Merit-Based Aid

The IR Department is pleased to be able to offer each year approximately 15 half-tuition merit-based awards, called Graduate Assistantships. As a component of the award, each student is assigned as a Graduate Assistant to a professor in the department who shares the student’s area of interest.  Students assist this professor with research and other responsibilities for roughly 10-12 hours per week (excluding exam weeks and holidays such as winter and spring break).  This arrangement enables students to have the experience of working closely under the supervision of a faculty member and to have the opportunity to form a lasting relationship with that faculty member. Each semester, students receive $1,700 of their award as a weekly stipend; the rest of the aid award is applied directly to the student’s tuition.

These awards are based on the application for admission.  Consideration for IR Department aid does not require any additional documentation. Applicants should Simply indicate ‘yes’ on the application when asked if they wish to be considered for financial aid. In order to be considered for an award, students do need to meet an earlier application deadline of January 15, rather than April 15, when applying for Fall Semester admission. Students applying for Spring Semester admission can submit their application and supporting materials by the usual October 15 deadline.

Graduate Assistantships are awarded on an annual basis. Students in multi-year programs who receive an award for their first year will normally have their aid renewed for the following year, contingent upon their academic record and their performance as a Graduate Assistant during their first year.  Should a student fail to succeed academically or fail to perform required Graduate Assistantship responsibilities in a satisfactory manner, the award may be revoked at any time.

In order to receive merit-based aid from the department, a student must maintain a full-time course load of no less than 16 graduate credits per semester. Exception: Students in the final semester of coursework who have only three classes remaining for their degree program may receive the scholarship while taking only three classes (12 graduate credits). The IR Department does not normally award aid to students who have completed their coursework and are working on their MA Paper.

At this time, we are unfortunately not able to offer any full-tuition scholarships. Additionally, because Teaching Fellow positions (often called Teaching Assistants at other universities) at Boston University are normally reserved for PhD students, we are not able to offer Teaching Fellowships to our students.

Final decisions on aid offers can take a long time.  Please be patient.  For more information on the aid offer process, please read here.

Note:  Students in the dual-degree IR/MBA and IRJD programs receive aid through the Graduate School of Management and the Law School, not through the IR Department, and therefore are not eligible for award described above.  Students at the Brussels campus are also not eligible for this award; contact the Brussels staff regarding financial assistance.

African Studies Center

The African Studies Center at Boston University has merit-based aid available for well qualified students who have an interest in African Studies. Applicants interested in this possibility should check the information here or contact the African Studies Center at 617-353-3673 for details.  If you wish to be considered for a scholarship from the African Studies Center, you must inform the IR Department of that via email when you submit your application.