Master's Program Financial Aid + Fellowships
The University of Pennsylvania understands that the cost of a graduate or professional education today is a major investment for most students and their families. We are committed to making a Penn education accessible for all talented and qualified students. Extremely limited internal funding opportunities are available for master’s degree candidates.
For up-to-date information on financing your graduate education please visit the Student Financial Services website. Here you will find information on financial aid including loans, scholarships, grants, and fellowships.
Internal Financial Aid + Fellowships
Dean's Scholars Fellowship
In 2020, Penn Engineering introduced the first-ever Dean’s Scholars Fellowship for highly qualified Master’s applicants who are based in the US. The purpose of the Fellowship is to provide financial support to Master’s students and to support the University’s interest in obtaining educational benefits by promoting student body diversity. Each fellowship applicant’s qualifications shall be considered individually; in addition, in awarding the fellowships, consideration shall be given to the applicant’s socioeconomic and educational background and/or status as a member of an underrepresented minority group, so long as such consideration is necessary and appropriate in keeping with the University’s goal of obtaining educational benefits by promoting student body diversity. Dean’s Scholars will have the opportunity to participate in recruitment and outreach activities.
Admitted applicants are automatically considered for the prestigious award; no separate application or request for review is required.
Master's to PhD Bridge Program
The Master’s to PhD Bridge Program reflects the School’s commitment to identifying the most promising students, and training them to become dynamic, doctoral researchers in academia and industry. We value applicant’s diverse cultural and academic backgrounds, and recognize that such diversity is paramount to solving the unique societal challenges to which engineers are especially poised to develop solutions. As such, Bridge program participants will receive advanced laboratory training while enrolled as a full-time student in one of our Master’s programs. Additionally, Bridge students are able to complete the academic requirements of a Master’s and PhD program simultaneously, while receiving individualized mentorship to increase their ability to conduct research independently; essentially, if a Bridge student matriculates into a doctoral program, the student is able to transfer up to 9 Master’s course units to the credits needed to fulfill the requirements of the doctoral program. Unlike our traditional Master’s programs, the Bridge Program requires students to participate in departmental laboratory rotations, engage in faculty-led research, complete a Master’s thesis and, in some cases, act as a Teaching Assistant for undergraduate- and graduate-level courses. Bridge Program participants will also receive a full tuition waiver and an annual stipend to cover personal expenses for up to two years. (Master’s program requirements can be fulfilled within two years of full-time study.)
Fore more information and to learn if you are eligible. Please visit the Master’s to PhD Bridge Program site.
US Military & Veteran's Programs
Penn Yellow Ribbon Program
The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows degree granting institutions of higher learning in the US to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses for eligible veterans and their eligible dependents, and beginning in August 2022 their eligible spouses.
Details and eligibility guidelines for Post-9/11 benefits, including the Yellow Ribbon Program, can be found at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/ under Education & Training. Prospective students with questions about Veteran Services at Penn are encouraged to contact email@example.com and visit Get Started Using my Benefits.
Schools and programs at Penn have committed funds to the Yellow Ribbon Program, with a designated number of openings available at each school. The VA will match Penn’s commitment. The combined Penn award and VA match cannot exceed the difference between the recipient’s actual tuition charges and the recipient’s basic Post-9/11 tuition benefit. Students receiving VA education benefits are required to disclose other scholarships and grants (including any departmental, Penn, or outside organizations, such as an employer) to Student Registration & Financial Services for review. Additional funding sources may require adjustments to benefit eligibility.
Federal law states that Yellow Ribbon awards must be made on a first-come, first-served basis. SRFS maintains a queue of applicants based on the date a student submits their VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Phone calls and email inquiries do not hold you a place in the queue.
For more information: https://srfs.upenn.edu/financial-aid/yellow-ribbon
Penn Veterans Upward Bound Program
The TRIO Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program hosted by the University of Pennsylvania is a FREE, college preparatory program for eligible veterans federally funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The program offers college preparatory services to include academic assessment, advising, and counseling; non-credited academic classes and tutoring; college access; and educational support services. The program is intended to encourage, empower, and acclimatize college-bound veterans for the rigors of post-secondary education and training. The primary goal of VUB is to fully prepare eligible veterans to enter the college of their choice, be successful in college, and to graduate from college.
For more information: https://vub.vpse.upenn.edu/
For more information on other Funding Sources for U.S. Military Veterans
Research and Teaching Assistanceships
Unfortunately, the MEAM Department does not offer financial aid for the Master’s Degree Program. Teaching Assistant positions in MEAM are filled by Ph.D. students as part of their educational requirements.
However, other departments at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences do hire Teaching Assistants. The Graduate Coordinator will send out periodic emails to students when they receive that information from the other departments regarding Research and Teaching Assistantships.
