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University Fellowships


To apply for a University Fellowship, complete the Application for Graduate Appointment form and submit it to your program. Be sure to complete the personal statement section of the form.  In addition, the following documents, which are usually already on file as part of the admission process, will be required by your program.  If you are in doubt about whether a credential may be missing, consult with your program.

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Complete post-secondary transcripts (as of the date of application)
  • Standardized test scores (e.g., GRE)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (international applicants only)

Instructions/forms for use by Directors of Graduate Studies/program submitters (Bluestem protected)


Please visit the Fellowship and Awards Deadline page for deadlines established by the Graduate College Awards Committee.

Rules and Procedures

The Graduate College  announced a new funding arrangement for the University Fellowship recipients who will be entering UIC for the Fall of 2015, and going forward.

University Fellowships are awards aimed at recruiting outstanding students newly admitted to terminal master's and PhD programs at UIC. Students who have previously been admitted to a graduate program at UIC may be eligible if it can be demonstrated that this award would be part of a genuinely new recruitment effort (transitioning from a MS to a PhD program in the same department does not meet this criterion). Students should direct questions about eligibility to their Director of Graduate Studies. Applicants will be reviewed by the Graduate Awards Committee and evaluated for academic excellence on the basis of post-secondary record, letters of recommendation, personal statement, standardized tests, and other criteria as deemed appropriate by the committee, including the recommendation from the nominating program/department.

For the sake of this competition, UIC's terminal master's programs are: Architecture (MArch; MS); Architecture in Health Design (MS); Design Criticism (MA); Moving Image, New Media Arts, Photography, Studio Arts MFA; Museum and Exhibition Studies (MA); Biomedical Visualization (MS); MDes (Graphic and Industrial Design); Environmental & Urban Geography (MA); Forensic Science (MS); Forensic Toxicology (MS); French and Francophone Studies (MA); Health Professions Education (MPHE); Latin American & Latino Studies (MA); Occupational Therapy (MS); Spanish (MAT). 

Both master's and PhD students who receive the University Fellowships will be awarded in the amount of $22,000 in the first year.  PhD recipients are eligible for an additional year of support when they begin their dissertation research (after completing their preliminary examination, but not before their fourth year or after their fifth year of study), providing they meet the following criteria: (1) The student must be making good progress in the program; (2) The student must have received a minimum of two years of support from his or her department. The Graduate College must be informed by April 1 of the year before the renewal year that students have passed their preliminary examination and plan to renew, and are not past the student's fifth year. 

In the second year (for a master's recipient) and the second and third years (for a doctoral recipient), the student’s academic programs must provide a nine-month, 50% FTE appointment or the equivalent. Students with a 50% teaching or research assistantship will have their stipends topped off up to $22,000 or by a maximum of $6,000.  Teaching and research assistantship stipends for these students must be equivalent to those provided to other students in the same department. In the event that a doctoral graduate program has a mechanism for financial support for students during years one and two, the University Fellowship could be deferred to years three and four, provided the student has met the progress requirements described above.

PIF Program

Outstanding student applicants for University and Abraham Lincoln recruitment fellowships will be considered for Pipeline to an Inclusive Faculty (PIF) Program. Please click here for more information.

Terms of the Award

Recipients of the University Fellowship will receive a stipend of $22,000 in the first year, or $1,833.33 per month. Fourth year renewals will be funded at the same rate, assuming the student is making satisfactory progress, and has passed their Preliminary Examination.

During the first and fourth year of funding from the Graduate College, recipients may accept a part-time assistantship from UIC, only if it is related to their field of study (i.e., student's own research) up to a total of 50% FTE. Work unrelated to the field of study is not allowed.  Graduate hourly appointments are also not permitted. Recipients may not hold UIC Abraham Lincoln or Dean's Scholar Fellowships simultaneously with the University Fellowship, nor any external award where it is prohibited by that external funding agency. Other awards may be allowed to be held simultaneously, but must be approved by the Graduate College.  It is the student's responsibility to know and understand the regulations of the University Fellowship and those of any other award (see Policies below).

University Fellowship recipients also receive a tuition and fee waiver from the Graduate College. The waiver covers all tuition (including differential, if any) service fee, health service fee, academic facilities maintenance fund assessment, library and information technology assessment, and part of the cost of coverage (see link) for Fall and Spring Semester towards Campus Care, if applicable. All other fees are the responsibility of the student.  

See the Rules and Procedures section above for information related to funding in the second year (for a master's recipient) and the second and third years (for a doctoral recipient).

Students supported by these fellowships are required to complete at least 12 semester hours each semester unless expressly authorized by the Dean of the Graduate College to carry a reduced course load. Fellows are not required to register for the summer session by the Graduate College; however, individual departments may require summer registration. Fellows who register in the summer must enroll in at least 6 hours to be eligible for a summer tuition waiver. Fellows should check with the department to ensure that summer registration is not required for the degree program.

Graduate College Fellowship Policies

The Graduate College has extablished certain fellowship policies regarding external funding, completion of the Preliminary Examination for renewal, top-off funds during the years not directly funded by the Graduate College, and deferrments of fourth-year Graduate College funding.  Please carefully read the Graduate College Fellowship Policies.

Fellowships and Student Loans  

A fellowship will affect federal student loan or work-study. Typically, students with fellowships may not be permitted to borrow small amounts of federal loans due to cost of attendance regulation. Check with the Office of Student Financial Aid on eligibility requirements.

If you have already received a refund for the current year in federal loans and you accept a fellowship, you may be responsible to return this refund to UIC. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for further information.

If applying for loans and/or work-study, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed. See the Graduate Student Guide from the Office of Student Financial Aid for more information.

Nomination Information

Eligible students may be nominated for a University Fellowship by their programs; self-nominations will not be accepted.

Applicants and students should contact their academic program, or program of interest, for clarifications.