Admissions & Finances

Merit-Based Financial Aid

Student walking across quad on a sunny dayAcademic departments of Syracuse University grant merit-based graduate awards and appointments to their most outstanding students. These awards, including fellowships, scholarships, and assistantships, are highly competitive. Information about specific opportunities is available on the awards and appointments webpage.

Such awards should not be confused with financial aid awards made in cases of demonstrated financial need without basis in academic merit. (See the need-based financial aid webpage.) Prospective students may apply for merit-based University graduate fellowships, University African American graduate fellowships, Graduate School scholarships, and graduate assistantships and scholarships by checking the appropriate boxes on the admission application form. A candidate’s complete application package of transcripts, admission test scores, letters of recommendation, and application with statement of purpose is carefully evaluated during the awards process. Applicants who believe they may qualify for assistantships with academic units at the University other than the one to which they are applying should contact those units directly. Assistantships are often listed during the spring semester at the University's Human Resources website.

Students are also encouraged to apply for the numerous scholarships and fellowships available from foundations and other privately endowed sources. State and federal awards are also available to students in various fields of graduate study.

For international students there are a number of agencies to which one may apply to receive money for graduate study. One notable example is the Institute for International Education, which oversees the Fulbright Fellowship program and other programs. (Find them at

Information about grants, scholarships, fellowships, and other awards may be found in the printed Annual Register of Grant Support (found in most libraries and college placement offices)  and at this online listing of scholarship information.


Students applying for graduate awards are urged to submit complete admission applications as early as possible and no later than mid-January to receive full consideration. Deadlines for various kinds of awards vary by academic department; applicants should consult the application instructions for further information.

A limited number of awards is available and late applicants will be considered only if funds and appointments remain. All parts of the application package must be received by the University for candidates to meet deadlines.