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Funding Opportunities

Opportunities for Graduate Funding

Students must submit a FAFSA in order to be considered for a State University Grant. Awarded to eligible students who are California residents or have AB540 status, pay the Undergraduate, Credential Program, or Graduate/Post-baccalaureate Tuition Fee, and have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,000 or less.

Funds are limited and priority is given to students with the earliest FAFSA application dates, although other factors can play a role in availability of funds. Students enrolled in a degree or certificate program through Extended Education are not eligible for the SUG, because Extended Education course fees do not include the Tuition Fee.

Eligibility for receiving the SUG is limited by total units completed in a student’s degree or credential program.

  • For master’s students in majors that require 30 units for graduation, the maximum for completed units is 38.
  • For credential candidates, the maximum for completed units is 30. (Note: programs that exceed 30 for the master's degree have proportionally higher unit maximums.)

For initial credential and first master's students enrolled half-time or greater, the amount of the SUG generally equals the Tuition Fee charged each semester.

  • For initial credential students, half-time or greater enrollment means 6 or more units.
  • For master's candidates, half-time or greater enrollment means 4 or more units.

For more information on mandatory registration charges, visit the Student Charges/Fees page on the Seawolf Service Center website.

Please see the Sonoma State University Scholarship Office page for details. Note that your accurate completion of the scholarship application form will ensure you are considered for every scholarship for which you qualify.

The Graduate Equity Fellowship program seeks to increase the diversity of students completing graduate programs at Sonoma State University, who plan to pursue doctoral programs, and are considering university faculty careers. The fellowships intent is to minimize the debt burden and time to degree by replacing loans with grants.

The program provides fellowships for economically disadvantaged SSU students, especially for those who are underrepresented among graduate degree recipients in their areas of study, and promotes faculty mentoring and research opportunities.

Eligibility includes admission and full-time enrollment in a graduate program, demonstrated financial need, and an academic standing of 3.0 GPA. A call for applicants via students' SSU email addresses will be sent to current and incoming graduate students in May of the spring semester of each academic year.

For general guidelines and how to apply, please download the Program Guidelines (PDF). Please note that Guidelines are updated each year so please check the guidelines the semester in which you are applying. 

The application for the 2024-2025 academic year is due Friday, May 10, 2024. For more information, contact the Graduate Studies Office (

Fee waivers are granted each academic year to eligible students who are hired by their departments as either Graduate Assistants or Teaching Associates.

Criteria also requires that students be in classified standing, full-time enrollment, maintaining a GPA of 3.0 in their last 60 units of coursework with no grades below a B, and are making satisfactory progress toward the graduate degree. Students who are underrepresented in their fields of study are given priority in the selection process.

Nomination forms are circulated each spring semester. Departments wishing to award fee waivers submit nominations to the Graduate Studies Office through their school deans. Departments are notified of awards and students receive letters of confirmation in the summer months prior to the academic year in which the student is receiving the fee waiver.

The GA/TA tuition waiver waives the State University Fees (i.e. Tuition Fees). Campus-based fees and Non-Resident Tuition fees are not waived by this waiver. 

The California Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to increase the pool of potential faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of CSU students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages, placing special emphasis on those who enter doctoral programs at UC campuses.

Applicants work closely with a CSU faculty sponsor to develop an overall plan, ultimately leading to enrollment in a doctoral program.

Those who are selected as Pre-Doctoral Scholars will be awarded $3,000 to be used as outlined in the above-mentioned plan, which may include application fees, test fees, membership in professional organizations, and travel to doctoral granting institutions or professional conferences. Up to $500 in additional funds may be provided to the faculty mentor for joint travel.

The program also provides summer research internship opportunities at doctoral granting institutions. Students participating in the summer internship component are matched with professors according to their areas of interest.

Eligibility:  Junior, senior, and graduate students in the CSU, especially those from environments where university teaching is not a common career goal.

To Apply: The online application usually becomes available in mid-November and campus deadline is typically in late February. For complete application instructions and current deadlines, visit the California Pre-Doctoral Program web page.

For current information on SSU procedures and deadlines, contact the SOURCE office (707-644-2264), or by email,

The purpose of the Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP) is to increase the pool of individuals who show promise of becoming strong candidates for CSU instructional faculty positions by providing financial assistance to doctoral students with the motivation, skills, and experience needed to teach the diverse student body in the CSU.

It is a competitive program directed by the California State University but open to doctoral students across the country.

Through this program the California State University offers loans and faculty sponsorship to full-time doctoral students who are interested in a teaching career at a CSU campus. Specifically, the program provides:

  • Loans of up to $10,000 per year up to a total of $30,000
  • Loan Forgiveness: 20 percent of the loan is forgiven for each year of full-time postdoctoral teaching in the CSU.
  • Part-time postdoctoral teaching in the CSU may also be considered for partial loan forgiveness.
  • Faculty sponsorship from a CSU faculty member.

For details on eligibility, selection criteria and the role of the faculty sponsor, visit the CSU CDIP website.

For an application or to discuss the program, contact Megan Kane or the Office of Graduate Studies.

The Golden State Teacher Grant program (GSTG) is for students who are currently enrolled in a teacher preparation program to earn a credential in the high need field of special education and commit to teach at a priority school, in California for four years, within five years after completing a teacher preparation program.

GSTG awards of up to $20,000 are available to eligible, currently enrolled students in California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved teacher preparation programs within a California institution of higher education. College and University campuses will use their own selection criteria and procedures to identify eligible students.

For more information and to apply visit:

Schools and Departments may have opportunities for additional funding for graduate students. Please check with your advisor or Graduate Coordinator for funding opportunities.

Graduate Studies encourages all incoming and current graduate students to apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) as well as the Sonoma State University Scholarship Program.

Please check application deadline carefully.