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Funding and Fellowships

The School of Engineering is proud to provide extensive financial support for graduate education toward doctoral degrees. Most of our Ph.D. students receive full financial support each semester as teaching assistants (TAs), graduate student researchers (GSR) and/or through fellowships.

Also, the large majority of our Ph.D. students receive financial support used for research, educational and living costs during the summers. Our graduate programs also provide support for student travel to professional conferences, specialized summer programs, and other professional meetings. While doctoral support is prioritized, the same funding is also available to master's students in many cases.

Teaching Assistants

Teaching assisant (TAs) help provide instructional assistance, including leading labs and discussion sections, helping prepare instructional materials, and grading homework and exams. TA positions provide valuable experience for graduate students, preparing them for careers as faculty members at all institutions of higher education.  Only current UC Merced graduate students are eligible for TA positions.

Graduate Student Researchers

GSR positions are typically supported through external funding agencies for specific research projects. Graduate students may assist with research work in a wide variety of ways, and some projects may provide opportunities for advanced students to lead certain efforts with guidance and oversight from the principal investigators. GSR positions are especially valuable for graduate students pursuing research careers.


Fellowships are awards made directly to graduate students to support advancement in their academic programs, research, and careers. Fellowships may be funded by the University of California or an external agency, foundation or institution. Most fellowships are awarded primarily based on the merits of the student and the proposed scholarly activity, although other factors will often play roles.

Student Loans

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships administers student loans that offer the opportunity to defer the cost of your educational expenses by borrowing now and repaying later.  

All About Tuition and Fees

All graduate students who receive university funding (TA/GSR/Fellowship), must pay their campus-based fees by the posted fee payment deadline each fall and spring.  All other students who are not supported by university funding must pay all tuition and fees by the payment deadline each semester.

Current campus-based fees total $318.50 and include:

  • Recreation fee: $146
  • Transportation fee: $87.50
  • Health Services fee: $50
  • Student Life fee: $15
  • Associated Students fee: $10
  • Early Childhood Education fee: $10

Teaching Assistants (TA) and Graduate Student Researchers (GSR)

If you have a 24 percent or higher GSR appointment, or a 25 percent or higher TA appointment, are enrolled in a minimum of 12 units AND are in good academic standing, your tuition, student services fees and student health insurance program fees will be paid via fee remission (i.e., the funding source for your appointment will pay these fees as a benefit of employment). Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition is paid for PhD students only.

Fee remissions are processed during the first few weeks of each semester. As long as your campus-based fees are paid by the payment deadline, there should be no late fee assessed. 


If you have an internal fellowship that pays fees and you are enrolled in a minimum of 12 units, your tuition, the student services fee and student health insurance program will be paid by your fellowship.

Fellowships will be processed before the start of the semester. Please refer to your award letter for information regarding what is covered by your fellowship. As long as your campus-based fees are paid by the payment deadline, there should be no late fee assessed. 

If You Do Not Have a TA, GSR or Fellowship

If you do not have a TA/GSR appointment or a fellowship, you are responsible for paying all fees associated with graduate study at UC Merced.

Those include campus-based fees, tuition, the student services fee, student health insurance program fee and non-resident supplemental tuition (if applicable) by the payment deadline. Please contact Student Business Services if you are interested in the deferred payment plan.

Additional Resources