Opportunities for Graduate Study

Are you seeking funding for your graduate education? Graduate students should be thinking about all of these opportunities early in their academic career. It’s never too early to search for appropriate funding.

On this page:

Step 1: Commit to the process

Even students with internal awards or funding that requires a work commitment, should find and apply for additional external awards. Why would you do that if you’re already funded? Because these awards free you up to do your own research and it is an external recognition of your scholarly excellence and promise. Winning small awards sets you up to win bigger awards.

Although it takes intense effort to submit a strong application, the sooner you know how to present your work to an external audience the better. Most graduate students will go onto careers that require finding funding for your research or potentially putting together proposals.

Step 2: Attend a workshop

We recommend you attend workshops offered by the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships. Workshops are presented throughout the semester, and can be general in nature; specific to individuals in science, technology, engineering or mathematical fields; or focus on international opportunities.

Award-Specific Workshops

Each spring the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships offers a series of workshops targeted to two major awards: (1.) the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and (2.) the Fulbright program.

Over the course of four sessions graduate students learn specifics about these awards, how to apply and then they begin writing significant segments of the award.

During the winter session and one week before the fall semester begins, we offer a three-day boot camp where students learn how to find funding, create a list of potential fellowships and scholarships to apply to, and begin to write with help from consultants from UB's Center of Excellence in Writing.

Step 3: Find funding

There are many tools at your disposal to find funding. First, take a look at the list of major awards, below. This is not a comprehensive list, rather it is comprised of some of the most applied for, and prestigious, awards.

Note that some awards allow the student to apply directly, while others require nomination by the university. Opportunities that require an institutional nomination are marked by an asterisk (*)

Be sure to search for funding through multiple lenses (graduate student, discipline-specific, gender, non-traditional, dissertation, international, etc.). Funding can be very broad or very specific.

Featured Internal Awards

Internal awards are awards that are offered by your academic department, college or university. The University at Buffalo offers many in-house scholarships to enhance a student's education. Many degree programs have their own scholarship funds. Please contact your academic department for more information on departmental opportunities.

Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program

The Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship is a graduate fellowship program for eligible underrepresented students who will pursue graduate study on a full-time basis at the University at Buffalo. The Schomburg Fellowship Program is administered by the Graduate School and is funded by the SUNY Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Schomburg Fellowship funds are awarded in block grants to academic units, which then determine individual award recipients.

Eligibility Criteria: The Schomburg Fellowship Program is intended to support the recruitment and retention of high achieving doctoral and professional students in pursuit of terminal degrees. Only in exceptional cases may master’s students who meet all eligibility requirements for this program be selected for funding. Recipients of Schomburg Fellowships must be new to the degree program; however, students who have previously earned a master’s degree or who are currently enrolled in a master’s degree program and are applying to transition into a doctoral program are eligible to receive a Schomburg Fellowship.

The State University of New York offers these graduate fellowships to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who can demonstrate that they would contribute to the diversity of the student body of the university, especially those who have overcome a disadvantage or other impediment to success in higher education. In awarding these fellowships, academic units may give consideration to students who are of a race or ethnicity that is underrepresented in its graduate or professional programs but may not make awards solely on that basis.  Students must be planning to enroll full-time during the award period and must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.

How to Apply: Each school or college has an internal admissions and selection process. Please contact your academic department for more information.

Campus Liaison: Elizabeth Colucci

Clifford C. Furnas Scholar-Athlete Award*

This scholarship requires institutional nomination and cannot be applied to directly.

The Clifford C. Furnas Scholar-Athlete Award (Furnas Award) was established by Clifford C. Furnas, the first President of the University at Buffalo. The award was created to recognize students with outstanding undergraduate performance in both athletics and academics, who demonstrate pronounced leadership and who promise to continue such success through graduate or professional education. Recipients of the Furnas Award are announced during the spring semester.

The Furnas Award recipients receive funding to support up to four consecutive semesters of uninterrupted full-time graduate study. Award winners have up to three years after the award is announced to begin using the award.

Eligibility Criteria: All nominees must be nominated by a coach and meet the following criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • Currently in fourth year of study (either graduating with a bachelors degree or be in the fourth year of a 3-2 program).
  • Nominees in 3-2 programs must be committed to an additional graduate degree, following the completion of the 3-2 program.
  • Nominees must be committed to continuing their education through full-time graduate study.

How to Apply: Students cannot apply, they must be nominated by a coach.

Campus Liaison: Sue Adinolfe

Graduate Opportunity Program (GOP)

The Graduate Opportunity Program provides tuition assistance to EOP, HEOP and SEEK graduates undertaking graduate study at a participating SUNY Institutions. The University at Buffalo is a participating institution.

Campus Deadline: June 1, 2017

Eligibility Criteria:

  • To be eligible to apply for GOP assistance, a student must have received funding through a certified New York State EOP, HEOP or SEEK program as an undergraduate and must be accepted into a graduate degree program at UB as a full-time student.

How to Apply:

  1. Complete the online GOP Application.
  2. Complete the GOP Certification form and obtain the required verification from the director of the EOP/HEOP/SEEK program at your undergraduate institution.
  3. Return the GOP Certification form with required signatures to the Graduate School, 409 Capen Hall, Buffalo, NY 14261, or by fax to 716-645-6142

Selection Process: Applications are reviewed by UB committee and tuition scholarships are awarded based on a combination of distribution of awards across disciplines at UB and the student’s academic merit.

Campus Liaison: Elizabeth Colucci

Additional Resources: State funding to UB for GOP is extremely limited. Awards are not guaranteed for all who apply. If there is not enough funding for all applicants, scholarships are awarded based on distribution of awards across academic disciplines at UB and the student’s previous academic record. Decisions will be made in mid-July; awardees will be notified by email.

Funding Limits

  • GOP tuition scholarships are awarded at the standard in-state graduate tuition rate ($5,435 per semester as of AY 2016-2017). The student is responsible for any tuition cost in excess of that amount, as well as for the student fees associated with enrollment.
  • Funding is provided only for the minimum number of credit hours required to complete a degree program. Master’s students may be considered for up to four semesters of funding; professional students (PharmD, JD, DPT) for up to six semesters; and doctoral students (PhD) for up to eight semesters. Funding is not provided for multiple degrees at the same level (e.g., two master’s degrees), for stand-alone certificate programs or for part-time students.
  • To maintain a GOP award, students must continue to register full-time (or be certified full-time), obtain a 3.0 GPA each semester and complete classes in a timely manner. Failure to meet these requirements could result in termination of a student’s award.

Graduate Tuition Scholarship

Graduate tuition scholarships are awarded by an academic department/program, a college/school or a university administrative office. Master’s students are eligible to receive as many as four semesters of tuition scholarship support. Doctoral students may receive as many as eight semesters of tuition scholarship support, including any such scholarships received while enrolled in a master’s program.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • A nominee must be a new applicant to a PhD program and must be appointed as a full teaching, graduate or research assistant.

Nominees must also meet at least one of the following academic criteria upon admission:

  • A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.40 or higher; or
  • A combined score of 1,270 or higher on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the “old” GRE General Test (the version offered prior to August 1, 2011) and a score of 4.5 or higher on the Analytical Writing component of that test; or
  • A combined score of 313 or higher on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the revised/new version of the GRE General Test (that was introduced world-wide on August 1, 2011) and a score of 4.5 or higher on the Analytical Writing component of that test; or
  • A score on the relevant GRE Subject Test that is at, or above, 75th percentile for that test’s administration.

Additional Resources:

For more information about the Presidential Fellowship, please contact your academic department.

Presidential Fellowships

The UB Presidential Fellowship Program is aimed at enhancing UB’s competitiveness in recruiting outstanding graduate students. To be eligible, a nominee must be a new applicant to a PhD program and must be appointed as a full teaching, graduate or research assistant. Nominees must also meet at least one of the following academic criteria upon admission:

  • A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.40 or higher; OR
  • A combined score of 1,270 or higher on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the “old” GRE General Test (the version offered prior to August 1, 2011) and a score of 4.5 or higher on the Analytical Writing component of that test; OR
  • A combined score of 313 or higher on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the revised/new version of the GRE General Test (that was introduced world-wide on August 1, 2011) and a score of 4.5 or higher on the Analytical Writing component of that test; OR
  • A score on the relevant GRE Subject Test that is at, or above, 75th percentile for that test’s administration

For more information about the Presidential Fellowship, please contact your academic department.

Step 4: Stay connected

Stay connected to the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships. We often share information about internal and external awards on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We also encourage you to “follow” funding agencies on social media, as appropriate (NSF, Fulbright, Woodrow Wilson, etc.).

Step 5: Seek support

The staff in the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships is here to provide you with guidance and support as you apply for awards. If you are interested in international awards (Fulbright, Critical Language, Boren, DAAD) please schedule an appointment with Megan Stewart. For assistance with STEM awards and all other awards, please schedule an appointment Elizabeth Colucci.

The Center for Excellence in Writing also provides support for graduate students as they apply for awards.