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Financial Aid


There are several types of financial aid awarded by the department and the University on the basis of merit. Financial aid is typically offered to graduate students for five academic years. The Graduate Committee decides whether to renew a student’s support based upon his/her progress from year to year. For a first year student, progress will be determined from course grades and reports solicited by the Graduate Committee.  For this purpose, a GPA of 3.0 or lower is not considered adequate preparation for further study. Students are expected to pass the Preliminary Examination by September of the second year and the Qualifying Examination by the end of the first quarter of the third year.

Financial aid from Northwestern consists of a mixture of fellowships and graduate (teaching) assistantships.  A student with a non-English speaking background may be required to demonstrate fluency in spoken English before he or she can hold a graduate assistantship. Failure to do so may result in academic probation, loss of funding, and even exclusion from the program. See Graduate Assistantship for the precise requirements.

It is a policy of the Graduate School that teaching assistants and University Fellows may not undertake other employment without the prior permission of The Graduate School. This includes any stipend or fellowship at another institution opportunities. Such exceptions require explicit permission of the student’s adviser and the departmental graduate committee.

Residency During Fellowship

The department is required to certify that all graduate students on any fellowship are working full-time on mathematics research.  Therefore, we normally expect fellowship students to be in residence. Exceptions are possible for extraordinary opportunities. Such exceptions require explicit permission of the student’s advisor and the departmental graduate committee.

Outside Funding

We encourage students to apply for funding from outside sources during their study at Northwestern. Such outside funding will be banked for the student and can be used as fellowship quarters for a possible 6th Funding through the student’s advisor’s and the department’s grants is not considered as outside funding for this purpose. If any banked quarter accrues to the student as a result of such funding, it will be banked as a fellowship or teaching assistantship quarter, depending on the duties the funding replaced. According to TGS regulations, a student can bank at most four quarters from all funding sources not coming from TGS.

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