Master's funding & financial support
Financial resources are available to students who are interested in pursuing an advanced degree and professional career in public policy or public affairs.
Many students are able to secure funding through fellowships, grants, work-study positions, teaching assistantships, and more. And we've established a growing number of fellowships to help students pay for their degrees.
Each year, nearly two-thirds of our MPP students receive some form of fellowship support.
As you weigh your options, carefully review the estimated cost of a Ford School degree—including two years of tuition, fees, housing, food, and other expenses. We are happy to schedule a time to talk with you about fellowships and funding.
Funding opportunities include:
- The Weiser Diplomacy Fellowship: up to $30,000 per year to support up to two years of graduate study focused on diplomacy and related aspects of international affairs. Learn more and find out how to apply.
- The David Bohnett Foundation Leadership and Public Service Fellowships: two years of tuition support plus a paid internship in the City of Detroit Mayor's Office. Each year, this fellowship is competitively awarded to three incoming master's students. Learn more and find out how to apply.
- The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Fellowship: tuition, a generous stipend, healthcare, internship funding, and more. All admitted MPP students are automatically considered for this fellowship. Learn more about the fellowship.
- The Riecker Michigan Delegation Fellowship: spend time in DC on assignment with a senator or representative from Michigan. An application is required for consideration. This fellowship is named for Margaret (Ranny) Riecker, a longtime friend and generous benefactor of the Ford School. Learn more and find out how to apply.
- The Weill Youth Policy Fellowship: awarded to a student with a strong interest in youth and education policy. The Weill Youth Policy Fellows will have the opportunity to support a wide range of research and evaluation projects with Michigan government and community-based agencies. Fellows will work closely with Professor Brian Jacob and complete the required internship at a Youth Policy Lab partner organization. (All admitted MPP students are automatically considered for this fellowship.) The Ford School named the first fellows in 2020. Learn more.
- Ford-Rackham Master's Awards (RMAs): one of the Ford School’s and the University of Michigan’s highest honors. They’re awarded to graduate students underrepresented in the public policy field and with outstanding qualifications and tremendous promise. With it, recipients receive two years of full tuition, a stipend, and health and dental care. (All admitted MPP students are automatically considered for this fellowship.)
- Merit-based fellowships: Funding ranges from $5,000 per year to full–tuition packages. Fellowships are awarded at the time of admission to the program. All applicants to the Ford School are considered. Other named fellowships are designated for continuing master's students and applications are circulated between the first and second year of study.
- Public service and leadership organization partnerships: Teach for America, AmeriCorps, and PPIA alumni typically receive a minimum of one-quarter tuition fellowship. At least five Coverdell Fellowships are available to current or returned Peace Corps Volunteers; the Coverdell Fellowship guarantees a minimum fellowship of one–quarter tuition.
Other financial supports come from:
- A wide variety of external fellowships available to domestic and international students
- Fee waivers on application costs for all Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Teach for America alumni who are at least three months removed from service
- Graduate assistantships and work-study positions
- University of Michigan and federal programs
*All applicants to the Ford School are considered for fellowships unless they indicate on the admission application that they do not wish to be considered for funding. A separate application is required for the Bohnett Foundation Leadership and Public Service Fellowship (incoming first–year) and the Riecker Michigan Delegation Fellowship.
Securing funding: Tips for success
- Start early: Begin researching funding sources while you prepare your application.
- Invest time to search for funding: Students who have looked for funding more proactively have found new and unexpected sources from places such as professional organizations, state agencies, and local or community organizations. Explore the links above, and funding search engines.
- Continue your search. Securing funding for graduate education is a process that begins when you are an applicant, but it shouldn't end after admission. Many students continuously search for funding throughout their studies.
- Stay in touch with our fellowship coordinator. Contact our fellowship coordinator to discuss funding options early on, but stay in touch even after you enroll. Our fellowship coordinator can work with you to help you uncover new funding leads throughout your studies.