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University Fellowships


To apply for a University Fellowship, complete the Application for Graduate Appointmentform 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 (eg. 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

University Fellowships are awards aimed at recruiting outstanding students newly admitted to graduate 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.

University Fellowships offered to incoming masters students are one-year awards. Departments are required to support masters students receiving the University Fellowship during their second year of graduate study.

Ph.D. students who receive University Fellowships receive the award in the first year.  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 15 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 50% nine month appointment or equivalent. The amount paid will be commensurate with the amount typically paid by a student's 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.

Terms of the Award

Recipients of the University Fellowship will receive a stipend of $25,000 per academic year or $2083.33 per month in the first year. Renewals will be funded at a determined stipend rate for the renewal year.

During the years that the Graduate College is providing funding, recipients may accept part-time assistantships from UIC related to their field of study up to a total of 50% time. Work unrelated to the field of study is not allowed.  Graduate hourly appointments are also not permitted.  Recipients may hold other awards simultaneously with the University Fellowship, excluding the UIC Abraham Lincoln and Dean's Fellowships, and any externally funded awards/fellowships if prohibited by the terms of that award/fellowship.  It is the student's responsibility to know and understand the regulations of any award.

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 below) for Fall and Spring Semester towards Campus Care, if applicable. All other fees are the responsibility of the student.  

  • For Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, the University shall contribute $150 or 33%, whichever is higher, of the cost of Campus Care if the fellow chooses to be covered by the University plan.
  • For Fall 2014 and Spring 2014, the University shall contribute $175 or 35%, whichever is higher, of the cost of Campus Care if the fellow chooses to be covered by the University plan.

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 program.  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.


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.  Programs may submit up to 5% of their total Fall enrollment, up to a maximum of five (5). Programs in which 5% of the enrollment is less than two students may nominate a maximum of two (2).   Programs in which 5% of enrollment is greater than 5 students, may only nominate a maximum of five (5). Programs should refrain from submitting nominations that are clearly not competitive.

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