Scholarships, Awards and Assistantships

All students are encouraged to seek out and apply for appropriate financial assistance. The responsibility for school financing rests with the graduate student.

Several types of awards and assistance are available for graduate students at the University of Maine. All applicants who wish to be reviewed for awards or assistance must have complete applications on file at the Graduate School by January 15. Students should contact their departments specifically to inquire about the possibilities of securing an assistantship. Most awards are based on academic performance rather than financial need. A student may hold only one assistantship per year.

Graduate Assistantships

Awarded by departments, two types of graduate assistantships are available: teaching and research. Graduate assistantships usually are available in all fields which offer a degree program, as well as in such areas as computing and data processing services, and campus living/ student affairs. The stipend is approximately $14,600 for the academic year (9 months).  The academic year tuition of graduate research assistants is often paid by the department concerned. For teaching assistants, up to nine hours per semester of tuition is paid by the Graduate School, exclusive of audited and pass/fail courses, and courses numbered below 400-level. In some cases, a limited amount of tuition for the summer following the academic year in which the appointment as a graduate assistant is effective may also be paid by the Graduate School.

Graduate assistants normally devote half-time (20 hours per week) to teaching or research and are prohibited from working elsewhere in addition to the assistantship. Most graduate assistants are required to register for at least six hours of credit in the fall and spring semesters. Exceptions are doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy, doctoral students in Psychology who are taking clinical internships, and graduate students in their final semester. In these instances, one credit may be considered full-time. If assistantships continue through the summer, the graduate assistant must register for at least one graduate credit hour to be considered full-time.

Admission to Graduate School is required before appointment to a graduate assistantship is made. Because these assistantships are awarded by the departments, the student should correspond directly with the department concerned regarding the availability of assistantships. For a list of currently available assistantships, please see the listings on the University of Maine Career Center Page.

Chase Distinguished Research Assistantships

Ten research assistantships are available annually and are awarded by the Graduate School. The stipend is approximately $14,600.00 for the academic year (9 months) depending upon the type of appointment. A tuition waiver for up to nine hours per semester is included exclusive of courses taken as audit or pass/fail or below 400 level. Some receive a tuition waiver during the summer following the academic year of the award. Partial health benefits are also included. These awards are made on a competitive basis and involve nomination by the department of study and submission of a research proposal delineating the research to be undertaken.

University of Maine Doctoral Research Fellowships (UMDRF)

The University of Maine Doctoral Research Fellowship (UMDRF) is open to all doctoral students, regardless of discipline and is designed to stimulate research and scholarship at UMaine as measured by research productivity and doctoral-degree graduation rate. Therefore, successful applicants will explicitly address how fellowship support would result in an overall increase in productivity. This UMDRF is intended to provide up to two years (24 months) of support for doctoral students to assist in completion of their degrees; however, support for the second year is contingent upon budget availability and success in meeting productivity goals.

Michael J. Eckardt Dissertation Fellowships in MEIF Areas (MJEDF)

MJEDF's are open to doctoral candidates completing their dissertations in the following Maine Economic Improvement Fund (MEIF) targeted areas: aquaculture and marine sciences technology; biotechnology; composite materials engineering; environmental sciences technology; information sciences and technology; precision manufacturing; and forestry and agriculture are available annually to be awarded by the Graduate School. Students must be in their final year of doctoral study, and the award is non-renewable.

Susan J. Hunter Teaching Fellowships (SJHTF)

Susan J. Hunter Teaching Fellows are doctoral and post-doctoral students. Each fellow is required to teach one lower division course normally scheduled to be taught by a member of the Graduate Faculty. The Graduate Faculty member must agree to teach a graduate course that otherwise would not have been taught; this course can be delivered during any semester. All Fellows will be required to attend several teaching workshops to be held during the Fall semester, run by the Center for Excellence in Teaching Assessment. Open positions are subject to the availability of funds.

Atlantic Provinces Graduate Scholarships

Three scholarships, which pay a year’s tuition, are available on a competitive basis to graduates of the colleges and universities of the Atlantic Provinces and Quebec. Applicants interested in being nominated for this award should consult their department. Nominations are sought in mid-February.

Graduate Trustee Tuition Scholarships

Up to twenty scholarships, which pay a year’s tuition, are available on a competitive basis to students enrolled in graduate programs. Scholarship recipients are required to register for nine hours of credit each semester. The Graduate School requests nominations from the departments in mid-February. Interested students should seek nomination through their departments of study.

Thurgood Marshall Scholarships

Two scholarships which pay a year’s tuition are available to graduate students whose socioeconomic background, prior academic or work experience, and/or graduate educational interests would bring a unique perspective to the University of Maine community. Preference for these scholarships is given to individuals from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented at the University of Maine. Scholarship recipients are required to register for nine hours of credit each semester. The Graduate School requests nominations from departments in mid-February. Interested students should seek nomination through their departments of study.

International Student Tuition Waivers

The Graduate School offers a limited number of tuition waivers to international students. The student is responsible for all other costs related to graduate education. As with other awards, nominations are sought from departments in mid-February and are based on academic performance. To be eligible, the candidate must have a completed application form, including financial statement, GRE/MAT/GMAT and TOEFL scores on file at the Graduate School. The award may be continued beyond the first year if the student remains in good standing.

Federally Funded Traineeships and Fellowships

Subject to the availability of federal funds, federal traineeships and fellowships are available to graduate students in some programs such as special education, communication sciences and disorders, and clinical psychology. Students should inquire in their field of interest.

Other Fellowships

Other fellowships may be available through individual departments or units. For example, the Canadian-American Center offers several fellowships for graduate students pursuing study of a regional nature involving New England, the Atlantic provinces of Canada, and Québec. Students should inquire in their field of interest.

External Funding Opportunities

Other fellowships or funding opportunities may be available. For example The National Academies has Research Associateship Programs. For more information, go to

The Office of Student Financial Aid

The Office of Student Finanical Aid administers several financial aid programs to help University of Maine graduate students finance their education. Office staff award, process, and disburse financial aid for University of Maine students, and advise students and their families, the campus community, and the general public on issues related to financial aid. Office hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

All correspondence concerning financial aid should be addressed to the Office of Student Financial Aid, 5781 Wingate Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5781. For assistance with the application process, status updates, or answers to other questions about financial aid, contact the office at (207) 581-1324, or via e-mail (

Funding Resources in STEM 

Fellowships and graduate programs in a wide variety of STEM disciplines:
For NASA-supported internships, fellowships and scholarships:
For tips on applying and associated resources:
For opportunities specifically in the Ocean Sciences:
For opportunities specifically in Engineering: