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The Graduate School is dedicated to helping students secure funding during their time spent at MSU. Graduate students finance their education through a variety of assistantships, fellowships and other funding opportunities. This page provides a list of valuable resources to help ease the financial burden of graduate school and allow you to focus on your research and coursework.

Numerous external funding opportunities exist to support graduate students, and MSU’s Office of Research Development maintains an extensive collection of these resources for graduate students to explore. MSU also provides students with access to Grant Forward, an easy-to-explore research funding database with tools for personalizing the search and for setting up alerts regarding new funding opportunities in line with students' research interests. In addition to these resources, the Office of the Graduate School offers numerous internal funding opportunities to graduate students and the faculty who work with them. You can learn more about these internal funding opportunities by exploring the following drop-down menus:

MSU Internal Fellowships & Funding Opportunities

Funding opportunites from MSU are available for graduate students and faculty working with graduate students.



Funding Program Application Opens Application Closes Additional Information
Community Building Mini-Grant

Fall: 1-July

Spring: 1-Dec 

Fall: 15-Aug

Spring: 15-Jan
Grants to graduate-student organizations to build community and connections among graduate peers.
Graduate Teaching Scholarships

Fall: 1-Aug

Spring: 1-Jan

Fall: 15th day of instruction

Spring: 15th day of instruction
This scholarship is for current MSU GTA’s. Follow link for additional eligibility information and application instructions.
Food Security Scholarship

Fall: 19-July

Spring: 1-Jan

Fall: 30-Aug

Spring: 15-Feb

If you are a student with barriers to accessing enough nutritious food, please consider applying.
Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership Fellowship See application deadlines

Fall: 15-April

Spring: October 15
Follow the program link for eligibility information and application instructions.

Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridge to Doctorate Scholars

Open Open Follow program link for eligibility information. To initiate the application process, please follow the contact information provided on MSU’s LSAMP webpage.
Wellness Champion Program Varies. See additional information. Varies. See additional information. Contact the Office of the Graduate School for exact yearly deadlines. Applications are for the following academic year.
Montana INBRE Native American Graduate Fellowship always open; however, see priority review deadlines.

Priority Review:

Fall: 15-Feb

Spring: 1-Nov
Follow program link for eligibility guidelines and application information.
Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation Native American Graduate Fellowship See application deadline. February 1st for a fellowship period beginning the next academic year Follow program link for eligibility guidelines and application information. Applicants for the Washington Fellowship need to apply through the Cat Scholarships portal.
PhD Dissertation Completion Awards

Fall 2024: June 1

Fall 2024: July 15

All PhD students approaching their final term can apply for a PhD Dissertation Completion Award. Follow link for eligibility details and application instructions.
Professional Advancement Grant Always open Always open These awards support travel for graduate students from any department to present scholarly research at professional conferences. Follow link for details and application.
Dean's International Scholarship Open Enrollment Open Enrollment The Graduate Office presents this scholarship award to international students who meet the eligibility requirements. Follow the program link for additional information.
AmeriCorp Alumni, Application fee and tuition waivers Always open Always open Follow program link for application instructions.
Past McNair Scholars, Application fee and tuition waivers Always open Always open Follow program link for application instructions.
Graduate Leadership Academy Early April. See website for exact yearly dates. Mid-May. See website for exact yearly dates and extended application deadline updates. Professional leadership development program. Open to all MSU graduate students beyond their first year of study.
Cat Scholarships Varies by scholarship. Varies by scholarship. This database references funding opportunities for more than 50 different scholarship programs created by individuals, families, and institutions on behalf of current MSU students.   

Digital Antiquities Research Fellowship

April 1st July 15th 

This fellowship award is open to MSU graduate students from a wide range of disciplines who incorporate research from Montana's Digital Resources Database into their research projects. See website for fellowship information and application instructions.

Graduate Return to Learn Scholarship


The Graduate Return to Learn Scholarship is a $500/semester award for one semester designed to support graduate students who are returning to their academic journey after stepping away for a year or more. This scholarship aims to assist individuals who have taken time away from classes and school for various reasons, providing them with financial support as the re-embark on their educational pursuits. 


We are currently not accepting Graduate Assistantships in the Graduate School Department at this time.

The assistantship is for $1,040-$1,975/month (depending on hours) plus additional payment according to the CBA* and may continue past Spring 2024 contingent on available funding, student eligibility, and mutual agreement.

Graduate Assistantships(GA) description:

1. GA S-STEM planning grant

· The overall goal of the grant is to design a combined paid-employment and master’s education that meets the needs of low-income graduate students in Montana. For example, S-STEM fellows are new graduate students who work full-time for a company in the summer, then part-time in the semester while they attend graduate classes.

· Help convene separate listening sessions of low-SES graduate students, student support experts, and business consortia.

· Collect and organize data on low-SES graduate students.

· Document and distill the emergence of the combined paid-employment and master’s education ready for review by the university, business leaders, and the NSF.

The GA will also be invited to design a project of their choice that fits into the goals of the position, as well as be assigned other related duties.


