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Master of Arts in International Relations

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Overview of Financial Support

Dean's Merit Awards

Irving Salomon Awards

Other Scholarships

Federal Financial Aid

FAQ on Financial Aid

Overview of Financial Support

The USD MAIR degree requires 30 units of coursework.  Tuition for the 2014-15 academic year is 1335 dollars per unit, so the total degree nominal cost is slightly under 40,000 dollars. 

USD automatically offers a 15 percent tuition scholarship to students who are serving or have served in the US military.  This scholarship is worth around 6,000 dollars.

The USD financial aid office administers a variety of loans and grants.  One of the most important sources of support is the Graduate Grants program, which provides 325 dollars per unit to students who can show financial need, who have completed the FAFSA, are registered for at least six units per semester, and have been deemed eligible by the USD Financial Aid Office.  Graduate Grants are unfortunately not available in the summer and intersession.  They can potentially provide around 10,000 dollars of support. 

The Political Science and International Relations Department awards Dean Merit and Salomon scholarships ranging from 500 to 3,750 dollars per semester; these awards are highly competitive and are based on superb academic performance.  They can potentially provide over 10,000 dollars of support to the highest achieving students in the program.

The Department also reserves some funds to help defray student tuition expenses (typically 300 to 500 dollars) associated with travel courses that are already tuition discounted by the University.   

Of course, there are many other sources of financial support for graduate studies within and outside the University, as discussed below.


Dean’s Merit Awards

When funding permits, the Political Science department awards a small number of non-renewable Dean’s Graduate Merit Scholarships to incoming and continuing students in the MAIR program. These scholarships generally range from $5,000 to $15,000 and are awarded based on academic achievement and promise. Eligible continuing students are evaluated based on their performance in the program and the rigor of their chosen coursework. Entering students are evaluated based on their undergraduate transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose. Prospective students whose application packet is not complete or received by the priority deadlines (March 15 for fall, October 1 for spring) may not be considered for the Dean’s Graduate Merit Scholarships.

Entering students will be notified of scholarship awards with their letters of admission. Continuing students are generally notified of their awards approximately one month before the beginning of the semester.

Irving Salomon Awards

Eligible continuing students are considered to receive the Irving Salomon Award.

The number and amount of these awards varies by year, and they are non- renewable. The criteria used to make the Salomon awards are the number of units completed, academic performance, and rigor of their chosen coursework.

Undergraduate courses taken as electives are not weighted as heavily as graduate seminars. Students are generally notified of their awards approximately one month before the beginning of the semester.

Other Scholarships

USD offers a number of other scholarship opportunities to graduate students.

Federal Financial Aid

MAIR students are also eligible to apply for federal loans. Please be aware that deadlines to apply for federal aid are generally different from application and registration deadlines. Here you can find more information about federal financial aid.

FAQs on Financial Aid

How much does it cost to attend USD?

USD charges by the unit. Graduate courses are typically 3-unit courses. Please note that the MAIR program is in the College of Arts and Sciences. Most current list of costs.

How do I apply for scholarships?

There is no application process for the scholarships given out by the department. All students are automatically considered for departmental awards. Applications for other USD and outside scholarships are handled individually. Scholarship Opportunities.

How and when do I apply for federal financial aid?

All students interested in federal financial aid must fill out the FAFSA and follow federal guidelines and deadlines. The deadline for new graduate students generally falls in early April. Please visit the Office of Financial Aid website for more information.

How are graduate student financial aid processes different than undergrad?

Students probably have a different financial aid need in graduate school than they did as an undergraduate. Graduate students are considered independent from their parents, so only the student's income is calculated. Because of this, many graduate students are eligible for opportunities they did not receive as an undergraduate. Filling out the FAFSA is generally one of the first things a new student needs to do to become eligible for financial aid (the graduate deadline is usually the beginning of April). (USD Graduate FAFSA school code:  010395).

Does the MAIR program offer graduate research or teaching assistantships?

Unfortunately we are unable to offer graduate assistantships.

Are there other work study opportunities for graduate students?

USD does not have a federal work-study program for graduate students. However, graduate students are eligible for a number of different types of jobs on campus. The department periodically sends out calls for applications to on-campus jobs. Students are also encouraged to visit the University of San Diego Jobs website.