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Financial Support Programs
Each category of support is awarded annually on a competitive basis. Award recipients are expected to perform specific duties for 15 hours per week during the academic year. The responsibilities, often described as an internship, are defined and evaluated by the academic department or the Graduate School depending upon the appointment.
The selection / appointment process, eligibility criteria and award package for graduate assistantships, fellowships and tuition scholarships are described below:
Selection and Appointment
The selection process for each category of financial support is aggressively pursued between February and June for the subsequent academic year.
New and continuing graduate students are encouraged to apply early for these awards with the academic chair or director of graduate studies. Additionally, students may apply for financial support administered through the Graduate School.
The appointment for graduate assistants and fellows begins in August and ends in May of each academic year.
Please note if a funding offer is not presented in writing by the end of June from the academic department or the Graduate School, the likelihood of obtaining one of these awards is greatly diminished.
After the end of June, new and continuing students are encouraged to seek external or need-based financial support for the upcoming academic year.
Need-based financial aid in the form of loans is administered by the University’s Office of Financial Aid.
New and continuing students may file for assistance by using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) assessment procedures. Instructions for obtaining and filing the forms are found at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Additional information may be obtained at www.howard.edu/financialaid.
The minimum GPA requirement is 3.0 for new and 3.2 for continuing students. However, because these awards are merit-based and reviewed competitively, the definition of quality academic performance may vary.
Award recipients must enroll for the fall and spring as full-time students defined by a minimum of 9 credit hours. Additionally, students are required to pay their own student fees each semester.
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular degree-seeking student in the Graduate School
- Have full-time status during the period of the assistantship. The student must either be registered for a minimum of nine (9) semester hours of course work or be working full- time on thesis or dissertation, or completing a project for non-thesis option
- Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 for all graduate study or, if enrolled in Graduate School for the first time, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in the undergraduate major
- Have satisfied all incomplete grades at the time of his/her appointment (thesis, dissertation, practice, directed study, independent study, special problems and internship credits excepted)
- Demonstrate proficiency in oral and written English if the native language is one other than English, show sufficient knowledge of the system of higher education in the United States, have some sensitivity of intercultural communication, and have good interpersonal skills to the satisfaction of the department or unit granting the assistantship.
- Students who are studying for a master’s degree may hold an assistantship for a maximum of two years. Those with the master’s degree and studying for the Ph.D. degree may hold the assistantship for a maximum of four years and those studying for the Ph.D. degree, where the masters is not required, may hold the assistantship for a maximum of five years.
The award package for graduate research / teaching assistantships and fellowships includes a 10-month tuition waiver and a minimum stipend, of $20,000 for master’s and Ph.D. students. In many cases, additional stipend support is available through funded grants. Students may inquire about these opportunities at the time of application submission.
Graduate research / teaching assistants and fellows should prepare to receive their stipend disbursement the first payroll date in September. The last disbursement occurs the final pay cycle in May. Please note new international graduate students typically receive the first stipend disbursement during the last pay cycle in September due to the process of obtaining a social security number. However, the first stipend amount will be greater to reflect the appointment date.
Financial Aid Office
Johnson Administration Building (Main Campus):
2400 Sixth Street, N.W., Room 205,
Washington, DC 20059
Hours of Operation
- 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
- 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays.
The financial aid website is http://www.howard.edu/financialaid/.