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Assistantships, Awards and Fellowship


Graduate teaching and research assistantships are available in most of the academic areas of The University of Memphis, requiring 10-20 hours of service per week. Most assistantships are provided by the student's home academic unit.  Contact the department directly for additional information. Graduate assistants who work at least 10 hours per week are classified as in-state students for fee-paying purposes for the term of their appointment as graduate assistants only. Graduate assistantship contracts filed by the fourth day of class are eligible for a scholarship equal to the amount of tuition and fees.

University-supported graduate assistants are expected to carry a 9-credit-hour load every semester (or 6 hours when enrolled only in thesis or dissertation hours). Nonresident assistants appointed for the preceding spring semester are eligible for in-state fees for summer, whether or not the student holds an assistantship in that summer term.

Non-degree students may not be awarded an assistantship. Graduate assistants must maintain a 3.00 GPA to retain their assistantships. Regents Online Degree Program Fees are not covered by graduate assistantship waivers. UM Online Program Fees are not covered by graduate assistantships or any other fee waivers.

Graduate teaching assistants must have a master's in the teaching discipline or 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline. GAs must have direct supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, regular in-service training, and planned and periodic evaluations. Non-native English speakers must also pass the SPEAk test before they can be appointed teaching assistants. Contact the Center for International Programs and Services for information on when the SPEAK test is administered. Teaching assistants may teach only undergraduate courses; in exceptional cases they may be approved by the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs to teach 4000/6000 courses. They may not teach more than 6 hours of for-credit courses without prior approval from the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs.


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2015 Fellowship Information for Incoming Graduate Students
2015 Fellowship Information for Currently Enrolled Students

Information about graduate awards and fellowships, including the nomination and application forms, can be obtained in the Graduate School, 215 Administration Building. All fellowship/award deadlines are subject to change. Please check with the Graduate School for confirmation of deadlines.

Students must be nominated by their departments or colleges for the following awards listed below. Department/colleges should use the Nomination Form to verify that all required documentation is included (see the Documentation Table).

  • Van Vleet Memorial Doctoral Award. Incoming doctoral students in the designated science fields of School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geological Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Microbiology and Molecular Cell Sciences, Psychology, Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Public Health are eligible for this award and must be nominated by their respective department chair. Nominees must be submitted to the Graduate School by February 6, 2015. The $16,000 stipend plus tuition scholarship is renewable for four years.
  • Morton Thesis/Dissertation Awards are a result of a generous donation by S. Morgan Morton ('63). The awards honor an outstanding master's and doctoral student whose thesis or dissertation prospectus has been approved by their committee. The thesis award is $500 and the dissertation award is $750. Department Chairs should submit nominations to their College Dean by February 16, 2015. College Deans should nominate students to the Graduate School by March 13, 2015.
  • Graduate Assistant Meritorious Teaching Awards are given to two outstanding teaching assistants. Candidates are nominated by faculty, students, alumni, or their respective college dean. The deadline for nominations to be submitted to the Graduate School is March 13, 2015. Each college will have its own internal selection process prior to the March 13th deadline. The award recipients each receive $500.
  • Part-time Master's Fellowships are awarded to entering students. The $1500 awards ($750 per semester) do not include a tuition scholarship. Students must be fully admitted to a graduate degree program by February 20, 2015. The deadline for the academic year 2015-2016 is May 13, 2015.

Students may apply directly to the Graduate School for the following fellowships, using the Self-Application Form and verifying that all required documentation is included (see the Documentation Table).

  • The First Generation Ph.D. Fellowship Program provides financial assistance to graduate students who are underrepresented in their respective disciplines and who will become the first person in their immediate families to earn a doctoral degree. The application deadline is March 18, 2015.

The following two awards, although funded by the Graduate School, are chosen through the College of Communication and Fine Arts and are open only to students in that College.

  • Creative Achievement Awards (up to $500) are given to graduate students from the College of Communication and Fine Arts for outstanding work in the performing arts, film and architecture. Department chairs should submit nominations to the CCFA Associate Dean for Graduate Studies (consult associate dean for deadline). Nominations are due to the Graduate School.

  • Art Purchase Award (up to $1000) covers the price of an art work chosen by the outside juror at the Annual Juried Student Exhibit each Spring.

