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Financial Support

Available Master's program financial support

Students measuring river height levelsThere are a limited number of Graduate Assistantships (some teaching, some research) available to qualified students each year. The salary for these assistantships is approximately $9,498 per academic year. The department will also likely cover most basic tuition fees during the first year of the assistantship. Depending upon departmental needs and faculty grants, there is a possibility of being reappointed for a second year of the assistantship. International students may also receive non-resident tuition waivers for 2 years (this is a competitive campus-wide selection process,) and out-of-state non-resident students may also receive a non-resident tuition waiver for 1 year (this is also a competitive campus-wide selection process.) Graduate Assistants are responsible for their mandatory campus miscellaneous fees, which are currently $752 per semester (as of Fall 2015).

Students seeking graduate assistantships should fill out the optional Graduate Assistantship Application on Decision Desk. Please note that supporting documents for a Graduate Assistantship are the same as those needed for Admission to the Master's Program in Geography.

Student seeking financial aid in the form of loans or need-based grants should contact the Financial Aid Office.

Master's level students are also eligible to apply for four Geography Scholarships that reward excellent academic progress and/or achievements:

  • Alvena Storm Memorial Scholarship (for all Master’s students)
  • McFarland Scholarship (demonstrated financial need is an additional requirement of this scholarship)
  • Ned H. Greenwood Award Scholarship (for Master’s students specializing in physical geography)
  • William & Vivian Finch Scholarship (for Master’s students with interests in remote sensing)

These scholarships are competitive and are administered through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS). The scholarships have different requirements and students are required to submit a separate application for each scholarship they wish to be considered. Scholarships’ applications are typically due early in the spring semester and the winners are announced towards the end of the academic year. Awards are often disbursed to students by OFAS at the beginning of the next academic year (fall semester). Technically this means that Master’s level students should apply for these scholarships during their first year in the program, so that they can benefit from the scholarship during their second year. Explanations of the requirements and application instructions for these four scholarships.

In addition, the department offers a number of scholarships-awards, including awards for students with interests in GIS, Cartography, Children and Social Geography, and Human Geography. The department also offers one or more scholarship-awards that recognize students’ service and citizenship to the department. These scholarships-awards are administered internally, and do not require an application to OFAS or to the department. Deserving students are selected by deliberation and a vote of the faculty in the department. These scholarships-awards are made possible by generous yearly contributions and gifts from donors; availability may vary from year to year.

The statements found on this page/site are for informational purposes only. While every effort is made to ensure that this information is up to date and accurate, official information can be found in the university publications.

©Department of Geography, San Diego State University