Financial Support

The method of awarding financial support proceeds separately from the admissions process. Admission to a graduate program does not guarantee financial support; an offer of financial support does not guarantee admission.

There are three basic sources of support:

  • Graduate School Fellowships. The Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowships and the Advanced Opportunity Program Fellowships are available for incoming students. Directions about applying for Graduate School Fellowships can be found at: Incoming students should apply for the fellowships by December 1st. The Department will nominate the candidates to the Graduate School after internal review.
  • Geography Graduate Assistantship (Teaching/Research Assistantships). All incoming students are automatically considered for departmental Graduate Assistantship if they applied for the Geography graduate program by December 1st. Therefore, no separate paperwork is necessary.
  • The Financial Aid Office for Loans and Work-study. More information about applying for financial aid can be found at: The Department of Geography is not involved in the process.

For further information on funding opportunities visit the Graduate School website below:

Graduate School Financial Aid Information
Teaching, Project and Research Assistantships
Graduate Assistantship Stipend Information
Graduate School Fellowships

Department Support

Graduate School fellowships and departmentally funded assistantships (teaching or project) count as departmental support. Consistent with the quality of the academic records of candidates for assistantships, available positions are allocated between newly entering graduate students and continuing graduate students each year. Continuing graduate students must be making satisfactory academic progress and adequately performing their assistantship duties to be considered in “good standing” for continued support. Masters candidates in good standing are eligible for two years of departmental financial support. Students admitted to the doctoral program with master’s degrees, in good standing, are eligible to receive four years of departmental support. Students directly admitted to the doctoral program (after their bachelor’s degree) are eligible for five years of departmental support, provided that they remain in good standing. Doctoral students who have reached dissertator status may be offered teaching assistantships beyond the above eligibility criteria as part of their professional development, based on departmental needs.

Besides the Teaching and Research Assistantships, the following types of financial support are available to both incoming and continuing graduate students:
  • Mary Jo Read Fellowship: The Mary Jo Read Geography Fund, with estimated assets of more than $1 million, provides merit-based fellowships and research travel grants to students who demonstrate academic excellence in the field. More details including types of awards and application forms are available at the Mary Jo Read Fellowship page.
  • Clinton Edwards Student Research Fund: created in 2007 to honor the legacy of former UW-Milwaukee Geography Professor Clinton R. Edwards, the fund provides support for graduate student field research expenses. Applications are invited and awards made annually by the Geography faculty.

Incoming students are automatically considered for funding if their applications arrive by Dec 1st. Continuing students seeking an assistantship or Mary Jo Read Fellowship for the next academic year should submit a Financial Support Form to the Department office by Dec 1st of the current calendar year.