Financing Your Education

The School of Public Policy provides a range of financial support opportunities to students. Applicants seeking funding should notify the department at the time of application.

Graduate Assistantships

All full-time applicants to our graduate programs are also considered for a Research Assistantship with faculty when they apply to the program, there is not a separate process. Graduate assistants work 20 hours per week with a faculty member on campus conducting research or providing teaching assistance. Full-time Graduate assistantships typically include a stipend, 10 hours of tuition remission and University health benefits. Please note these positions are highly competitive and acceptance to the program does not guarantee funding. To view UMBC graduate funding opportunities, please visit the UMBC FA and Scholarships page here: Public Policy also has a list of funding opportunities specific to our programs available once you are enrolled:

All students seeking aid should submit a FASFA application. The deadline for consideration for Graduate Assistantships is January 15. Newly admitted and current students can also apply.

ICARE NRT Interdisciplinary Program

The ICARE NRT master’s degree is a 2-year interdisciplinary degree program with a dual mission of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice combined with research focused on improving the health of Baltimore Harbor. Students will be mentored by a UMBC faculty member and a non-academic scientist from a government agency, non-profit, or industry. That research team will be embedded in a larger stakeholder team, meaning that each student and their mentors will identify one or more community members (non-scientists) with a stake in the research to be engaged in the research from development to completion. Students will also be taking skills courses (community leadership, DEIJ, oral and written communication) and disciplinary courses appropriate to their research project.  Some accepted students will be funded (stipend, tuition, and benefits) by the ICARE NSF grant, and administrators will work with the remaining four to try to find funding. Public Policy is one of five Masters programs participating. Prospective students apply to both the MPP program and the ICARE program.

External Grant Funding Opportunities

The Center for Social Science Scholarship and The Hilltop Institute support graduate students through internally and externally funded grants and research projects.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Cooperative Science Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies (NOAA-CREST) offers several funding options:

  • NOAA-CREST Fellowship, 2-year funding for undergraduate or graduate student. Undergrads $12K, Master $25K, PhD $36K (Covers stipend, tuition, domestic travel), additional financial support of mandatory 12 week internship at NOAA lab anywhere in the US ($5k and $10k for MS and PhD, respectively. Research themes in the social sciences: public health, planning and policy, population science, environmental economics, and sustainability science. Apply here.
  • JCET Graduate Student Fellowship. JCET is seeking proposals from the JCET faculty or fellows at UMBC or NASA Goddard who wish to engage a new student on a research project, or support an existing exemplary student. Non-JCET faculty members who wish to work with a student should collaborate with a JCET scientist. Apply here.

UMBC Fellowships

The school offers four fellowships to help public policy students pursue their graduate studies. Students chosen for one of these fellowships may be full and part-time students.

  • Graduate School Dissertation Fellowship provides one semester of stipend and tuition for doctoral candidates.
  • The Center for Social Science Scholarship Small Research Grants provides support for students who have exhausted all other other relevant/available university support. Learn more about funding for Masters and PhD students.
  • The Adam Yarmolinsky Fellowship supports masters and doctoral student success in Public Policy. Apply via form. 
  • The Renny DiPentima Fund supports doctoral student success in Public Policy through grants of up to $1,500 for educational expenses, including tuition and fees or research expenses. Apply via form.
  • The Judy Yin Shih Fellowship for the Advancement of Health Policy Research supports doctoral candidates focusing on a health or mental health related area with an annual grant of $5,000 for tuition, research expenses, or stipend. Apply via form. Apply via form.
  • The M.P.P. Alumni Fellowship supports M.P.P. student success at UMBC by funding up to $500 for research and professional development activities.  Learn more.

Returning Peaceworkers

Each year the Shriver Peaceworker Program invites a group of returning Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) to participate in a two year service-learning program integrating graduate study, community service, and ethical reflection. Participation in the program is limited to Peace Corps volunteers who have successfully completed their service overseas. RPCVs who are interested in applying to the Public Policy program to receive funding through Shriver Peaceworker Program should contact Joby Taylor ( or visit their website. The application fee is waived for current PCVs.

Co-op and Work Study

UMBC also offers graduate student support through co-op programs, work study, and other arrangements. U.S. applicants should complete a FASFA form when they apply to graduate school.

Students planning to study full time should consult the UMBC Office of Financial Aid for details about the variety of other scholarships, grants, and loans available. Government agencies and other organizations may also provide support to their employees for graduate education. Employees should check with their human resources department.

Alumni Tuition Scholarships

$1000 Alumni Tuition Scholarships and application fee waivers ($50) are available for UMBC alumni who enroll in masters or certificate programs for spring 2019 or fall 2019. Complete information will be available about on the Graduate School website.

UMBC Financial Aid Resources

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Tuition and fees

Step by step financial aid for new students

For international students

Cost calculator