Penn Graduate Student Financial Aid Checklist
Penn’s Office of Student Financial Services (SFS) will issue a Student Aid Report (SAR) to students who fill out a FAFSA and submit the results to Penn. Visit SFS.
Students are welcome to seek out part- or full-time employment while studying. Part-time employees can use their earnings towards their tuition and/or expenses. Full-time employees receive a tuition benefit that significantly helps with tuition.
The Student Employment Office is responsible for managing the posting of work-study and non-work-study jobs on-campus and off-campus. Information regarding part-time job opportunities is available on their website. Other places to find student employment information include:
- Career Services (McNeil Building, 3718 Locust Walk, 215-898-7531)
- The Tutoring Center (220 S. 40th Street, Suite 260) hires graduate and professional students to serve as tutors.
- The Office of College Houses and Academic Services (Stouffer Commons, 3702 Spruce Street, 215-898-5551) employs graduate and professional students as Graduate Associates (GA) in the undergraduate residences. GAs receive rent-free housing on campus and a meal plan. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Graduate Student Center (3615 Locust Walk) employs graduate and professional students as Fellows who develop programming, maintain the website, and staff the front desk.
- The Grad Center also lists opportunities on its funding sources webpage.
- The Center for Teaching and Learning (3619 Locust Walk) hires grad students for their annual TA training.
- The Critical Writing Program (3808 Walnut Street) hires graduate students for an assortment of writing positions.
- The Weingarten Learning Resource Center also offers advising, instructing, and tutoring positions to graduate students in related fields.
Submit a FAFSA
Many federal and institutional aid programs are need based, i.e. eligibility for them depends on a determination that the applicant has financial need. In order to be considered for federal and Penn financial aid, you must submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which requires information from you and your spouse, if applicable.
Fellowships + Grants for Current Students
Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) Grants and Related Funding
The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) provides a host of funding opportunities from individual grants, to group and event funding. Some of the grants available for graduate students include the following:
- Research Student Travel Grant (up to $800)
- Professional Student Travel Grant (up to $700)
- President Gutmann Leadership Award (up to $2000)
- GAPSA Provost Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Innovation (up to $6,000).
Penn Career Services - Summer Funding Program
Penn Career Services knows that many summer internships, particularly in certain fields, provide only a small stipend or do not pay at all. Frequently the internships are located in cities with a high cost of living. This means that some students are unable to take advantage of excellent positions, which are sometimes the first step towards a career in a given field. Other students wish to participate in nonprofit, NGO, or research work away from home.
Career Services has a limited fund of money to allow some select students to pursue unfunded or under-funded summer opportunities. Funds could cover travel expenses, living expenses, or other expenses related to the summer experience.
Note: SEAS graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply, although preference will be given to undergraduates (rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors), you should still apply.
For more information: https://careerservices.upenn.edu/career-services-summer-funding-program/
Trustees' Council of Penn Women Emergency Grant
The Trustees’ Council of Penn Women will offer grants to students who have special financial needs. Special consideration will be given to women students. Grants will be for sudden, compelling, and unanticipated need due to changed financial circumstances. Examples include the death or unemployment of a parent or illness. These students would be unable to continue their studies without special financial assistance. Students should demonstrate resourcefulness and self-reliance in their quest for a Penn education, and their qualities should identify them as role models for other University students.
For more information: https://www.alumni.upenn.edu/s/1587/gid2/16/interior.aspx?sid=1587&gid=2&pgid=1421
Penn VPUL Emergency and Opportunity Funding
Unexpected financial circumstances can cause undergraduate, graduate, and professional students stress and impact their ability to achieve and thrive. Penn’s Division of the Vice Provost for University Life (VPUL), Office of Student Financial Services (SFS), Penn First Plus (P1P), Student Intervention Services (SIS), and Alumni Relations work collaboratively to address pressing needs and, when appropriate, adjust the student’s cost of attendance to fund a relevant opportunity or remedy an urgent situation.
Emergency or Opportunity Grants can range from $100 to $1,000 and can be used for demonstrated needs such as: academic technology/course materials; winter or professional clothing; medical expenses; academic advancement (such as graduate school exam fees); or personal/family emergencies.
For more information: https://pennvpul.wufoo.com/forms/emergency-and-opportunity-funding/
Kleinman Center for Energy Policy Grants & Research Funding
The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy provides student and research grants as well as summer fellowships four times per year in the spring, summer, fall, and winter, and are open to individual students as well as student groups.
Grants provided by the Kleinman Center must be prospective and funding decisions are based on funding availability, student eligibility, energy policy relevance, and completeness of the application.
For more information:
Penn Museum Assistantship Program
The Penn Museum Assistantship Program offers paid semester-and year-long assistantship opportunities for Penn graduate students to work on projects within the Penn Museum. The program pairs Museum projects in need of research assistance with interested graduate students from related fields.
For more information: https://www.penn.museum/learn/penn-students/museum-assistantship-program