Financing Your Education

Financing Your Education

The Master of Professional Science (MPS) degree is a self-funded Masters program that requires the completion of 30 graduate credits, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, over the course of 12 – 20 months. There are no teaching or research assistantships available to MPS students, and tuition for the 2018-2019 academic year is $2,030.00 USD  per credit. Please refer to UM's Office of Student Accounts Services for tuition/fee rates and descriptions. On average, "full-time" students enrolled in this accelerated graduate program register for 12 credits (per semester) during his or her first two consecutive semesters in MPS (fall and spring). 12 class credits are followed by a maximum of 6  internship credits, distributed over 3-6 months or the duration of the internship commitment.

Tuition rates are subject to change.

Merit-based Tuition Waiver

We currently offer a 3-credit or 6-credit merit-based tuition waiver:

  • The minimum eligibility requirements for a 3-credit waiver is 297 on the GRE (a combined total score on the verbal and quantitative sections only), and a cumulative U.S. Grade Point Average (G.P.A .) of 3.0. The minimum eligibility requirements for a 6-credit waiver is 308 on the GRE (a combined total score on the verbal and quantitative sections only) and a cumulative U.S. Grade Point Average (G.P.A .) of 3.3.
  • Applicants are still required to complete the analytical writing section of the GRE, however only the verbal and quantitative scores will be considered for tuition waiver purposes.

The first reported GRE scores received by the MPS Office will be considered for waiver eligibility.  However, applicants and newly-accepted students (not current students) may retake the GRE and submit an updated/higher score by July 23rd for U.S. citizens/permanent residents, and June 1st for international applicants.

  • We recommend submitting updated scores after you've achieved your personal best. The MPS Office will consider the highest score listed on the GRE test report. GRE scores are valid up to 5 years from test date.  Prospective applicants who submit an application before completion of the GRE are still eligible for waiver consideration, upon receipt of GRE scores by the MPS Office.  Applicants and newly-accepted students (not current students) may submit "unofficial" GRE scores by downloading test scores from the ETS website while "official" records arrive in the  mail. Send unofficial scores to mps@rsmas.miami.edu if you are unable to submit scores with your application. GRE scores are considered "official" if they are mailed directly to MPS from ETS.
  • If a merit-based tuition waiver is awarded, an applicant will be notified upon acceptance. Those eligible to receive merit-based tuition waivers are not required to not  apply, accept or reject the waiver; waivers are applied upon course registration. 3-credit waivers are applied to a student's first year at RSMAS. 6-credit waivers are distributed equally across your first two semesters at RSMAS (Fall & Spring semesters).

RSMAS (& Affiliates) Awards and Honors

While in residence, RSMAS students may apply and be considered for various awards and honors (listed below) that may help offset tuition, travel, and research related costs.MPS Award For Excellence in Ocean Stewardship ($3,000) – This award is given annually and was established to acknowledge a student in the Master of Professional Science program who exemplifies ocean stewardship through the development of an innovative internship project designed to address an important marine conservation issue. The student selected for this award will have made a significant contribution to the understanding of resource management, sustainability, community based management and outreach, and/or ocean and coastal resiliency using the best available science. This student will also be one that exhibited leadership, service, and diplomacy while in residence at RSMAS and in collaboration with the internship hosting organization, as part of the greater mission of the MPS program to foster dynamic and compassionate future leaders.

Graduate Career Development Fund (up to $1500, multiple awards) – This fund is awarded each fall and spring semester and provides support for graduate student career development activities, such as hosting community workshops, supporting outside speakers, travel to and participation in workshops, conferences, or for the purpose of collaboration, and/or to pursue a novel research topic.

International Light Tackle ($2,500) - Given to RSMAS students to support research expenses related to studies of game fish.

David Rowland Fellowship ($7,000) - The amount distributed for spending is designated as a research fellowship in “Marine Biology and Living Resources”.

Student Travel Fund (STF) ($300-$500) – STF is a graduate student run committee that awards money to RSMAS students for travel to scientific conferences, internships, and for the purpose of conducting research.

RSMAS Alumni Fellowship ($2,000 - $10,000) – This award supports and enhances the academic and scientific excellence of RSMAS graduate students.

Captain Harry Vernon Memorial Scholarship and Circle of Friends Award ($300) - These awards fund graduate students pursuing studies in areas related to billfish, including biologic or social science (e.g. economics of billfishing).

Donald DeSylva Award ($500) - The competition for this award is open to all RSMAS students, with preference given to studies of billfishes, barracudas, life-history stages of fishes, ciguatera poisoning, and the marine environment.

Edwin Iversen Student Award for Aquaculture ($500) - The purpose of the award is to honor the memory of this pioneer in aquaculture research and education and promote the career of students interested in the field. The award is given annually to the University of Miami/RSMAS student whose goals, background, and achievements make them most likely to make a contribution to the discipline in education, research, or industry.

Other Scholarship Opportunities

There are a number of external scholarship opportunities available to students pursuing a graduate education. The list below is only a small sample of scholarships relevant to Masters students. Identifying scholarships requires research and effort, and there are many, excellent online resources (e.g. FinAid ).The John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship (NOAA, Sea Grant) is open to all students, regardless of citizenship, who are enrolled towards a degree in a graduate or professional program and have an interest in ocean, coastal, and/or Great Lakes resources, as well as in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The graduate must be awarded through a United States accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories. Each award will be funded at a total of $61,500 in federal funding, with the option to add additional funds for fellowship related travel (https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=298724)

The Everglades Foundation "ForEverglades" scholarship is open to full-time graduate research students pursuing degrees in earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering, geography, planning and resources management, and economics. Cross-disciplinary research efforts are of special interest, and both scholarships and fellowships provide $10,000/year (Masters level) for stipends, tuition fees, travel, and other research-related expenses.

