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Impact x2 Qais

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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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With your help, students like Qais gain the skills they need to tell their story and give us a broader understanding of the world.

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Aid for Master’s Students

Some Graduate School departments offer merit-based financial aid to their Master’s students, including scholarships and stipends.  To inquire about availability, please contact the specific department directly.   Unfortunately, the Graduate School cannot offer need-based scholarships.

M-GRASP is a merit-based scholarship program for Master’s students conducting research through their department and receiving a full semester stipend.  Students are paid from specific grants, often administered by some of the natural science departments.   A scholarship to cover tuition and mandatory fees is awarded to eligible students.  Please note that M-GRASP is is a form of departmental aid, and there is no separate application process.  You may contact the department if you are interested in learning more about research opportunities for Master’s students.

M-Graduate Research Assistant Scholarship Program


Boston University Master’s and non-PhD students in good academic standing, receiving a full weekly salary from a federal, state, or private funding source (“dash 5″ grant). The grant or contract must carry the full on-campus Indirect Cost Rate (IDC) (or the 26% rate if the funded project is classified as off-campus) allowed by the funding agency.  Hourly paid students are not eligible.

Size of the Scholarship Award

Up to full tuition plus mandatory fees during any semester in which a full stipend (defined as equal to a Teaching Fellow stipend in the student’s department or school) is paid. Continuing Study Fees may be covered for those students paid at least one-half of the RA stipend/salary.

Program Management

The program is administered by the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS). All questions concerning eligibility, size of award, and funding source approvals should be addressed to that office.

Application Procedures

Academic departments of the Graduate School will be required to complete a Departmental Aid Recommendation Form (DARF). GRS will administer the scholarship and the stipend/salary (Unit 20 grants). The complete grant number, the amount of stipend, and Principle Investigator’s name must be present on the form for a request to be considered. Any change to an award must be made on a Financial Aid Award Change Form.

Other schools and colleges of the University are required to complete an M-Graduate Research Assistant Scholarship Program Form. GRS will administer the scholarship request for other schools; the stipend/salary payment is set up by the specific school (for non-unit 20 grants). All required information should be included on the form. The source number must also be complete: include unit, department, object code, and source number.

Note: Awards are made for an entire semester, academic year, or summer session. If a student’s RA salary level falls below the full stipend rate which is necessary to be considered for an M-GRASP scholarship for the academic year, then it may be possible to include summer earnings in the stipend total for consideration. When this method is used for approval, it will not be possible for the student to receive an M-GRASP scholarship for the summer session.


For GRS academic departments, requests should be received in the GRS Financial Aid Office no later than June 15 for academic year awards and no later than April 15 for summer awards. This deadline is to allow timely notification to students of their awards for billing purposes and settlement. In the event that grant funding is delayed, please notify GRS in writing so that it will be possible for our office to contact Student Accounting to settle the students without penalty.

For other schools and colleges of the University, requests should be submitted at least a week prior to the payment deadline each term. This will ensure processing in time for settlement. It is the school’s responsibility to contact Student Accounting Services to settle their students if grant funding is delayed; GRS cannot settle non-GRS students.

The African Studies Center has a limited amount of funding for graduate students in the form of Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships. For more information on FLAS Fellowships, please see the African Studies Center website.

In addition to departmental aid, the following options may help assist Master’s students in financing their graduate education: