About Graduate Funding in General
Financial aid for graduate students is typically limited compared with what is available for undergraduates. For information about the types of aid available, please see the University of Michigan's Office of Financial Aid website.
The Office of Financial Aid also provides guidelines related to the cost of attendance at the University. This information will be useful to students when researching funding opportunities to continue graduate studies within the Program in Survey Methodology.
Master’s vs. PhD
Within the Michigan Program in Survey Methodology (MPSM) PhD students are full-time students and are fully funded. Master’s degree students can study on either a full-time or part-time basis. Only students enrolled full-time will be considered for departmental financial resources when and if they become available. Not all MS students entering the Michigan Program in Survey Methodology will obtain financial support.
There are two basic types of assistance for master’s students: employment and tuition assistance. Masters students may be offered support, to the extent that funds are available, but will not typically receive full funding from the program. Employment assistance will typically be in the form of temporary hourly employment without fringe benefits; the possible employment arrangements include:
- Work study positions.
- Hourly employment at the Institute for Social Research offered through the MPSM.
- Hourly employment within another unit on campus at The University of Michigan.
- Hourly employment through private survey research firms in the Ann Arbor area offered through MPSM.
Tuition assistance, when available, will come in the form on of a partial tuition grant. These grants are competitive and based on availability of departmental funds.
Prospective students should also examine external resources and other University sites to learn more about assistance through the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, the University Work-Study program, and the University Office of Financial Aid.
MPSM will offer admitted PhD students four years of PhD support. Employment assistance for doctoral students will typically be in the form of Graduate Student Research Assistantships (for PhD students) which pay tuition and health care coverage. The following are examples of the kinds of employment opportunities that may be available:
- Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) appointments in MPSM or other departments on campus.
- Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) appointments working on a research project offered through the MPSM.
Fellowship assistance is limited and awarded competitively. The following is a partial list of fellowship assistance. Several fellowships require application by or through the Program, and admitted students may be entered into competition for such fellowships by MPSM. Most fellowships, however, are student initiated.
- Rackham Merit Fellowships available for PhD students from under-represented minorities.
- Institute for Social Research fellowships, including the Angus Campbell Fellowship.
- Rackham Fellowships for dissertation research support.
- Other fellowships announced through the Rackham School of Graduate Studies.
PhD support packages will be extended to admitted PhD students. These packages will offer research assistantship, graduate student instructorship, and fellowship support that will cover four and one-half years of PhD study. The support typically includes half time stipends for the period September through April each academic year, tuition for two terms each year, and GradCare (health care) coverage for the entire academic year. Support components will usually involve four or five terms as a GSRA, two or three terms as a GSI, and one or two terms of fellowship support. The specific components will depend on student qualifications and the availability of funding.
Doctoral student funding is a shared responsibility. While MPSM makes certain financial commitments to students for a set number of years, it is important to understand that the program’s ability to fund students relies upon a number of students securing external funding. Should a student receive external funding, MPSM requires that these funds be used in lieu of equivalent departmental funding. When the external funds completely replace departmental funds, other benefits such as GradCare are provided by MPSM. Students are expected to make an effort to obtain such external support at least once during their funding period.
Doctoral students must seek external funding for their dissertation research. The primary purpose of earning a doctoral degree is to pursue original research that will make a contribution to the field. Securing funding for this original research is often necessary to conduct the research. Additionally, awards (particularly highly competitive, prestigious grants) demonstrate to prospective employers that a student is a serious scholar and a potentially valuable member or the academic and/or research community.
Rackham Graduate School and The Institute for Social Research provide a wide range of resources related to funding for doctoral students: Rackham Graduate School Funding Resources, Institute for Social Research Fellowships & Awards.
Michigan Program in Survey Methodology Traineeship Opportunities
Michigan Program in Survey Methodology Traineeship Opportunities are frequently available for one or two top MS applicants. The traineeships are with the Survey Research Operations (SRO)* unit in the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research.
* Survey Research Operations (SRO) is the main data collection unit within the Survey Research Center (SRC). SRO constitutes over half of SRC, and provides a wide range of survey design, data collection and data processing services. SRO staff members work closely with members of the Survey Methodology Program and incorporate cutting-edge methodology and technical systems into their projects. SRO conducts national surveys as well as small-scale, regional, and methodological surveys.
Additional Funding Resources
The Program in Survey Methodology is frequently asked for funding resources available to international students. The following are resources we have learned may be useful in searching for funds.
Institute of International Education (IIE) Founded in 1919, the Institute of International Education (IIE) is a private nonprofit leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. In collaboration with governments, foundations and other sponsors, IIE creates programs of study and training for students, educators and professionals from all sectors. These programs include the flagship Fulbright Program and Gilman Scholarships administered for the U.S. Department of State. IIE also conducts policy research, provides resources on international exchange opportunities and offers support to scholars in danger.
Institute of International Education funding opportunities database.
Institute of International Education Funding for United States Study.
GoodCall provides one of the world's largest online database of college scholarships.
GoodCall's guide How International Students Can Pay for College.