Affording Graduate School

The College of Graduate Studies wants to see you succeed in your educational goals, and how to pay for graduate school is an important question to have answered. We want to make graduate school as affordable as possible for every budget. Below, you will find resources available for MTSU graduate students to potentially help with the cost of tuition and fees. 

What Does Graduate School Cost?


Graduate Financial Aid

Submit your FAFSA here.

Once you have applied for your chosen graduate program, your next step will be to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A FAFSA may be submitted at any time; you do not need to wait for your MTSU admission decision. The FAFSA must be completed each year in order to receive federal financial aid. If you are an incoming student, do this as your first financial aid step. Once you are admitted, you will receive emails from the MTSU Financial Aid Office to your MTmail account when it is time to reapply.

Information on how to complete a FAFSA may be found on the College of Graduate Studies website or through the Federal FAFSA website.

Graduate Assistantships

Student Application
Guidelines for the Appointment of Graduate Assistants
2021-2022 Service Calendar

General Information

A limited number of graduate administrative assistantships (GA), graduate teaching assistantships (GTA), and graduate research assistantships (GRA) are available each semester. Graduate assistantships provide a monthly stipend and a waiver for tuition. Out-of-state residents also receive a waiver for out-of-state fees.  All graduate programs have a set number of graduate assistantships available; and although the College of Graduate Studies is the final approving authority for all graduate assistants, each department is responsible for interviewing, selecting, and preparing the paperwork for each graduate assistant position in their department.

Persons interested in applying for a graduate assistantship should contact the individual department, not the College of Graduate Studies, as additional application materials and references may be required. Some departments may also have specific deadlines for assistantship applications. You may find these deadlines on the program's website and/or by contacting the department for additional information. 

Eligibility for an assistantship requires a student to be fully admitted into his/her desired program and have a current GPA, whether graduate or undergraduate, of 3.0 or higher. Graduate assistants must enroll in at least six (6) graduate credit hours per semester and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 at the master's level or 3.25 at the doctoral level. Note: Graduate assistantship applications may be completed at any time. If you are an incoming student, it may be helpful to complete an application prior to receiving your MTSU acceptance as this process may take effort on your part. 

Appointment of Graduate Assistants: University Policy 225

Overview for Students

The following information strives to give you a general overview of the graduate assistantship program at Middle Tennessee State University. 

If you are looking for a graduate assistantship, begin your search by contacting the program in which you are majoring, as they will provide experience most relatable to the skills you are learning and make the decision as to who is hired in their department.The College of Graduate Studies requires that in order for a graduate student to be eligible to hold an assistantship, they must first be fully admitted to a program (no conditional admission) and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher (whether graduate or undergraduate if you are just coming to graduate school). Keep in mind that these are the requirements for the College of Graduate Studies; each department may have additional requirements that you must also meet.

MTSU has three (3) types of assistantships: research, teaching, and administrative. Both master's and Ph.D. assistantships are offered. The master's assistantships are available for both nine (9) month and twelve (12) month contracts; however, the Ph.D. is only available as a twelve (12) month option. As a graduate assistant, students are given tuition remission at an in-state status, a percentage of their fees, and a modest monthly stipend.As a colleague, graduate assistants are also allowed to upgrade to a faculty/staff parking pass for a nominal fee at the Parking Services office. The specifics of the contract, award types, amounts, etc. will be discussed between the individual and the graduate assistant's department.

Graduate Teaching Assistantship Certification Program

The Graduate Teaching Assistantship Certificate Program is designed to provide Graduate Teaching Assistants with a structured experience that prepares them for classroom and laboratory teaching. The program allows you to develop and document your classroom teaching and teacher development activities, as well as, preparing you with several self-reflection and consultative feedback opportunities. It also provides several documents that can be included in your professional and teaching portfolio.

Students can learn more about this program here: Graduate Teaching Assistantship Certification Program.

Received a Graduate Assistantship? 

Once you have obtained a graduate assistantship, please fill out the Employee Limitation Form as you complete your contract paperwork.

Employment Opportunities

MTSU holds many employment opportunities across campus. If you are looking for a Graduate Assistantship position, read the information in the dropdown above and begin your inquiry by speaking with your graduate advisor or program director to see what is available in your field of study. If there are no available positions in your program, browse through the list below for potential openings and see if you meet the necessary employment qualifications. 


