Master's Scholarships and Financial Aid

A master’s degree is a significant investment in your future. Our master’s degrees prepare students for a range of careers in which critical thinking and research skills are valued. What is distinctive about the Graduate Center’s master’s programs is that our master’s students frequently take research-driven doctoral-level courses taught by a world-class faculty. Consistent with the public university mission of CUNY, tuition for our master’s programs remains low and affordable, relative to comparable graduate programs in New York City.

Dean’s Merit Scholarships

For master’s students entering in Fall 2020, The Graduate Center will offer Dean’s Merit Scholarships to a limited number of master’s degree students each year. These scholarships are awarded solely based on merit, and all applicants to all Graduate Center master’s programs are automatically considered as part of the admissions process. No separate application is necessary. The Dean’s Merit Scholarships cover $6,000 of tuition, to be spread over three or four semesters, and the recipient must enroll for a minimum of six credits per semester. The Dean’s Merit Scholarship covers a significant portion of in-state tuition costs for the selected recipients.

While The Graduate Center does not currently offer full-tuition scholarships or additional stipends to cover living expenses for master’s students, the Dean’s Merit Scholarship can be combined with a financial aid package to cover the full cost of attendance. All applicants are encouraged to apply for the full range of financial aid options and externally funded scholarships for which they are eligible.

Federal Aid

CUNY participates in the Direct Loan Program where students borrow directly from the federal government. Just like any other loan, these loans must be repaid with interest.

CUNY also participates in the Federal Work-Study program.

Federal aid, awarded directly through the Office of Financial Aid in accordance with requirements established by federal law, requires applicants to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), utilizing the federal school code for The Graduate Center - 004765. To complete the form online, applicants should go to Students who apply by the priority deadline for federal aid (April 30) are considered for Federal Work-Study positions if they check yes to the question on the FAFSA. For more information about the application process, please visit our page on Applying for Aid.

U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and other eligible noncitizens can file the FAFSA. Recipients of federal loans may qualify for various income-based repayment and loan forgiveness plans.  Students may contact the Graduate Center’s Financial Aid Office for more information and assistance regarding federal aid.

Outside Aid

We strongly recommend that all students pursue scholarships, fellowships, and grants-in-aid available from organizations and agencies unaffiliated with The Graduate Center.  Below is a list of some external scholarship opportunities for master’s students, as well as websites and search engines useful for identifying additional sources of funding.  In searching for a scholarship, it is important to start early, as application deadlines are often several months to a year in advance of award disbursal.


Scholarship Websites