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Scholarships & Financial Aid

Merit-Based Awards

Graduate Student Fellowships

Graduate Student Assistants/Instructors

Special Notes

Need-Based Awards



Merit-Based Scholarships

Awards available through the SMTD are made primarily on the basis of merit and consist of graduate student fellowships and assistantships. Merit-based scholarships are offered to full-time students only and are not available for summer study.

To be considered for a merit-based scholarship, all application materials must be submitted by the deadline; in most cases this deadline is December 1. The audition/interview must be completed no later than the end of February. Students who meet all application and audition deadlines, and who are subsequently offered admission, will automatically be considered for SMTD merit-based awards.

Official offers of assistantships and/or fellowships are made in writing by the Associate Deans; other discussions of possible assistance are not binding.  The deadline to respond to an offer is April 15.

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Graduate Student Fellowships

Fellowships for master's and specialist students typically range in size from $6,000 to full tuition. A few awards in some academic areas provide additional stipends of up to $12,000. Approximately 40 to 45 percent of master's and specialist students enrolled typically receive some form of fellowship or teaching assistantship, but many students find it necessary to seek need-based aid or to rely on savings or other sources of income.


Graduate Student Assistantships/Instructorships

Graduate Student Assistant (GSA) appointments vary widely in fractional size.  A GSA with a 25% appointment, which requires 10 hours of work per week, receives a full tuition waiver, health benefits, and an annual stipend of $9,675 (at 2015-16 rates). A GSA with a smaller appointment fraction receives a proportionally smaller stipend.

All notifications of financial awards made through the School will be sent electronically beginning in March through early April.

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Special Notes
  • Each student in a master’s or specialist's program in music who receives a fellowship through the School and elects performance lessons is required to perform in a major ensemble of the School unless waived (through petition) by the Associate Dean.
  • Financial awards are made for one year and are typically renewed annually, through the second year of master’s study or the third year of doctoral study subject to the conditions stated at the time of the award.
  • Although financial awards made by the School are based primarily on merit, other considerations may include the need for balanced instrumentation, the competition in the student’s field from other institutions, and the availability of graduate student assistantships in the student’s department. When a student does not receive an award it is normally because insufficient funds are available and because those students offered awards were judged to have greater merit.

Questions concerning graduate merit-based awards should be directed to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: 734-764-2516


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Need-Based Awards

The SMTD strongly encourages all applicants to apply for need-based financial aid. U.S. citizens and permanent residents enrolled full-time in graduate degree programs are eligible for the Federal College Work-Study (CWS) program and the Federal Direct Loan (both subsidized and unsubsidized) programs.

Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1 but no later than March 15 to be considered for all eligible aid programs. Use UM's Federal School Code: 002325. The FAFSA is available online at and there is no cost. 

Questions concerning need-based awards should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid at 734-763-6600 or by email:


U-M Office of Financial Aid
2011 Student Activities Building
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1316
Phone: 734-763-6600



Percussion/Gramley Kennedy Center 08 Violin and PianoCollage Choir 2008

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower