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Financial Support for MFA Students

MFA in Writing students who enroll full-time, maintain good academic standing and make timely progress toward the degree are eligible for financial support.

Teaching Assistantships

Most MFA students fund their degrees by obtaining teaching assistantships with UCSD’s six college writing programs.The typical Writing Program TAship is for the nine-month academic year at 50% time. The TA works an average of 20 hours per week and earns a salary and partial fee remissions (refer to the table below). The TA may also earn teaching apprenticeship credit that can be used for the MFA degree.

NOTE: TA remissions do not cover nonresident supplemental tuition but tuition scholarships may be available. More information is available below and in the FAQ.

Fee Remissions and Salary for California Resident with 50% TAship for the 9-month Academic Year 
  Tuition/Fees for California Resident $5,478.21 $5,478.21 $5,478.21 $16,434.63
  Less: TA Tuition/Fees Remissions ($4,080.00) ($4,080.00) ($4,080.00) ($12,240.00)
  Less: TA Health Insurance Remission ($1,138.00) ($1,138.00) ($1,138.00) ($3,414.00)
BALANCE STUDENT PAYS $260.21 $260.21 $260.21 $780.63
INCOME (TA Salary) 6,426.50 6,426.50 6,426.50 19,279.50
Source: 2015/16 Full/Partial Fees Chart as of 7/14/15. Subject to change.

MFA Program Fellowships and Scholarships

The MFA Program awards a few fellowships to first-year students if funds are available. There is no application process; award decisions are made by the admissions committee at its discretion. Fellowship awards come with the stipulation that the recipient complete a project that benefits the department, such as editing a journal or assisting with the New Writing Series.

The program also gives tuition/fee scholarships to incoming and continuing students if funds are available. There is no application process; award decisions are made by the admissions committee or program director at their discretion. Scholarships may be awarded to cover the following:

  • Quarterly balance of tuition/fees not covered by TA remissions
  • Nonresident supplemental tuition for international students
  • Nonresident supplemental tuition for U.S. citizens or permanent residents (for student's first year only)

Nonresidents who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents must establish California residency during their first year in the program to avoid owing nonresident supplemental tuition during subsequent years. Under no circumstances will the program or UCSD pay nonresident tuition for a continuing student who is eligible to establish residency.

UCSD Fellowships

Applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents (or AB 540 qualified) and meet eligibility requirements should apply for the San Diego Fellowship or the Tribal Membership Initiative. The fellowships offer tuition/fee remissions and income similar to 50% TAships (see above) for the student's first two years in the MFA program. They also cover the supplemental nonresident tuition for the student's first year (the student must establish California residency during their first year in the program). 

The fellowship applications are embedded in the regular application for admission. See the MFA application tips for more information.

Other Support

MFA applicants may be eligible for financial aid in the form of loans. Applicants must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year to be considered for such aid. More information about financial aid, including timelines, eligibility requirements, packaging policies for graduate students, and the FAFSA is available from the Financial Aid Office.

Financial aid may be available to veterans and their families. Please refer to UCSD's Veterans Affairs Office for more information.


September 1, 2016
Application period opens

December 15, 2016
@ 11:59pm Pacific
Application period closes

February-March 2017
Decision notifications emailed

September 2017
Program begins

Contact the MFA

(858) 534-8849
Maps & Hours ]