Financial Assistance

UC Davis Graduate Studies has detailed information about possible sources of financial assistance available here:   

UC Davis Geography graduate students typically fund their education through a combination of sources, including:

  • University-Wide Fellowships: These are cross-campus competitive grants made annually to a limited number of exceptional students. Prospective students may apply for these as part of their application process.
  • Geography Graduate Group Program Grants:  These are fellowship funds in the form of a living allowance, and/or in-state tuition, and/or nonresident supplemental tuition that are allocated by the Geography program directly.  

  • Graduate Student Research (GSR) positions: Decisions about hiring students for research positions are made by individual faculty members.  Please be in touch with your advisors about possible research positions. 

  • Teaching Assistantships (TA): Geography graduate students are available for TA positions in all departments across campus. Decisions are made by the individual departments.  If you are interested in TA positions, please be in touch with Carrie Armstrong-Ruport, who can put you in touch with the proper people in departments relevant to your own areas of interest and expertise. 

  • Extramural funding: There is a wide range of general research grants, scholarships, fellowships and internships available to graduate students that are offered by a range of different agencies and organizations. Each has their own particular eligibility criteria and application process. We encourage you to actively pursue such opportunities.   UC Davis maintains a list of upcoming fellowship opportunities here:   UCLA has a particularly useful searchable database of extramural funding sources (including research grants, scholarships, fellowships and internships), called the Graduate and Post-Doctoral Extramural Support (GRAPES) Database, available here:

  • Financial Assistance: This is available only to US citizens, permanent residents or immigrants, is awarded based on demonstrated need, and is administered through the Financial Aid Office. Federal financial aid includes student loans, grants, and work-study funding. Details are available here:  Graduate students who are US citizens, permanent residents or immigrants are encouraged to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible, but no later than March 1. This form is used to determine financial need only. All domestic students are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The FAFSA is available online at

If you have questions about any of these funding sources, please be in touch with Carrie Armstrong-Ruport, Program Coordinator, at

The Tuition and Fees webpage with current 2014-15 estimates for UC Davis by program is also available at


GGG Emeritus Debbie Elliot-Fisk provides the following advice for students preparing their proposals for UC Davis Fellowships:  

Please realize this is from my personal experience only.

1. Good writing- a well-written proposal will get you a long ways, no matter
what your research objective or question is. Take the time to write, rewrite and
have someone else critique your proposal. Your proposal should be logically
structured with a short introduction to the problem and clear statement of
your research design/what you will do (philosophical approach, methods,
interpretation or analysis, possible significance of findings).

2. Clear statement of research objective - clearly state your research objective
or question up-front, in the first paragraph or even the first sentence of your
proposal. Do not hide this somewhere near the end of the proposal or end of the

3. Write your proposal (1) so it is clearly geographical and will be seen as such
by our GGG faculty on our internal review committee, and (2) so it can also
be understood by any faculty member on campus, whether from humanities,
social science, natural science, engineering, law or medicine. After the internal
view and ranking by our GGG admissions and fellowship committee, the
FELLOWSHIP applications/proposals go to Graduate Studies where they are
reviewed by faculty members from across campus. There will be a couple of
geographers on that large committee of 100 or more faculty, but most will be
from other disciplines.

4. Make your needs for financial support clear, and state their basis.

5. Make sure your letter writers get their letters submitted on your behalf and
can clearly speak to your research, your potential or promise/excellence as a
graduate student, and to your need for financial support.

All the best,
Debbie Elliott-Fisk