School of Architecture Financial Support
The School of Architecture primarily awards the following types of aid:
Board of Trustees Tuition Waivers: These are typically awarded for one semester, effectively covering half of a student's costs for an academic year. BOT tuition waivers cover all tuition costs (including differential) and most fees during the waiver semester. View an explanation of tuition waivers.
Assistantships: These most often come in the form of teaching assistantships, meaning graduate students are assisting architecture faculty in undergraduate architecture courses. Teaching assistants receive a waiver for base tuition costs and fees as well as a monthly stipend. View the School of Architecture's TA Appointment Guidelines. View an explanation of assistantships.
Hartshorne and Plunkard Fellowship: This fellowship is awarded to one new MArch student each year. See the fellowship page for more information.
What is the process? All financial support is awarded on an annual basis. For new applicants, aid decisions are based on graduate application materials. Each student who applies to the graduate program by the January 15 priority admission deadline will automatically be given full consideration for available aid from the School of Architecture. There is no separate aid application for new students. For continuing students, a brief application is required at the end of each academic year. Aid decisions are based on academic performance and overall contribution to the school.
Who is eligible? All graduate students in good academic standing may be eligible for aid. Both domestic and international students are evaluated in the same way and are eligible for the same types of aid from the school.
How many students receive aid? In total, approximately 40-50% of all graduate students receive some type of aid from the school each year. More aid is allocated to continuing students so that we can recognize their success in the program. This means that a student's chance of receiving aid often increases as they progress in the graduate program. Additionally, teaching assistantships are primarily allocated to continuing students while stand-alone tuition waivers/scholarships tend to go to new students. Approximately 10-20% of newly admitted graduate students are initially offered some type of aid upon admission. Approximately 50% of all graduate students, new and continuing, receive aid from the school each year.
How much aid do students receive? Most students who do receive aid from the school get 50% awards, meaning half of their tuition may be covered in a given year. Full tuition awards are rare. Only the very top percentage of students are awarded aid that covers full tuition.
What is the deadline? New fall 2024 graduate applicants must submit a complete graduate application by January 15, 2024 to be given priority consideration for financial support from the school. Continuing students re-apply for aid each year at the end of the spring semester.
University/External Financial Support
Graduate College University Fellowship
The School of Architecture may nominate up to three applicants each year for this university-wide competition. The Graduate College University Fellowship is granted to only a few incoming students across all disciplines at UIC who are of the highest academic standing, based heavily on GPA and academic achievement. The award provides guaranteed funding for up to three years of graduate study through a combination of tuition waivers and teaching assistantships. Fellows also receive a Fellowship stipend of $30,000 in the first year of the award provided they remain in good academic standing. The School of Architecture nominates 3-year MArch applicants for the award.
Graduate College Access to Excellence Fellowship
The Graduate College Access to Excellence Fellowship supports students from historically underrepresented groups and seeks to increase their numbers in academic and research careers. The fellowship is open to graduate applicants throughout the university who are US citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients; a few incoming students are selected each year based on merit. The award provides guaranteed funding for up to three years of graduate study through a combination of tuition waivers and teaching assistantships. Fellows also receive a stipend of $30,000 in the first year of the award. The School of Architecture nominates 3-year MArch applicants for the award.
Interested applicants must submit a Student Statement on Alignment with Goals of the Fellowship along with their application, 300 words maximum. The essay expands on the Statement of Purpose by describing contributions they intend to make to their academic field, contributions they intend to make to the broader society, and the personal and professional reasons for choosing their path of study. A description of one’s personal and professional commitment to give back to historically underrepresented communities in the US may also be included.
Please clearly label the statement and submit it with the Statement of Purpose.
Graduate College Resources
Students are encouraged to supplement their potential graduate funding by searching for external funding when possible. The Graduate College maintains a list of potential funding sources to get you started.
Some architecture students pursue non-architecture assistantship opportunities throughout the university. Most assistantship positions across the campus come with the same tuition waiver and stipend. Open positions are listed on the UIC Job Board.
UIC Office of Scholarships
Students may explore both internal and external scholarship opportunities through the Office of Scholarships website.
All eligible applicants and continuing students are advised to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA becomes available each year on October 1 for the following academic year. UIC's priority filing deadline is February 15. For further information, visit FAFSA.gov.
AIA Chicago Foundation Diversity Scholarship
This is a design scholarship established to increase diversity within the architectural profession by supporting a graduate student who is pursuing a NAAB-accredited degree at a Chicago-based university. Each year, a total of $10,000 will be awarded to a single graduate recipient over two years ($5,000 per year). New and continuing MArch applicants who feel they may be good candidates are encouraged to apply. Learn more.
HOK Diversity x Design Scholarship
The HOK Diversity x Design Scholarships reflect HOK’s commitment to promoting diverse voices within the AEC industry and communities across the U.S. HOK awards one $10,000 scholarship annually to a UIC architecture graduate student. Learn how to apply here.