Financial Support

About Graduate Funding in General

Financing your education at the Michigan Program in Survey and Data Science is an investment in a better future.  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 detailed 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 degree students can study on either a full-time or a part-time basis.  There are two basic types of assistance for master’s students: employment and tuition assistance. 

In general, students admitted to the MS program will not be provided tuition assistance.   Tuition assistance, in the unlikely event it becomes available, will come in the form on of a partial tuition grant.  These grants will be competitive and based on availability of departmental funds.  Qualified admitted students will be considered for any departmental fellowships that may be available at the time of their admission.  Employment assistance may be provided to all full-time students and 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 MPSDS.
  • 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 MPSDS.

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.

Michigan Program in Survey and Data Science MS Student Fellowship Opportunities

Michigan Program in Survey and Data Science (MPSDS) Achievement Fellowship is open to US citizens or permanent residents with a record of superior academic achievement who are either from educational, cultural or geographic backgrounds that are underrepresented in graduate study in survey methodology in the United States or at the University of  Michigan; have demonstrated commitment to diversity; have experienced financial hardship as a result of family economic circumstances; or are (or will be) the first generation in their family to graduate from a four-year college.

Michigan Program in Surveyand Data Science 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.  This fellowship will be offered again for study beginning Fall, 2021.

* 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.


Within the Michigan Program in Survey and Data Science (MPSDS) PhD students are full-time students and are fully funded..  MPSDS 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:

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 MPDS. Most fellowships, however, are student initiated.

Dissertation Defense Funding Resources-External funding benefits the doctoral student by enhancing the overall financial package and the student's academic record and reputation. In addition, it is important for students to secure funding related to their dissertation research. There are many sources including:

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 MPSDS 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, MPSDS 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 MPSDS.  Students are expected to make an effort to obtain such external support at least once during their funding period.

Research Funding

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.

Rensis Likert Dissertation Research Awards.  Occasionally, one time awards can be made to doctoral students to cover at least a portion of their data collection costs for a dissertation whose purpose relates directly to the purposes of the Likert Fund.  Awards may be made to a project that promises to improve our understanding of errors in surveys – and social research more generally -- and the reduction of these errors.  A proposal that includes a budget is required.  A candidate must be enrolled and in good standing in either the Michigan Program in Survey and Data Science (MPSDS) or the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM).  Proposals should be submitted to

Additional Funding Resources

The Program in Survey and Data Science is frequently asked for funding resources available to international students.  The following are resources we have learned may be useful in searching for funds.

  • Check with your country's embassy or a consulate here in the U.s. or with the appropriate government office back in your country to see what they may offer.
  • Try the U.S. Department of Labor's free online scholarship search.
  • Check out the Education USA website.
  • 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.