Awards and Fellowships

2024 Fellowship Information for Incoming Graduate Students
2024 Fellowship Information for Currently Enrolled Students

Students must be nominated by their departments or colleges and enrolled in classes Fall 2024 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, Public Health, Nursing and Applied Physics  are eligible for this award and must be nominated by their respective department chair.  The $16,000 stipend plus tuition scholarship is renewable for four years.  The deadline for nominations to be submitted  to the Dean of Graduate School is February 16, 2024.
  • 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 up to $750 and the dissertation award is up to $1000. Department Chairs should submit nominations to their College Graduate Director or College Dean by February 12, 2024. College Graduate Directors or Deans should nominate students to the Graduate School by March 13, 2024.
  • 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, 2024. Each college will have its own internal selection process prior to the March 13th deadline. The award recipients each receive up to $1000.
  • Part-time Master's Fellowships are awarded to entering students. The $1500 award ($750 per semester) does not include a tuition scholarship. Students must be fully admitted to a graduate degree program. The deadline for the academic year 2021-2022 is June 1, 2024

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 University of Memphis Society, Inc. Doctoral Fellowship, established by UMS, Inc., is awarded annually to a full-time doctoral student based on exceptional academic achievement. The amount varies from year to year. The application deadline is March 13, 2024.
  • The First Generation Fellowship is to provide financial assistance to graduate students who will be the first in their immediate family to earn a doctoral degree. The deadline is March 21, 2024.

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 $750) 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

  • 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

  • For graduate students enrolled in the Herff College of Engineering, there are 7 Herff Fellowships that provide a stipend of $17,000 per year and, at the discretion of the department, include tuition. They are renewable for up to 3 semesters for MS students and 5 semesters for PhD students.
  • For students enrolled in the PhD Biomedical Engineering program, there are 6 additional fellowships that provide a stipend of $20,500 per year plus up to $28,000 per year for tuition. The stipend increases by $1000 per year after successful completion of program exams up to a maximum of $22,500.
  • For students enrolled in the MS Biomedical Engineering program, there are 4 additional fellowships of $20,500 each to pay for tuition plus a stipend.

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 hard of hearing.

The University of Memphis Association of Retirees

  • The University of Memphis Association of Retirees (UMAR) awards a scholarship to a currently enrolled (full or part time) graduate student at the university. The scholarship is a one time award in the amount of $1000 for the academic year 2020-21 and is not renewable for the following year. In addition to being a graduate student (full or part time) at the University of Memphis, applicants must provide at least one letter of recommendation, provide a statement (not to exceed 100 words) as to how this scholarship will benefit his/her professional goals and may be interviewed by the scholarship selection committee. Preference will be given to students who are current university employees as well as sons/daughters of current employees or of members of UMAR.
    • To apply for this scholarship enter go to the Tiger Scholarship page, you may need to sign in by clicking on the Sign In button in the top right corner, and then clicking on the Sign In With Your Institution button.
    • If you have any questions regarding applying for the scholarship, please contact Robert Boone, UMAR Scholarship Coordinator, pboone@memphis.edu. For questions or assistance with the online application process, please contact the University Scholarship Office, 107 Wilder Tower, telephone 901.678.3213.
  • Dorothy Arata Academic Award - This award is given in memory of Dr. Dorothy Arata, Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Memphis from 1982 to 1993. Dr. Arata earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1956. Her research was in biomedical issues related to liver health and mineral deficiencies in the body. Before coming to the University of Memphis, she was a professor of biochemistry at the Michigan State University. Please contact UMAR for more information regarding this award. 

Federal Financial Aid

Loans are available to degree-seeking graduate students through Federal Financial Aid. Additional information may be obtained in the Student Financial Aid Office by calling 901.678.4825; in person at Wilder Tower, Room 103; or on-line at www.memphis.edu/financialaid.

Grant and other Funding Opportunities:

Pre-doctoral grants to fund research towards a doctorate and even fellowships to support doctoral research are available at https://libguides.memphis.edu/graduate/grants.

Types of Loans Handled by the Student Financial Aid Office:

  • Federal 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.
    • Unsubsidized Stafford Loan - not based on financial need, annual limit is the lessor of your total cost, minus other aid (graduate assistantships and/or fee waivers, borrower is responsible for interest while in school, during grace period, and repayment. NOTE: The unsubsidized Stafford Loans cannot exceed the annual limit of $20,500.00 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 2020 apply by March 1, 2020. Applications or renewal for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be completed on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you are selected for verification, you will need to provide your 2019 tax return and verification documents.


Financial assistance opportunities are also available through sources external to The University of Memphis. For instance, 

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.

Graduate Fellowship Programs in Natural Sciences

  • NSF graduate research fellowship program, solicitation, program website, including successful applications from a UofM student and alumnus, deadlines range from October 26-30 depending on discipline.
  • National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG): NDSEG website, the application cycle is from September to January.
  • Science, Mathematics & Research for Transformation (SMART): SMART website, this program has a post-graduation service requirement.
  • NIH National Research Service Awards (F series fellowships): F Series Fellowships website, Deadlines the 8th of April, August, and December.
  • NASA Fellowships: NASA NIFS OSSI website