Affording Your Education

Graduate Costs, Scholarships & Financial Aid

We are committed to admitting the most talented and promising performing artists and scholars, regardless of financial means.

Graduate Cost of Attendance

Cost of Attendance includes:

  • Tuition & Fees
  • Room & Board
  • Books & Supplies
  • Personal/Miscellaneous Expenses

This budget assumes full-time attendance for two semesters. Find out more about U-M tuition and cost of attendance on the Office of Financial Aid website. Note that a distinction is made between those students who are regarded as Michigan residents and those who are not.

Merit-Based Scholarships

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. Students who meet all application and audition deadlines and are subsequently offered admission will automatically be considered for SMTD scholarships. There are no merit-based scholarships available for summer study or part-time study.

Notification of financial awards made through the School will be sent electronically beginning in March through early April. The deadline to respond to an SMTD admission and scholarship offer is April 15.

Although we are not able to offer scholarships to all admitted students, every year we assist as many as possible.

Graduate Student Fellowships/Assistantships

Nearly all DMA and PhD students receive full-tuition fellowships for full-time study. Most also receive health benefits and a stipend attached to a Graduate Student Assistantship, which can vary depending on the appointment fraction and corresponding duties.

In addition to the funding packages offered by SMTD, DMA, PhD, MA, and MFA students are also eligible to apply for a wide range of fellowships to fund research, travel, and performance.

A GSI (Graduate Student Instructor) is a graduate student employed in a teaching position at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. GSIs coordinate and teach some courses while assisting a faculty member. A GSI appointment provides students with a full or partial tuition waiver. Any graduate student in good academic standing is eligible for consideration.

Notification of financial awards made through the School will be sent electronically beginning in March through early April. The deadline to respond to an SMTD admission and scholarship offer is April 15.

Special Notes

  • Each student in a masters or specialist 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 the standard duration of the degree and are typically renewed annually assuming satisfactory progress and subject to any conditions stated at the time of the award. Standard durations are 2 years for masters study, 3 years for DMA study, and 5 years for PhD study.
  • 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 the students offered awards were judged to have greater merit. Graduate students who wish to appeal a decision concerning SMTD awards may do so through their Admissions Counselor.

Questions concerning graduate assistantships should be directed to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies & Research: 734-764-0590 or [email protected]. Questions regarding merit-based awards should be directed to the SMTD Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid: (734) 764-5904 or [email protected].

Need-Based Awards

SMTD strongly encourages all applicants to apply for need-based financial aid. Awards made on the basis of financial need are available through the Office of Financial Aid. 

To apply, complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible but no later than March 31. There is no cost to complete the FAFSA. The University of Michigan federal school code is 002325.

U.S. citizens and holders of permanent resident and immigrant visas 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.

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

Do I qualify for Michigan Residency?

Requirements for Michigan Residency are very specific, and residency determinations are exclusively made by the U-M Office of the Registrar (not SMTD). Please review the Residency Guidelines on the Registrar’s website to evaluate your specific situation.