FAQ - Costs and Funding-Civil and Environmental Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Frequently Asked Questions about Costs and Funding


What are my chances of receiving full or partial funding for my studies?

The Graduate Admissions Staff (who answer e-mail messages and phone calls) do not determine who will receive financial support for their studies. The Graduate Admissions Committee makes decisions about which students are admitted and which receive some amount of financial support for their studies. This committee only makes these decisions after reviewing your completed application package along with all of the other applications. Hence, please do not ask the graduate admissions staff or faculty members in the department to estimate your chances of receiving some form of financial support. (For more information on the review process, please see Frequently Asked Questions about the Application process).

What type of funding is available for the M.S. degree?

Service assistantships that cover a fraction of the tuition costs are available for some number of students in the MS degree program.  Service assistantships are available on a competitive basis and are not awarded to all students. Students receiving a service assistantship are required to do 50 hours of service towards the department. Service projects might include assisting with planning social events, providing computer support to students, managing electronic resources, or assisting with course evaluation.Very rarely, research funding will be available for a student completing a MS with thesis.  In these infrequent cases, the faculty member inviting the student to do this research will contact the applicant directly, and the admission letter will specify the source of the support and the expected duration of the program.   

Are teaching assistantships available to admitted students?

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program may recieve financial assistance in the form of research assistantships. The department does not offer teaching assistantships.

What are the expectations for a research assistantship?

Students awarded a research assistantship are required to devote approximately 20 hours per week in teaching and research activities, which we consider to be an integral part of a graduate education. The research conducted under a research assistantship usually forms a major portion of the student's thesis, though the student is also expected to do additional research for any project units for which they get academic credit.