Financial Aid for Graduate Studies

Scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment are the principal forms of financial assistance available to students enrolled in degree programs. To be eligible for such assistance, students must be enrolled full time in coursework relevant to the graduate degree.

Please note: due to stringent INS regulations full-time enrollment according to federal standards is required of international students.

Students on F-1 (self-support) and J-1 (institutional support) visas, as well as those in most other non-immigrant classifications are ineligible for financial aid through Basic Educational Opportunity Grants, federal work-study programs, guaranteed loans and similar programs. Non-citizens eligible for assistance through these programs include:

  1. permanent residents of the U.S.,
  2. conditional permanent residents, and
  3. individuals with I-94 designations.

Prospective students will find financial aid application forms and extensive information about the various aid programs, including all relevant deadlines, posted at the Financial Aid Services website. For specific financial aid questions, it is also possible to contact the Financial Aid Office by e-mail.

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa offers graduate assistantships to students who have excellent scholastic records, suitable background for the duties required by the assistantships, and a high level of English proficiency. International students applying for graduate assistantships must have a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper), 250 (computer), or 100 (internet) with subtest scores of 25 for listening and speaking, and a valid U.S. work permit. TOEFL scores cannot be more than two years old. Graduate assistants (GAs) must be full-time, classified graduate students in music.

To be considered for a graduate assistantship, the applicant must submit an Application for a Graduate Assistantship (see instructions). In addition, three signed confidential recommendation letters (Departmental Recommendation Forms) must be submitted under separate cover by the posted deadlines. The applicant is responsible for reminding the referees of these deadlines. The same set of recommendation letters will also suffice for a tuition waiver application. Please note that the department will disqualify incomplete applications from further consideration.

If an applicant does not receive an assistantship, s/he is automatically considered for an Achievement Scholarship (see Achievement Scholarships below). Contract duty periods normally begin one week prior to the first day of class and run through spring commencement (approximately August 15 to May 15). The stipend is pro-rated in twelve monthly installments. The GA receives a tuition waiver for the fall and spring semesters and may apply to Outreach College for a tuition waiver that covers a maximum of six credits for either of the two summer sessions, if they fall within the GA’s contract period. These summer waivers are limited in number. GAs are personally responsible for the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) fee and other fees, including the general and special fees listed in the Graduate Information Bulletin.

Normally master’s level GAs serve for a maximum of four semesters and doctoral level GAs for a maximum of six semesters. The department may choose to terminate a GA’s contract at the end of any semester, including the first, if a student fails to maintain a B (3.0) or better average and/or performs his assigned duties inadequately. Renewal for a third semester is also linked to satisfactory progress toward the degree. This progress is measured in part by successful completion, before the end of the second semester of study, of Parts I and II of the General Examination (for master’s students) or Parts I and II of the Qualifying Examination (for PhD students).

All students selected as graduate assistants should be aware of the Graduate Division policies governing their employment. The Music Department Chair will assign twenty hours a week of duties to a student given a full graduate assistantship.

See the Scholarship page.

Fellowships for Graduate Study in Ethnomusicology for Students from Pacific & Asian Countries

This fellowship is intended to aid in developing ethnomusicological expertise in Asian and Pacific Island nations by providing support for two years of graduate study to qualified students entering the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Renewal of the fellowship after the first year is contingent upon satisfactory progress in the program.

More information about the Graduate Fellowship in Ethnomusicology.

Recipients of an Achievement Scholarship (applicable toward tuition and fees) must maintain full-time enrollment (8 credits) in degree-related coursework, maintain a 3.5 average or better, and be making satisfactory progress toward degree completion. The last will be measured, in part, by successful completion, prior to the second semester of study, of Parts I and II of the General Examination (for master’s students) or of Parts I and II of the Qualifying Examination (for PhD students). The amount of this award varies, but the minimum is $500. It is valid for one semester (renewable). Students are personally responsible for all fees, including the general and special fees listed in the Graduate Information Bulletin as well as any remaining tuition balance, by the payment deadline posted in the MyUH website. To be awarded an Achievement Scholarship, students must apply at least once; both this application and recommendation letters will remain valid for four (MA level) or six (PhD level) semesters.

All students who apply for a Graduate Assistantship (GA) are automatically considered for an Achievement Scholarship as well. Students who do not apply for a Graduate Assistantship but still wish to be considered for an Achievement Scholarship must submit, by posted deadlines, the Application for Graduate Assistantship / Achievement Scholarship to:

Graduate Secretary
University of Hawai’i at Manoa Music Department
2411 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822

Applicants may also apply for Music Department Scholarships.

The Student Employment Office helps students find on-campus jobs after they have registered for classes. Any UHM student enrolled in a degree program and carrying the equivalent of a half-time courseload (i.e., four credits for graduate students) is eligible to work on campus. Please note that the INS requires international students be enrolled full-time (i.e., eight credits of coursework relevant to the degree). In addition, students on F-1 visas must first receive clearance from the foreign student advisor in the International Student Office before seeking on-campus employment.

More information about Student Employment & Cooperative Education.