MARS Financial Aid
When funding permits, the MARS program awards a small number of Dean's Graduate Merit Scholarships that may be given to graduate students. Assuming you have applied for financial aid before the deadline and filled out a FAFSA, the University may provide an additional grant. All graduate students are strongly encouraged to fill out a FAFSA, even if they did not qualify for financial aid as undergraduates.
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.
USD offers a number of other scholarships to graduate students. Please see the Office of Financial Aid Scholarships for more information.
Federal Financial Aid
MARS 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. More information about federal financial aid can be found at the Office of 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. For the most current list of costs please see the Graduate and Doctoral Educational Cost. Please note that the Marine Science M.S. program is in the College of Arts and Sciences.
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. Please see USD Scholarship Opportunities for more detailed information.
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 graduate students generally falls in early April. Please see the Office of Financial Aid for more information.
How are graduate student financial aid processes different than undergrad?
Students usually have different financial aid needs in graduate school than they did as undergraduates. 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 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). Please see the FAFSA (USD Graduate FAFSA school code: 010395).
Does the MARS program offer graduate student employment?
Occasionally, there are work positions available in the department for 10-20 hours per week. In addition, particular faculty may have grants or contracts that can help support students.
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 Human Resources Job Opportunities page for more information.