Awards & Financial Aid

Each year, a limited number of teaching and research assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships are offered to incoming graduate students.  These may include renewable half-time graduate assistantships, which include a monthly stipend, nine (9) credits of tuition per semester, plus a waiver of the out-of-state portion of tuition.

Because of the uncertainty and limited extent of departmental funding, we also encourage students to apply for financial aid from other MSU sources, as well as from government funding agencies and foundations.  In general, most students do find support and funding, although such support can be limited in the first year.

The Department tries to fund students for multiple years, and students with teaching assistantships are generally funded for three years, assuming their progress in the program is satisfactory. All financial aid is, of course, dependent upon the availability of funding.

In addition to the support available in the department, the following programs are available:

General Graduate School Funding Opportunities

Distinguished Fellowship Program

Contact: The Graduate School
Dr. Lester Manderschied
116 Linton Hall, Michigan State University
Telephone: 517/353-3262

This fellowship program provides financial support for outstanding students, based on demonstrated academic excellence and evidence of leadership potential. Students must be new to graduate study at MSU and plan to earn a doctoral (PhD or DMA) or MFA degree. Only US citizens or permanent residents are eligible. To be considered for the Distinguished Fellowship Program, students should indicate on the application for admission to MSU that they are interested in departmental funding. Those applications will be screened for suitability for a number of award opportunities, including the Distinguished Fellowship Program.

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships

The US Department of Education’s FLAS Fellowships are awarded to MSU graduate students enrolled in programs which combine the study of a modern foreign language with advanced training and research in Africa (see below), in Latin America or the Caribbean (see below), and/or in international development and gender studies (see below). An applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident. Fellowships are given for both the academic year and for summer intensive courses.

Center for Advanced Study of International Development/Center for Gender in Global Context FLAS

Contact: Dr. Robert Glew
202 International Center, Michigan State University
Telephone: 517/353-4818
Fax: 517/353-8765

The Center for Advanced Study of International Development together with the Center for Gender in Global Context awards fellowships to MSU graduate students enrolled in programs which combine the study of a modern foreign language with advanced training and research in international development studies. CASID/WID offers fellowships for the study of the following languages: all levels of Arabic, Hausa, Swahili, and Portuguese; and advanced levels (i.e. beyond the first 12 semester hours) of Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, German, and French. Students who are studying other languages as part of their program in international development studies are encouraged to contact CASID.

African Studies Center FLAS

Contact: Dr. Yacob Fisseha
The African Studies Center
100 International Center, Michigan State University
Telephone: 517/353-1700
Fax: 517/432-1209

Applicants must undertake an approved program of African language and area studies. Applicants will be favored who have clear promise of completing a PhD program with concentration in African language and area studies, plan to utilize their training in field research in Africa, and have excellent academic records. Awards are given for the study of African languages subject to approval by the US Department of Education.

Asian Studies Center

The MSU Asian Studies Center now offers FLAS fellowships in addition to those offered by African Studies and CASID. Information about applying for an Asian Studies FLAS fellowship can be found at: