Financial and Other Assistance


Grainger Engineering Ph.D. students in their first five years of enrollment are guaranteed a tuition-waiving appointment for fall and spring, which includes a full tuition waiver, a partial fee waiver, and a monthly stipend. Students are also eligible for summer support. Students must remain in Good Academic Standing (see the Graduate College Handbook, Part I, Chapter 3.2) and successfully perform the duties of their assistantships to maintain this GCOE guarantee.

 Fellowships.  Fellowship stipends are awarded in recognition of scholarly achievement and promise, and are intended to enable a student to pursue graduate study and research without requiring him or her to render any services. The stipends of different fellowships vary, and many include or are supplemented with a tuition and partial fee waiver. A fellow is required to register during each semester of the appointment. Most fellows hold quarter-time teaching or research assistantships. If the fellow also holds an assistantship appointment, the student must register full time (9 hours) to uphold the requirement of the assistantship. The University adheres to the resolution adopted by the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States which provides that if the recipient of an award indicates acceptance before April, 15th, he or she will have complete freedom through April 15th to resign in order to accept another appointment. After April 15th, however, the recipient may not accept another award without obtaining a formal release from the first commitment. This resolution applies to the acceptance of research or teaching assistantships and fellowships.

Departmental Recommendations for Fellows. The Department urges all students holding fellowships to engage in some form of research, either in association with one of the Department’s formal research programs, or on a special research program with a faculty member. Fellows may arrange to write a Master’s thesis (CEE 599), or write a comprehensive report on an individual investigation (CEE 597). This phase of the program provides the student with valuable training and serves as a guide to the Department in making decisions about continuing studies and stipends.

Second-year fellows will be involved in research (and should be enrolled for credit accordingly) as part of their doctoral study.

University Fellowships. These fellowships are based on academic and scholarly achievements, and are unrestricted as to the student’s field of graduate study.

Graduate College Fellowships. The Graduate College provides support to outstanding graduate students through a number of fellowship programs. Information can be obtained from the Graduate College

Industrial, Endowed, and Special Fellowships. Various industrial firms, foundations, and private individuals have generously donated funds to support a number of special fellowships for graduate students. The stipends and supplemental allowances of theses fellowships are not uniform, except that tuition and partial fees are usually provided.

Tuition and Fee Waivers. The Department does not provide tuition and fee waivers. Students who receive prestigious awards such as the Fulbright Fellowship may be eligible for an exemption from payment of tuition and some fees for the academic year and the summer session pending Graduate College approval. Students holding tuition and fee waivers must be in residence at the University and must register each semester during the academic year. They may accept part-time or incidental employment not to exceed twenty hours a week. Employment may be at the University or elsewhere. Veterans who are admissible to a graduate program and who meet certain residency requirements may be eligible for exemption from tuition under the statute concerning military scholarships.

Second MS Degree on way to PhD. Students that wish to earn another professional MS degree on the way to the PhD will need to check with Joan Christian in 1108 Newmark before transferring to the other program. If the program is a reimbursement seeking program, the CEE Department will not reimburse tuition for the time they are in the other department. If they have a tuition waiver from CEE, the student will have to pay their own tuition during this time. A PhD student should first complete the PhD in CEE and then register in the other department to get the second MS.

Research Assistantships. An assistant’s hours of work per week are reflected in their percentage of appointment. Time commitments are based on a 40 hour work week. Thus, a one-half (50%) time appointment requires an average of 20 hours per week. A quarter (25%) time appointment requires an average of 10 hours per week. Hours of work are separate and distinct from the time required for an assistant’s own academic course work. To receive and hold an assistantship, a student must be registered for the semesters of the appointment. The appointment will be in effect only while the student remains in good academic standing.

Students holding appointments ranging from 25 to 67 percent time (25 to 50 percent for international students) for at least three-fourths of the semester are exempt from tuition. The waiver of tuition includes payment of the service fee, health service fee, along with basic dental and vision coverage and partial payment of the health insurance fee for each term of the appointment. The student is responsible for paying the balance of the health insurance and all other fees. Information about fees for which you may be responsible can be found at The tuition and service fee exemption extends through the summer appointment; however, students who hold summer appointments of less than 25 percent or more than 67 percent will be assessed tuition and fees.

For more information about assistantship policies, see the Graduate College Handbook at , Chapter 8, page 54.

Faculty must notify graduate students (MS and PhD) with research or fellowship appointments in writing three months before the end of the semester that they no longer have any funding to support the student (in case of MS student) or they no longer wish to continue as their advisor. The faculty must also inform the Director of Graduate Studies at the same time. The graduate student is then allowed time to find another advisor and funding to support their graduate research. If the student is informed of discontinued funding or if the faculty resigns as advisor less than 3 months from the end of the semester or the student is good academic standing and is making satisfactory progress toward their degree and is still under a funding offer, the faculty is responsible to use their ICR or discretionary funds or other type of appointment (e.g., TA) to support the student the next semester.

Teaching Assistantships.  The Department offers a limited number of teaching assistantships,  which are usually filled by appointment of advanced-level graduate students whose competencies have been demonstrated. However, applicants who have particular interests and/or prior experience in teaching are encouraged to indicate this on their applications so that, when appropriate, consideration can be given to the possibility of an initial appointment as a teaching assistant.

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Oral English Assessment Interview (OEAI) before they can be appointed as teaching assistants unless their TOEFL Speaking score is 24 or above. If your native tongue is not English and if there is any possibility that you might want to become a teaching assistant, you may need to take the OEAI ( By law, the Department cannot appoint students whose first language in not English to such positions without the student first demonstrating their fluency in English. First-time teaching assistants must go to the Graduate Academy training  or ENG598TL course to prepare for classroom teaching responsibilities.

Other Sources of Financial Aid. A number of other sources of support are available, for example, fellowships offered by the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the American Institute of Steel Construction, and other organizations. Students are encouraged to apply for such stipends.

Loan Funds. Information may be requested about National Direct Student Loans, University of Illinois Long Term Loans (UILT) and College-Work Study from the Office of Student Financial Aid, Student Services Arcade Building, 620 East John Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820. The application period begins in January of each year; the priority deadline for applications is March 1st. Loan and work-study applications are made separately from applications for fellowships, assistantships, or tuition and fee waivers. Graduate students may also apply for guaranteed loans through lenders in their hometowns who may participate in one of the various types of guaranteed loan programs. Applications should be submitted late in the spring term for the following academic year. Information brochures and application forms are available from the Office of Student Financial Aid. Students should identify themselves as graduate students when requesting an application or a brochure.

Parental Leave for Graduate Students. Graduate assistants with waiver-generating appointments are entitled to up to two weeks of parental leave without loss of pay immediately following the birth of a child, or upon either the initial placement or the legal adoption of a child under 18 years of age. Eligible graduate assistants are those graduate students who hold an active waiver-generating appointment at the time the parental leave is taken. Further info may be found in the Campus Administrative Manual 

The Writers’ Workshop. The Writers’ Workshop satellite location in 402 Grainger Library is available to assist undergraduate and graduate engineering students with their written work including class assignments, reports, theses, conference papers, resumes, and personal statements. The Workshop staff consists of expert writing teachers who can provide extensive feedback about the logic, format, and style of students’ texts. If students are interested in this service, they should contact the Grainger Library satellite at (217) 333-8796 to schedule an appointment. More information

Graduate College Advising Services and Mentoring Resources. The Graduate College offers advising walk-in hours and online resources in several areas to assist you with your academic and professional development needs. Good mentoring is a key element of graduate education. The Graduate College also provides some resources on finding mentors and fostering a productive relationship with your mentor(s). Information about advising and mentoring can be found at

The CEE Department has adopted The Graduate College recommended mentoring guidelines for Faculty, Grad Students and Graduate Programs to follow. These guidelines are available at:

Counseling Center. The Counseling Center is located at 110 Turner Student Services Building, 610 East John Street, Champaign, (217) 333-3704, The Counseling Center is committed to providing a range of services intended to help students develop improved coping skills to address emotional, interpersonal and academic concerns. The Counseling Center provides individual, couples and group counseling, and all of these services are paid for through the health services fee. The Counseling Center offers primarily short-term counseling, but they do provide referrals to the community when students could benefit from longer term services