Master’s programs

M.S. programs are not funded by the department, however students are welcome to apply for external funding opportunities. 

Course Assistantships (CA) are paid opportunities available to M.S. students to support courses. CA duties include, but are not limited to, holding office hours, conducting recitation classes, and grading. 

In rare instances, Research Assistantships (RA) are offered to M.S. students from their faculty research advisors. RA’s are provided by research projects that are funded by external agencies. 

More information on CAs and RAs are available in the M.S. Handbook.

PhD programs

In the majority of cases, a paid Research Assistantship (RA) will be offered to Ph.D. students. RAs include a tuition fellowship, stipend, the technology fee, and 100% of the standard health insurance premium (if the student opts-in to the CMU health insurance plan). RAs are typically provided by research grants and contracts that are funded by government agencies, private industries, and consortia. Ph.D. research assistants are expected to conduct appropriate research under the direction and guidance of their research advisor. A standard RA provides up to five years of support contingent upon maintaining good academic standing and making satisfactory progress towards degree completion. The payment is semi-monthly and the stipend is subject to Federal taxes.

The RA is based upon the assumption that a student does not have funding available from another scholarship or fellowship (eg NSF, GRFP, GEM, NDSEG, etc). MechE encourages students to apply for these prestigious external awards.

More information including that on external employment, travel/conference funding, research funding and external funding is available in the MechE PhD Handbook.

Financial Assistance


GEM is a network of leading corporations, government laboratories, top universities, and top research institutions that enables qualified students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate (master’s and doctoral) education in applied science and engineering. GEM offers paid fellowships, internships, graduate degrees, and career planning events.

RALES is a distinctive and transformative program at Carnegie Mellon University dedicated to developing a diverse community of exceptionally talented national STEM leaders from underrepresented or underresourced backgrounds by eliminating cost as a barrier to graduate education.

Fellowship and Scholarship Office works with current undergraduate and graduate students, as well as alumni, in fulfilling their intellectual and professional goals by pursuing nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships.