A fellowship or traineeship is an award to a graduate student that covers tuition partially, or fully, and also provides a stipend to help defray living expenses. A scholarship is an award that provides partial or full tuition. Most awards are made on the basis of merit, but in some circumstances can be based on financial need or in recognition of MIT’s commitment to inclusive excellence in our graduate programs. Awards are made only to individuals enrolled in a graduate degree program.

A full fellowship covers the full cost of a student’s education for a prescribed period of time, which includes tuition and a monthly stipend; many fellowships also pay for student health insurance. Unlike the teaching assistant or research assistant, the fellowship is not conditioned on performing teaching service or conducting research on a PI’s research project. Nevertheless, students should cultivate collaborations that further their academic research interests. For example, it is important for the student to foster a strong relationship with their advisor in order to develop an academic research project suitable for a thesis and to agree on degree milestones.

A partial fellowship covers some costs for the student. Often, the department supplements the partial fellowship with a research or teaching assistantship. In such cases, the student’s research or teaching obligations should be scaled proportionally by the department.

The Institute receives funds from individual donors and corporations for fellowships and scholarships. In addition, government agencies and foundations offer fellowships that they award either directly to outstanding students for use at institutions of their choice or, in a few cases, to institutions to administer on behalf of students.


Guidelines and rules of applying for financial awards


Expectations for students accepting financial awards

MEng considerations

Important considerations for students completing a Master of Engineering degree