive from the institution, home, and other resources.)

2. Check with your department/program. Your department and/or program may offer funding during your studies or can re-direct you to subject/research specific funding opportunities.

  • Most Ph.D. programs will provide 5 years funding supported by a combination of fellowships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships and faculty training grants. Student funding is coordinated at the department level, so be sure to ask your department about your options.
  • Master’s students are typically self-supported but can be eligible for other resources and should check with the individual department/program for master’s degree funding opportunities. 
  • Graduate students may be employed as Graduate Student Researchers, Graduate Student Assistant Researchers, Teaching Assistants, Teaching Associates, Readers, or Tutors. Students are employed by the department. Please note that there are academic eligibility requirements for all graduate student employment and English language proficiency requirements for Teaching Assistantships.
  • For international Ph.D. students, once they have advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D., non-resident supplemental tuition (NRST) is waived for a period of three consecutive calendar years. If they are still enrolled after three calendar years have elapsed, they will resume being charged the full NRST in effect at that time.

3. Check with the Ministry or Department of Education (or other government agencies) in your home country.
 Studying abroad can be supported by your home country. In support of student mobility, the government may offer funding to students who will study or perform research in the U.S. Award requirements may include minimum or maximum study length, type of study or research, and work requirements

4. Familiarize yourself with funding databases. You can search by country, field of study, or application deadline.

5. Check with local community and civic organizations. The U.S. and Southern California is a melting-pot of various cultures and interests and often times there are organizations that can offer scholarships to active and participating members.

6. Understand the application process. Sometimes the application will require you to prepare documents in advance such as transcripts, resume, letters of recommendation, and application essays.


7. Schedule time to meet with a GRC Writing Consultant. If you are on-campus, take advantage of seeing a Writing Consultant to help review your application essays, CVs, or cover letters.

8. Visit the Career Center. The Career Center can help you search for job and internship opportunities that may be suitable for your academic and professional interests. The Handshake platform allows current UCI students to search internships, jobs, and employer fairs. You may also consider attending the Career Fairs throughout the year.

9. Visit the Office of Global Engagement. The Office of Global Engagement often has information on new funding or research involvement opportunities discovered from international campus collaborations or country visits.

10. Visit UCI’s Libraries: There are a variety of resources for identifying and writing research grants for current UCI grad students.