Financial Aid, Fellowships, & Scholarships

CIR offers merit-based tuition scholarships (partial and full) on a highly competitive basis at the time of admission.

Many colleges provide fellowships for alumni who go on to graduate study elsewhere. Check with Career Services or your undergraduate Dean of Students office. Both should be good resources for additional funding possibilities.

International students should check with their national governments and with the websites of their local US consulates or embassies. The latter often list funding opportunities for study in the United States.

Last but not least, you can try searching on the University of Chicago’s fellowship database.

Our Student Loan Administration may be of help in finding preferred rates or government-subsidized loans.


You can further reduce your costs by taking advantage of graduate student housing. They process applications on a first-come, first-serve basis. They will also match you with another graduate student roommate (in all likelihood a fellow MA student) if you would prefer a much larger, more economical two-bedroom place. The security deposit is modest and University maintenance is very reliable.

UChicagoGRAD also provides an overview of Hyde Park and Chicago housing resources. Private alternatives in Hyde Park are best discovered through these Management Companies and these online resources. Higher-end options include Regents Park.Campus Employment

It is common for MA students to work on campus. Given the intense academic demands of our program, we recommend starting with 5 hours per week and seeing if you can handle 10.

Many students work as Research Assistants (RA) for individual faculty. The Department Administrators (not the Chairs) are your best initial contacts, to see if they know of faculty with particular needs. You could also try reaching out to individual professors, but most will want to meet you in person before making the decision to hire. Your best strategy is to start with the unique linguistic, methodological, or fieldwork experiences you’ve had. Then start identifying, department by department, those faculty who may have special need of those skills, for their current research or projected teaching.

Outside of RA work, you can google student jobs at the Regenstein Library, the Smart Museum, the Court Theatre, and the Oriental Institute, or reach out to administrators at the 140 Centers and Institutes that we have on campus, to see if they have part-time work available.

CIR students are not eligible to work as Teaching Assistants (TA). The University of Chicago does not permit graduate students to work as TAs until their third year of doctoral study.

Students may also want to consult the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) and the University of Chicago Survey Lab for openings.

International Students

International students are eligible for the same merit-based tuition scholarships (partial and full) that we award our US students, and compete equally for them.

There are a variety of nationality-specific fellowships for which you can apply:

In addition, our Office of International Affairs maintains a comprehensive list of funding available to international students.

Over the years, a number of international students have been selected as Residential Fellows at the International House, which can further reduce your housing costs. Contact the International House for more information.

The Office of International Affairs is your best resource for any questions about on-campus employment, off-campus employment, optional practical training (OPT), and other visa-related issues.

What are the costs for tuition and expenses?

For specific information regarding tuition and fees, including cost of living estimates, please visit Admissions and Financial Aid for the Division of the Social Sciences.

Your tuition award should be subtracted from that amount.

Note that the costs the Division itemizes are critical for international students in their student visa applications. Please use the link above to calculate the costs you will be expected to cover.

As a general matter, we expect the costs for our MA students to be considerably less. We expect that most MA students will cover their room, board, and personal expenses for $13,000 (if you live with a roommate) or $17,000 (if you live alone) for 9 months. Your transportation costs will be negligible if you do not own a car and live in Hyde Park (as do nearly all of our students).

A one-third tuition award would then put your total costs for between $58,585 and $62,685 (depending on whether you choose to live with a roommate).

A one-half tuition award, on the other hand, puts your total costs for between $48,919 and $52,919 (depending on whether you choose to live with a roommate).

If staying through August, you should add $4,300 to $5,667 to your total costs.

All students can expect to defray those costs further through part-time employment on campus. It is common for our MA students to work 5-10 hours per week.