Graduate Assistantship   See your director for qualifications ALWAYS INQUIRE IN YOUR PROGRAM FIRST PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Graduate Assistantship   Website & Job Description Center for Asian Studies Mike Novak
Graduate Assistantship Filled through May 2022   Center for Educational Media Laura Clark
Graduate Assistantship - Administrative Filled until Fall 2022   Center for Student Involvement and Leadership Jackie Victory
Graduate Assistantship - Administrative     Charlie & Hazel Daniels Center for Veterans/Military Familes Elizabeth Wilburn
Graduate Assistantship - Research     Charlie & Hazel Daniels Center for Veterans/Military Familes Hilary Miller
Graduate Assistantship Filled until May 2023 Website Dyslexic Studies Erin Alexander
Graduate Assistantship Filled until Spring 2023 Job Description/Application Honors College Laura Clippard
Graduate Assistantship     Information Technology Division Albert Whittenberg
Graduate Assistantship  Position Filled Job Description; Program Info James E. Walker Library
Graduate Assistantship  Filled until Fall 2022 Job Description James E. Walker Library Jayme Brunson

Graduate Assistantship

Open Until March 25 Job Description University Writing Center Jim Hamby

Graduate Assistantship/Lab Assistant

  See website for information BAS University Lab Carlos Coronel

Academic Mentor/Academic Tutor

  Job Description Student Athlete Enhancement Center Wynnifred Counts

Phillips Bookstore 

  See website for information Phillips Bookstore (Barnes & Noble)  Application

Student Orientation Assistant (SOA)

  See website for information CUSTOMS Application

MT Dining Employment Opportunities

  See website for information MTSU Dining/Aramark Denise Montgomery

MTSU Employment Opportunities 

  See website for information Campus Employment Opportunities for Students Application

Housing Employment Opportunities

  See website for information MTSU Housing Office Housing Office

Library Employment Opportunities

  See website for information James E. Walker Library Jayme Brunson


MTSU Scholarships

There are several scholarships available for graduate students through the College of Graduate Studies. Below you will find information and guidelines for each scholarship.


Foundation Graduate Student Scholarship

Application Opens: February 1st
Application Deadline: April 1st

Apply Now

The MTSU Foundation Graduate Scholarship is established through the Senior Gift Program by graduating seniors of MTSU and for the purpose of providing scholarship support to graduate students at Middle Tennessee State University.  

Recipients are awarded the scholarship dollars for the upcoming fall semester.  In order to receive the scholarship dollars for the following spring semester, the recipient is expected to achieve a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in the previous fall semester.  Each scholarship is for up to one academic year (fall and spring semesters) and may not be renewed beyond the one year. 

Preference shall be given to students who participated in the Senior Gift Program before obtaining their undergraduate degree from MTSU.

To be eligible, the student must:

  • Be fully admitted as a graduate degree-seeking student at MTSU at the time of this application
  • Be enrolled in at least six credit hours for the semester the scholarship is awarded
  • Have an undergraduate degree from MTSU
  • Be a resident of Tennessee or Kentucky
  • Have an overall undergraduate gpa of 3.5 or greater
  • Be fully admitted as a graduate degree-seeking student
  • Submit a letter stating career intent
  • Submit a statement of financial need

Samuel H. Howard MBA Scholarship

Application Opens: February 1st
Application Deadline: April 1st

Apply Now

The Samuel H. Howard MBA Scholarship provides assistance to African American students.  Scholarship funds may be used for tuition or for the student to participate in the National Black MBA Association, in particular by funding convention attendance.

To be eligible, a student must
  • Be a fully admitted African American MBA degree-seeking student at MTSU at the time of this application
  • Be enrolled in graduate courses the semester the scholarship is awarded
  • Submit three letters of recommendation, attached as *.pdf files
  • Provide a statement of financial need
  • Provide a brief personal narrative supporting the application

Tammy Jones Memorial Scholarship

Application Opens: February 1st
Application Deadline: April 1st

Apply Now

The Tammy Jones Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to an incoming or current graduate student majoring in mathematics or vocal music at Middle Tennessee State University. This scholarship may be renewed for a maximum of one year.  Prior recipients must re-apply for consideration.

To be considered, a student must:

  • Be fully admitted as a mathematics or vocal music graduate degree-seeking student at MTSU  at the time of this application
  • Be enrolled in graduate courses the semester the scholarship is awarded
  • Provide a brief narrative supporting the application

Mary W. and Chester R. Martin Graduate Academic Scholarship

Application Opens: February 1st
Application Deadline: April 1st

Apply Now

The Mary W. and Chester R. Martin Graduate Academic Scholarship fosters academic scholarship and leadership.  This scholarship is awarded fall and spring semesters as a tuition grant.  This award is made for one semester only and is non-renewable.

To be eligible, a student must:
  • Be a first semester graduate student
  • Be fully admitted as a graduate degree-seeking student at MTSU at the time of this application
  • Be enrolled in at least nine credit hours for the semester the scholarship is awarded
  • Be a Tennessee or Kentucky resident
  • Have graduated from an accredited, undergraduate institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater
  • Attach three letters of reference. These letters should contain evidence that the applicant shows exceptional promise for academic excellence and leadership.  

Albert L. and Ethel Carver Smith Scholarship for Graduate Students

Application Opens: February 1st
Application Deadline: April 1st

Apply Now

The Albert L. and Ethel Carver Smith Memorial Scholarship is awarded the student's first semester and is renewable for one additional semester, contingent upon satisfactory academic progress.

To be eligible, the student must:
  • Be fully admitted as a graduate degree-seeking student at MTSU at the time of this application
  • Be enrolled in at least nine credit hours for the semester the scholarship is awarded
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA
  • Provide a statement of financial need
  • Provide a brief personal narrative supporting the application

Walton O. Warren Graduate Scholarship

Application Opens: February 1st
Application Deadline: April 1st

Apply Now

The Walton O. Warren Graduate Scholarship is awarded annually in an amount determined by the College of Graduate Studies Scholarship Committee and limited to the funds available in the spendable account.   

To be eligible, a student must:

  • Be fully admitted as a graduate degree-seeking student at MTSU at the time of this application
  • Be enrolled in graduate courses the semester the scholarship is awarded
  • Be a Tennessee resident
  • Have earned a Bachelor's degree
  • Have a minimum of four years of experience in the Tennessee public school system
  • Be planning a career in the public schools of Tennessee
  • Submit a personal narrative supporting the application
  • Include a letter of endorsement from a school principal, superintendent, or someone who is qualified in your district to verify employment. The endorsement should address:
    • Why you are deserving of the scholarship
    • How the award would contribute to your professional development
    • How your school will benefit if the award is granted

College of Graduate Studies Access and Diversity Scholarship

Application Opens: March 21st
Application Deadline: April 15th

Apply Now

MTSU values the richness of learning opportunities brought to our campus through diversity in our student body. To demonstrate that commitment and to encourage the enrollment of students from populations underrepresented at MTSU, scholarships are offered to students who contribute to the creation and education of a diverse student body.

CGS Access and Diversity Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, diversity, and financial need. These scholarships are awarded for one academic year only; students must reapply each year to be considered. 

Awards vary and are dependent on available funds. Prior applicants must reapply for consideration.

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered:

  • Enrollment: The student must be fully admitted as an MTSU Graduate student and in either part-time or full-time hours. Both domestic and international students are permitted to apply.
  • Diversity: MTSU campus is a rich blend of students from a variety of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds that bring with them a diverse array of life experiences. For the purpose of these scholarships, diversity is considered to include, but is not limited to, any of the following:
    • Disability status
    • First-generation college students
    • Gender identity/expression
    • Non-traditional students
    • Personal hardships
    • Race or ethnicity
    • Sexual orientation
    • Special gifts or talents
    • Veteran status

Application Requirements:

  • Complete Prompt Questions: All applicants must complete five short answer questions that describe the student’s career interests and why graduate school is important to their success (3-5 sentences each).
  • Intended Course Load: Applicants must provide a statement of intent to enroll for the fall semester.

Academic Common Market

Academic Common Market Application

It Pays to Be Unique!

You may qualify for in-state tuition at MTSU if you are enrolled in an academic major not offered in your home state.

Overview and Eligibility

The Academic Common Market (ACM) is a tuition savings program which allows residents of participating states to qualify for in-state tuition for unique academic majors not offered in their home state. The ACM is coordinated by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

Who is eligible?

You must be a resident of a member state of the SREB to qualify for the ACM:


South Carolina
West Virginia

*Florida and Texas participate in the ACM at the graduate level only.
North Carolina does not currently participate in ACM at any level.

Which programs are approved for the ACM?

Many MTSU programs are already approved for ACM - you can find a list of programs by state here. Other programs may be eligible for approval if they are not currently offered in your home state.

Regional Scholars Program

The MTSU Regional Scholars Program allows select non-Tennessee resident students who live within approximately 250 miles to attend MTSU at a reduced rate. 

In order to qualify the student must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a documented permanent residence located in a county within a 250 mile radius of MTSU.
  • Include new and returning students living anywhere within the eight states bordering Tennessee (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia).

Students who qualify will receive:

  • A reduced tuition rate equal to approximately 48% off the standard out of state rate.
  • Certain students may be eligible for the Academic Common Market Program which offers instate rates.  Check out the dropdown box above for more details about the ACM.

Eligible States








North Carolina




South Carolina




Contact the College of Graduate Studies at for more information.             

Aid From Other Sources

Departmental Funding

  • Womack Educational Leadership Department and
  • Professional Counseling Program
    • Graduate Assistantship Opportunities here

Other Sources

  • Minority Teaching Fellows Program
    •  The Minority Teaching Fellows Program is intended to encourage talented minority Tennesseans to enter the teaching field in Tennessee. The award is $5,000 per year for students who pursue a teacher certification at an eligible Tennessee college or university.
  • Military Benefits 
    • The Daniels Center at MTSU helps military students and their families find potential financial aid resources and file the appropriate paperwork.
  • Fee Waivers and Tuition Reimbursement
    • Many workplaces offer funding opportunities for their staff to pursue their educational goals either through tuition reimbursement, a waiver for fees, or through other means. Talk to your Human Resources department to discuss options to fund your education. Please submit your waiver to the MT One Stop.
    • MTSU Tuition Forms for Employees, their spouses, and dependents. 
  • Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP)
    • The ORSP may be able to provide funding opportunities for those working to enhance their research opportunities. 
  • STEM Graduate Opportunities
    • This website contains information on scholarships, competition awards, fellowships, internships, conference presentations, etc. from different agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF),  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Homeland Secruity, Smithsonian Institution, Department of Transportation (DoT), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
  • American Indian Graduate Center
    • Offer scholarships and fellowships to fund graduate and professional degrees.
  • Graduate Student Travel Funding
    • Students may receive funding for academic travel as funds allow. Students must have an approved travel application before traveling for funding to be applicable. 
  • CGS Emergency Micro Grant
    • The College of Graduate Studies Emergency Micro Grant is designed to provide assistance to active students by covering a limited, time-sensitive, unexpected, emergency financial hardship associated with their education. This emergency micro grant is not intended to cover expected expenses routine to a student's everyday life or be a first line of defense. A student may be awarded up to $500 once during their tenure at MTSU. Students are encouraged to contact their academic college's dean's office regarding an emergency micro grant before completing the CGS Emergency Micro Grant Application. 

      To be eligible, a student must: 

      • Be currently enrolled as a student in the College of Graduate Studies at MTSU
      • Be in academic good standing
      • Have a minimum of a 3.0 overall cumulative GPA at the time of the request
      • Have demonstrated a good faith effort to explore other funding options
      • Establish an expressed need that is not a result of the student's own actions
      • Provide supporting documents of this need
      • Have a need based on an unexpected, limited, time-sensitive, emergency situation, not to exceed the limits of grant funding
      • Not currently be on financial aid warning, probation, or suspension

      Possible Student Emergency Expenses Covered:

      • Essential course books or materials
      • Replacement of essential personal belongings due to natural disaster, fire, theft, or other unforeseen circumstances
      • One-time/non-recurring medical expenses that would be fully expunged with microgrant funds
      • Emergency expenses related to dependents

      Student Expenses NOT Covered:

      • Tuition and student fees
      • Continuous fixed expenses
      • Non-essential utilities
      • Household furniture unrelated to damage or theft
      • Study Abroad costs
      • Parking tickets
      • Entertainment, recreational, non-emergency travel costs
      • Other expenses that are not limited, time-sensitive, unexpected, emergency needs
      • Costs that exceed what the micro grant can rectify

Fee Installment Plan

Installment Plan Information

MTSU understands that funds arrive differently for each individual. In order to help students as much as possible, MTSU offers an installment plan for tuition, available during the Spring and Fall semesters. This may be helpful even if you are using financial aid for tuition and fees.  


  • The total balance you owe must be at least $400 after all discounts, financial aid, and other credits have been applied to your account
  • Pay 25% of the registration fees, dorm rent, and meal plan costs by the fee payment deadline
  • Prior term charges and non-deferrable charges must be paid in addition to the 25% payment.


After making the initial 25% payment by the fee payment deadline, the remaining 75% will be payable in three monthly installments. For the fall term, installment payments are due on September 30, October 31 and November 30. Please note that the university is not obligated to send reminder notices before the payment is due.

Participants in this plan must apply all discounts, waivers, third party sponsor payments (such as employer and pre-paid tuition programs) and financial aid, including student loans, toward payment of registration fees before a payment plan will be considered. Financial Aid and other credits received after the initial payment will be applied to the remaining balance, and future amounts due will be recomputed. No refunds can be made until all fees are paid in full.

To learn all the terms and conditions for using the MTSU Installment Plan, click the "Installment Plan Information" button above. Contact the MT One Stop with questions.


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