Many scholarships and awards are available through the College of Engineering Scholarship Program. Students can apply to the majority of these engineering scholarships by downloading forms from this link or by completing an application available in room 123 Science and Engineering Offices (SEO.) In addition to the Scholarship Program, the College of Engineering has available Scholarships of upto $5,000 that are available to Freshman Women in Engineering, through the Unger Scholarship Program. To be considered for one of these, you must be nominated by a High School Counselor. In order to qualify to apply for Engineering Scholarships, in general, students need to meet the following requirements:
- Students must be admitted to the College of Engineering
- Students must have completed at least 30 semester hours of coursework of which 13 semester hours must be at UIC
- Students must have an earned grade point average of at least 3.00 (A=4.00)
*Some scholarships have eligibility requirements in addition to the ones listed.
Research and Teaching Assistantships
There are three forms of financial aid: Fellowships, Assistantships (Research and Teaching) and Tuition-and-Fee Waivers. Research assistantships are assigned by a particular faculty member from their own research funding on an individual basis, and are generally given to students of longer tenure who are more disposed to perform in-depth research. Teaching assistants normally aid professors in large courses by handling laboratory and discussion sections and grading papers. The Graduate Secretary distributes forms at the beginning of each semester for those students who wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship and/or a tuition and fee waiver for the upcoming semester. A sample TA Application form is given in Appendix 5. With rare exceptions, students can hold a teaching assistantship for no more than four semesters.
The criteria for assigning teaching assistantships are as follows:
- Teaching assistants are expected to be competent in the course to which they are assigned. This is generally based on their academic qualifications.
- In selecting the assignment of teaching assistants, the department asks the selected T.A.'s to express their preference for courses they would like to teach. This is done through the above-mentioned letter of application. The department makes every effort to make the assignments according to these preferences.
- The ability to communicate well is especially important in laboratory and discussion courses, so every attempt is made to assign only students with above average communication skills to such courses. International TA’s are required to pass a test for oral English proficiency (the “SPEAK” test) administered by the English department (Barbara Boockmeier, 312-413-2235, firstname.lastname@example.org). The SPEAK test is given during the two weeks preceding the fall semester and at other times during the year.
- The department evaluates T.A. performance on a semester basis and continuation of the assignment is contingent upon satisfactory results in such evaluations. Assistantships are normally granted at the level of 50%, which is considered “full support.” That is, the student in theory allots 50% of a work week (20 hours) to the assignment. (Attending classes in theory accounts for the other 50% of time.) Incoming students supported by TAs must take at least three classes within the chemical engineering department for each of their first two semesters, unless no suitable courses are offered, or their assistantship will be withdrawn. The DGS must be petitioned by the student and their advisor for any exception to this rule. Receipt of a 50% TA or RA includes tuition and fee remission, and the tuition and fee waiver will continue through the summer even if the Assistantship does not, as long as a TA or RA has been received in the spring semester of the preceding academic year.
Tuition and Fee Waivers
Waivers are awarded by the Graduate College, not by the Department. As with University Fellowships, the competition is University-wide. The Department submits names of students (the number not to exceed 10% of total graduate student enrollment) who are unlikely to receive another form of financial aid. It has been this Department's experience that no more than two or three students are initially awarded waivers and perhaps one more student may receive a waiver sometime later in the year. As mentioned above, if an assistantship has been received in the spring semester, a waiver will carry through the summer. Students given tuition and fee waivers, including teaching and research assistantships, must register for at least 8 hours of credit during the fall and spring semesters, and three hours during the summer semester. The Graduate Committee continuously reviews the record and progress of every graduate student. All appointments are conditional on satisfactory performance.
National, State, and University Fellowships
Graduate fellowships are awarded both to incoming students, as a recruiting tool, and to encourage outstanding continuing students to pursue Ph. D. research. They are awarded by the Graduate College (not by the Department), or by other agencies outside the University. Fellowship applications have periodic deadlines and are filled out in concert with the student’s research advisor and the DGS. A student can apply to any Fellowship for which the conditions are met; if more than the allotted numbers of applications are received for a particular fellowship, the Graduate Committee decides which are sent in. A general calendar of currently available fellowships and their approximate monthly deadlines are listed in the table below:
College of Engineering Scholarships– Continuing UIC undergraduate students
Office of Special Scholarship Programs– Current UIC undergraduate and professional school students
Office of Student Financial Aid– Current UIC undergraduate and professional school students
Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA)– Continuing UIC Undergraduate students