Additional Fellowship Information

Applications for the following fellowships should be submitted to the unit listed below:

The Fogelman College of Business and Economics

  • The Dr. Kenneth R. Austin and Janet Austin Graduate Fellowship in the amount of $1,000 is awarded annually to a graduate student enrolled in the Master of Science with concentration in Accounting program. The fellowship is based on grade point average, GMAT score, and interpersonal and communication skills.

  • The Dr. Gabrial P. Racz Leadership Fellowship in the amount of $150 is awarded each semester to a full-time graduate student majoring in accounting. The recipient must exhibit outstanding leadership skills.

  • The Robert B. Sweeney Graduate Fellowship in the amount of $1,000 is awarded annually to a master's student majoring in accounting. The recipient must have an undergraduate degree in accounting, and must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.50 or a GMAT score of at least 600.

The College of Education, Health and Human Sciences

  • The Dr. R. Eugene Smith Fellowship equivalent to in-state tuition is awarded annually to a graduate student pursuing studies in higher education administration.

The Herff College of Engineering

  • The Herff Engineering Fellowship is a $10,000, three-year, renewable award for graduate students in Engineering.

  • The Herff Engineering Doctoral Fellowship is a $15,000 per year, three-year award for graduate students in Engineering pursuing a Ph.D. degree in which the research emphasis is in an area related to Biomedical Engineering.

The School of Communication Sciences and Disorders

  • The CSD Alumni Chapter Fellowship is awarded each spring semester to a graduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. The recipient must demonstrate outstanding clinical skills and support of student and departmental activities.

  • The Marion G. Evans/Exchange Club of East Memphis Fellowship is awarded annually to a graduate student training to work with the hearing impaired.

  The University of Memphis Association of Retirees

  • The University of Memphis Association Of Retirees (UMAR) awards a scholarship to a currently enrolled graduate student at the university. The scholarship is a one-time award in the amount of $1,000 for the academic year and is not renewable for the following year. In addition to being a graduate student at the University of Memphis, applicants must provide at least one letter of recommendation, provide a statement (not to exceed 100 words) as how this scholarship will benefit his/her professional goals and may be interviewed by the selection committee. Preference will be given to current university employees as well as dependents of current employees or of members of UMAR.Deadline: Monday, March 2, 2015.  The application is available at:

Federal Financial Aid

Loans are available to graduate students through Federal Financial Aid. Additional information may be obtained in the Student Financial Aid Office from at (901) 678-3737; in person at Wilder Tower, Room 103; or on-line at

Types of Loans Handled by the Student Financial Aid Office:

  • Federal Perkins - 5% interest, priority given to early applicants who demonstrate the highest financial need.
  • Federal Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Stafford Loan - variable rate of interest (adjusts once a year on July 1st), not to exceed 8.25%. Loans are processed through the university.
    • Subsidized Stafford Loan - based on financial need, annual limit is the lesser of financial need or $8,500.00.
    • Unsubsidized Stafford Loan - not based on financial need, annual limit is the lessor of your total cost, minus other aid (including subsidized loans, graduate assistantships and/or fee waiters or $10,000.00, borrower is responsible for interest while in school, during grace period, and repayment. NOTE: The combination of subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans cannot exceed the annual limit of $18,500.00 depending on the university's cost of attendance and other assistance already received or expected for the year.
  • Alternative Loans - variable interest rate, not federally funded, private agencies, usually perform credit check.

Applying for Financial Aid: For priority award consideration for Fall 2015 apply by March 1, 2015. Applications or renewal for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be completed on-line at If you are selected for verification, you will need to provide your 2014 tax return and verification documents.

External Sources of Financial Assistance

Financial assistance opportunities are also available through sources external to The University of Memphis. Information regarding these opportunities can be found in the Reference Section of the library or on the Internet.

The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) offers a Doctoral Scholars Program to encourage ethnic minority students to pursue doctoral degrees and become college-level teachers. For information contact the Graduate School or contact:

Doctoral Scholars Program
Southern Regional Education Board
592 Tenth St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30318-5790
(404) 875-9211

The Council of Graduate Schools, which The University of Memphis is a member, also has information available regarding fellowships and financial aid.

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Graduate School
Administration Bldg. 215
The University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152
Phone: (901) 678-4212
Fax: (901) 678-0378

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Last Updated: 2/9/15