Financial Information

Graduate students in Mechanical Engineering receive financial support from several different sources including  assistantships, tuition waivers, scholarships and financial aid.


Assistantships are paid appointments awarded on a semester or annual basis to qualified graduate students. Assistantships are highly sought after because of the number of benefits it can provide such as relevant research/work experience, expansion of networks, flexible schedule, and financial assistance.

Assistantship CategoriesHow to Apply
Teaching Assistants (TA’s)

Teaching assistants work in various capacities, as lab TA’s, course TA’s and graders. TA’s work closely with faculty to make sure that the students are getting the most out of the lab or course.

  • Lab TA’s are typically responsible for all aspects of laboratory sections associated with certain undergraduate courses. Duties may include:
    • Setting up experiments
    • Conducting lectures to undergraduate students on particular experiments
    • Supervising undergraduate students during the data acquisition phase of experiments
    • Holding office hours
    • Grading lab reports.
  • Course TA’s typically assist with course instruction. Duties may include:
    • Conducting problem sessions
    • Occasional lecturing
    • Grading student homework and projects
  • Graders have limited interaction with undergraduate students and are primarily responsible for grading homework assignments.
Research Assistants (RA’s)

RA’s are paid from grant funds to do research under the direction of a professor. Availability of research funds varies from semester to semester and new graduate students are strongly encouraged to discuss potential research areas with members of the faculty involved in areas of the student’s interest.

Graduate Assistants (GA’s)

GA’s also work on research under the direction of a professor, but instead of being paid from a grant are paid from start-up funds. GA’s do the same work as RA’s and are paid the same amounts, but are not eligible for subsidized health insurance.

Graduate Fellows (GF’s)

GF’s are doctoral students conducting research under the direction of a professor (faculty advisor) of their choice, unless specified by the grant. Graduate fellows function similarly to graduate assistants with more flexibility to select a faculty advisor and research project.

  1. You must be admitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program. Please visit the admissions page to view the application requirements and deadlines.
  2. All newly admitted students and current students may apply for Teaching Assistant positions through the department’s TA application. Please review a description of the TA responsibilities prior to applying.
  3. If hired, meet with Sheila Olson to ensure your hiring/payroll information is in order.
  4. All hired International Students must register for the International Teaching Assistantship workshop by contacting the Graduate Advisor at with your name, student I.D., course you have been hired for and the name of the hiring faculty member.

Tuition Benefit Program

Students who are hired for an assistantship position (i.e., TA, RA, GA, GF) are eligible for a tuition waiver from the Graduate School. The tuition waiver is determined according to the stipend amount a student is offered for a semester (see the Graduate School’s Tuition Benefit Chart for rates). Students on tuition benefit receive resident tuition. Tuition benefit is not granted to students receiving less than $3,000 of support for the semester. The required minimum support level is annually indexed to general salary increases to prevent gradual erosion of established graduate student salaries and stipends. TBP does not cover differential tuition, audited classes, undergraduate classes or CR/NC classes. See the Graduate School’s Website for further details.

Fellowships & Scholarships

Selection Criteria is based on GRE scores, references, and academic achievement. Applicants must be U.S. citizens to be eligible for the following fellowships. Please complete your application for admission by January 15. Please check the deadlines for each fellowship, as some may have deadlines that are even earlier than the department deadline. Scholarship Bulletin

Kingston Energy Scholarship

There are two $3,500 scholarship awards available for graduate students; the following criteria will be used:

  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • Interest in an energy-related career
  • A minimum GPA of 3.5

Required Documentation:

  • Résumé
  • Faculty reference letter
  • Letter of intent/personal statement
Alumni Legacy Scholarship

Available to undergraduate, graduate, transfer, and incoming freshmen who have at least one parent who graduated from the University of Utah and whose parent or grandparent holds a current dues-paying membership in the Alumni Association. For more information visit the Alumni Association Scholarships page.

Emergency Aid & Loans

Magdiel Student Financial Relief Fund

Available to: If you are a student nearing completion of your mechanical engineering program and experiencing a significant or unforeseen financial hardship, the Magdiel Financial Relief Fund may be able to help you with grants aimed at enabling you to complete your degree. GPA is not a factor to receive assistance from the fund, and grants may be renewable based on need and available funds.

Please complete and submit the Application. Preference is given to tuition and those nearest to graduating. Once submitted you will be contacted via email regarding the status of your application. Applications for financial relief are accepted year-round, however decisions are made the first week of class and funds are limited.

The application deadlines are August 6 and December 1.

Provided by: John and Barbara Magdiel
Duration: One academic year
Value: Amount Varies
Number of awards: Based on need and available funds

Ross-Dauncey Student Loan Endowment Fund

The Ross-Dauncey Student Loan has been put in place to help Mechanical Engineering Students by providing an interest free (up to ten years) loan to help pay for school. This loan is based loosely on need meaning applicants will need to have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Successful applicants will also need to complete a Truth and Lending Form (available in 105 SSB).
Apply online

Duration: One academic year (renewable)
Value: Starts at $3,000
Number of awards: Varies
Application Deadline is: August 6 & December 1

Likelihood of Support

Preference is given to PhD students, and then MS Thesis students. All other graduate students are then considered for funding. Most financial aid and fellowships are awarded for fall semesters and typically carry over to the spring semesters. Support Enrollment Form

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Eligible students who are not provided any funding are encouraged to submit a FAFSA application to be considered for federal loans.  Federal loans are student aid funds that you must repay with interest. For more information about the FAFSA process, please visit the U of U Financial Aid website. A student must meet the following criteria in order to be considered eligible for Federal Financial Aid:

  • Be admitted to the University of Utah as a degree-seeking student.
  • Be enrolled for the minimum number of credit hours indicated by the specific award.
  • Maintain the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if applicable.
  • Not owe a repayment of any Federal Aid to a school previously attended.
  • Not be in default on a Federal Student Loan.

Additional misc. scholarship and fellowship opportunities can be found at national sites supporting your research area, i.e., NASA, NSF, NIH, ASME, ASSE and likewise.