To apply for a position, please send to [email protected] the following:

1. Which position(s) are you applying for

2. Statement of why you are interested in this position

3. Description of experience with similar tasks

4. Degree sought (and major) and when expected to complete

5. Name and contact information of two references.


Preferred skills/qualifications

• Professionalism and maturity

• Strong interpersonal skills

• Strong organizational skills

• Oral, written, and/or nonverbal communication skills

• Respect for and appreciation of a broad range of diverse identities

• Ability to work independently and as part of a team

• Meet academic requirements of a GTA position:

o Degree-seeking graduate student

o Maintain term enrollment of a minimum of 6 credits

o Cumulative, term, and program of study GPA must be 3.00 or better

o Make satisfactory annual progress towards the degree


* This GTA appointment is a part of a Collective Bargaining unit represented by Graduate Employee Organization (GEO), and the Montana Education Association‐Montana Federation of Teachers, MEA‐MFT. The Collective Bargaining Agreement can be found at You will be bound by the terms and conditions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, applicable policies of the University and Board of Regents, and applicable state and federal laws.

Visual timeline of department initiated funding opportunities.


Name Application Opens Application Closes Application Link
Fall Delta Grants 15-Apr 1-Jun Application in Infoready 
Mildred Livingston Presidential Award 1-Nov Until allocated funds exhausted Infoready
Spring Delta grants 1-Dec 17-Jan Infoready
PhD Start Awards (AKA PhD enhancement awards) 1-Nov 15-Jan Infoready
Professional Master's Fellowship always open always open N/A, these awards are allocated (based on enrollment) to qualifying departments by the Graduate school
Faculty bridge TWs always open always open email [email protected] 


Additional Information

Students may not apply for these awards. They must be nominated by faculty or their department.

Delta Grants are designed for faculty to support a Ph.D. student if the faculty’s grant has some years of funding for the student, but perhaps not long enough for the full duration of a Ph.D. Delta funds can be used to cover the difference between the typical GRA and GTA stipends.

Each Delta award will provide the difference between the GRA stipend the faculty has been paying the student (or will pay) and the average GTA stipend for that department.


Applications for Fall 2024 are currently open

 Students may not apply for these awards. They must be nominated by faculty or their department.

Faculty should apply by Jun 3rd.


MSU’s Humanities, Arts, and Social Science graduate programs contribute enormously to the scholarship and creative works that advance the mission of our university. In recognition and to advance their continued excellence, we invite applications from faculty for one year of GRA support for doctoral students in one of the following doctoral programs; American Studies, History, and Psychology.

Each HASS Ph.D. fellowship will have a 10-month GRA stipend of $22,000, $910/semester additional payment, and up to 18cr of tuition waivers. The intent is that the Ph.D. student will be supported by the nominating faculty and department for the other years of their Ph.D. degree. The student can be a current student at any stage of their Ph.D. program or an incoming student for Fall 2024 or Spring 2025. We anticipate that one award will be made during FY25.

 Students may not apply for these awards. They must be nominated by faculty or their department.

Departments can offer top master's prospective students who do not intend to complete a thesis a Professional Master's Fellowship. Each fellowship comes with a 6-credit tuition waiver to be used in the first two semesters of the student's masters degree program. The fellowship is for top masters prospective students who do not intend to complete a thesis and are not receiving other funding such as a GTA or GRA appointment, or staff tuition waivers.

These waivers will be either resident or non-resident depending on the recipient’s residency status and provide a 20% discount for a 30 credit master's. The fellowships are allocated proportionally to the current enrollment, for a total of ~ 30 fellowships.

Students may not apply for these awards. They must be nominated by faculty or their department.

Nominations for the University Fellowship (formerly known as the Meritorious Award),  for Fall 2024 are now closed. The purpose of this award is to attract outstanding new doctoral students and thus grow graduate student enrollment in alignment with the university’s academic strategic plan.

Each award is $5K/year for up to 5-years.

Students may not apply for these awards. They must be nominated by faculty or their department.

Nominations for the Mildred Livingston Presidential Award are now closedfor Fall 2024.The award is for new graduate students. Each award is $5K/year for up to 2-years.

Past McNair scholars can be nominated or apply for an an application fee waiver and/or tuition waiver  to be used at Montana State University.

Students may not apply for these awards. They must be nominated by faculty or their department.

Indigenous (Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian – U.S. Citizenship) graduate students pursuing degrees in STEM at MSU are eligible to apply for the scholarship program established by the A.P. Sloan Foundation

Please click on the link above or contact Dr. Barbara Komlos, [email protected], (406) 994-4206, for general information.

This funding is designed for faculty who work with graduate students.

The Graduate School will consider bridge tuition waiver requests when an investigator’s funded project has not been renewed and temporary support is needed to support an existing graduate student who was to be supported by the unfunded grant. Faculty who can submit a request for bridge tuition waivers must be productive researchers who are in-between grants. Bridge tuition waiver requests are not intended to support new projects, new graduate students, or to be used as match.

The Graduate School will evaluate the request as quickly as possible and notify the requesting faculty of the decision.

The Graduate School requests applications for PhD Start Awards for new PhD students for fall 2024. Each award will be for one semester and have a $10,500 stipend and includes tuition waivers.  The appointment will be as a GTA or GRA with an expected average of 19 hours of work per week. The PhD student must be starting as a new graduate student at MSU in fall 2024.

For more information, please click through to the PhD Start Awards informational page.  (note this program used to be known as the PhD Enhancement award, but the name changed to better reflect that it is to assist students at the start of their PhD).

Dean’s International Scholarship is a 1-credit tuition waiver applied to the first term. The waiver is only applied when the student is receiving no other funding from the university (including a GTA or GRA appointment). Students are eligible if they bring an international perspective to face-to-face graduate programs.  No application is required.