University Fellowships are awards aimed at recruiting outstanding students newly admitted to terminal master’s (see list below) and PhD programs under the auspices of the Graduate College at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 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, and other criteria as deemed appropriate by the committee, including the recommendation from the nominating program/department.
All applicants must be nominated by their departments, which collect and submit each nomination as a PDF to Box.
Applicants must be accepted into a doctoral degree or a terminal master’s program in the Graduate College. Due to state and federal funding restrictions, DACA students are ineligible.
For 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); Graphic and Industrial Design (MDes); 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).
The UF is a two-year package for master’s students and a four-year package for doctoral students.
Both master’s and PhD students who receive the University Fellowships will be awarded $26,000 in the first year of the fellowship, or $2,166.66 per month in the first year of the fellowship. 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 their 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 program must provide, minimally, a nine-month, 50% FTE appointment as fellow, teaching assistant, and/or research assistant. Stipends must be equivalent to those provided to other students in the same department. Students with a 50% teaching or research assistantship will have their stipends topped off up to $25,000 or by a maximum of $6,000, paid over the summer by the Graduate College. If 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 and the program has communicated with the Fellowships and Awards Coordinator.
During the years of the fellowship fully funded by the Graduate College, recipients may accept part-time on-campus employment. The Graduate College discourages on-campus employment exceeding 50% FTE for fellows. Recipients may not hold the Access or Dean’s Fellowships simultaneously with the University Fellowship, nor any external award where it is prohibited by that external funding agency. Other awards may be held simultaneously; however, they 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 full tuition and partial 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 for Fall and Spring Semester towards CampusCare, if applicable. All other fees are the responsibility of the student.
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.
The stipend portion of the award is taxable income, although, per guidelines set by the Internal Revue Services (IRS), the University is not responsible for withholding or reporting income taxes on fellowship payments.
Fellows do not receive a Form W-2 on their fellowship income nor does the University report the fellowship payment as taxable income to either the state or federal government. However, the University is required to report fellowships to the IRS for informational purposes only on Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement. Taxability of the fellowship payment is a matter between the Fellow and the IRS.
Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the fellowship may be subject to income tax. The IRS requires a taxpayer owing at least $1,000 in taxes in a given calendar year after subtracting withholdings and credits to file estimated quarterly tax returns. Additional information about estimated tax payments can be found in Form 1040-ES(PDF). Penalties may be assessed for incorrect filing and underpayment of taxes. When students file their income tax returns, they should remember that a portion of the fellowship may be exempt from tax. Students are advised to keep receipts in case they are audited at some point in the future. The tuition waiver that comes with the fellowship may be exempt from tax.
More information on taxation of fellowships can be found in IRS Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education (PDF), or by calling 1-800-829-3676.
Students who are obtaining federal loans from Financial Aid: Obtaining a fellowship WILL significantly affect your financial aid eligibility. Check with the Office of Student Financial Aid on eligibility requirements and 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.
how to nominate
The Application for Graduate Appointment is no longer required. Follow the requirements below.
Programs should refrain from submitting nominations that are clearly not competitive. Programs may submit up to 15% of their total fall graduate enrollment. Programs in which 15% of the graduate enrollment is fewer than two students may nominate two students. Programs in which 15% of graduate enrollment is greater than 10 students, they may nominate a maximum of 10–or 15%; whichever is the smaller number. Enrollment data can be found by visiting the “Faculty & Staff Resources” section of the Graduate College website (grad.uic.edu). Go to “Data Resources Tab” and then find the program.)
To be considered for nomination, applicants/students need to submit the following documents to the nominating department/program’s Director of Graduate Studies well in advance of the deadlines. Carefully follow the maximum word limits, where noted.
The UF application process has been streamlined. Several forms are no longer required.
- University Fellowship Transmittal Form and Financial Support Form (one document – see link below)
- Nomination letter from the Director of Graduate Studies on letterhead
- Personal statement (use the document used for admission into your graduate program; if the student is eligible for the PIF, append the applicant’s career goals in one page)
- CV or résumé (optional)
- Three letters of recommendation
- Transcripts of post-secondary degrees (copies of official)
- TOEFL or IELTS scores (international applicants only)
Pipeline to an Inclusive Faculty
Outstanding student applicants for University and Access recruitment fellowships will be considered for the Pipeline to an Inclusive (PIF) Program.
Section criteria for the University Fellowship (UF) are academic achievement and promise.
Winners are selected by the Diversity Committee, which is composed of elected and appointed UIC faculty from across the disciplinary colleges.
The Director of Graduate Studies assembles the application package. The DGS completes the Transmittal Form (fillable form), adding it as the cover page. Save the forms/documents listed above as one single PDF per nominee using the following naming convention: UF_YearofCompetition_DepartmentName_NomineeLastNameFirstInitial.pdf. Do not use spaces in the pdf name.
Here is an example of Chuck Baudelaire’s application from History: UF_2020_Hist_BaudelaireC.pdf.
The PDF file must be emailed to the Graduate College using the relevant secure Box folder below.
*NOTE: The department/program has to review all student requests prior to submitting the documents to the Graduate College by the deadline of 4 p.m. (CST) on February 3, 2020. Potential nominees should consult with their program to determine its internal deadline. Winners will be announced by late February.
frequently asked questions
Currently unavailable. Please direct questions to Benn Williams, Fellowships and Awards Coordinator in the Graduate College (firstname.lastname@example.org).
DEADLINE: 4 pm, FEBRUARY 3, 2020