The Nancy Foster Scholarship Program provides support for master’s and doctoral studies in oceanography, marine biology, maritime archaeology and all other science, engineering, social science and resource management disciplines involving ocean and coastal areas particularly by women and members of minority groups. This scholarship may provide, subject to appropriations, yearly support of up to $42,000 per student (i.e. a 12-month stipend of $30,000 in addition to an education allowance of up to $12,000), and up to $10,000 of support for a 4-6 week program collaboration at a NOAA facility. Masters students may be supported for up to two years. Prospective scholars do not need to be enrolled in a graduate program at the time of application, but must be admitted to a graduate level program in order to be awarded this scholarship.

Entry Point! from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is signature program of the AAAS Project on Science, Technology and Disability, is a national effort to discover and develop talent among undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities who demonstrated a talent and interest in pursuing a STEM career. The primary goal of the project is to increase the diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce at the professional level. Entry Point! recruits, screens, and refers qualified candidates to company and university research program partners for 10-week summer internships.

The International Women’s Fishing Association (IWFA) Scholarship Trust provides financial aid to qualified graduate students of Marine Science.  Marine Science is defined as “the study of the ocean, its ecosystems and its life forms, as well as the study of coastal environments, oceanic currents and the sea floor.”  The Board of Trustees will award scholarships each year to assist in funding research and related expenses, and in such amounts and to such students as will be determined at its discretion.

The Thermo Scientific Pierce Scholarship is awarded annually to students with a declared Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, or other life science related field. This Program will award two (2) $10,000 scholarships and four (4) $5,000 scholarships. All scholarship award payments will be made directly to the college or university at which the recipient is enrolled, upon receipt of all documentation from the recipient necessary to process payment. Any unused scholarship funds will be due and returnable to Sponsor.

The American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) Scholarships  Research Award provides competitive scholarships to graduate students engaged in, or planning to begin, a research project in which diving is used as an important research tool or the research topic is diving science. One scholarship is given for each level, Ph.D. and Masters, at $3000 each. AAUS Foundation may also award two additional $1500 scholarships to the next top-ranking proposals. If the additional scholarships are awarded, they may be split between the master and doctoral programs or they may be both awarded within a single program. General Support Awards:  "Kevin Flanagan Student Travel" award provides up to $800 to undergraduate and/or graduate students interested in diving science to attend AAUS scientific meetings. The award is competitive merit-based. As many as three students may be funded annually.  *The Kevin Flanagan award was established in collaboration with Kevin's family as a legacy to his commitment to AAUS and scientific diving. Kevin served as AAUS board member (2009-2011) and diving safety officer at the University of Hawaii and East Carolina University prior to his death in April 2012. Our goal is to develop this as the first endowed award of the AAUS Foundation, permanently funded through interest earned on the raised capital. "Hollis Gear Award" -  Hollis  Gear  (www.hollisgear.com) a new  scholarship  program  for  AAUS  student members engaged in, or planning to begin, a research project in which diving is or will be used as a principal research tool or study scientific diving.   Hollis will provide up to two awards annually valued  at  $1250  per  recipient  ($1000  in  Hollis  diving  equipment  plus  $250  to  cover  training  or academic diving travel costs).

The American Indian College Fund (the College Fund) provides a limited number of scholarships to undergraduate and graduate American Indian and Alaska Native students attending accredited public and non-profit private colleges across the United States. Graduate students at any eligible not-for-profit public or private college or university may apply for the Full Circle Scholarship Program. These scholarships are funded through partnerships with corporate and private donors. These scholarships are generally based upon merit or demonstrated financial need.

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBC) Spouses Education Scholarship is intended for students of all majors who are preparing to pursue or are currently pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree full-time at a U.S. accredited college or university. Award amount varies ($500 - $8,200).

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans  is intended for immigrants and children of immigrants who are pursuing full time graduate degrees at United States institutions. Eligible applicants will have a bachelor’s degree as of the fall of 2018, and may be applying to graduate school as they are applying to the fellowship, or they may already be enrolled in the graduate program that they are seeking funding for as of the application deadline. The fellowship program is open to all fields of study and fully accredited full-time graduate degree programs.The Fellows can study in any degree-granting program in any field at any university in the United States. Selection is based on merit – the specific selection criteria emphasize creativity, originality, initiative and sustained accomplishment. Neither financial need nor distributive considerations are taken into account in the selection process.

On-Campus Employment

There are employment opportunities at both the Gables and RSMAS campuses for which MPS students are eligible. RSMAS students may work up to 20 hours a week to help support their education. At the RSMAS campus, these positions typically involve administrative work in the Library, Business Office, and MPS Office. To search for on and off-campus job listings, visit the Financial Assistance site. Current or accepted MPS students interested in working in the MPS office (located on the RSMAS campus) should email mps@rsmas.miami.edu.

Office of Financial Assistance

The office of Graduate Professional Financial Assistance provides financial assistance in the form of financial aid programs, including grants, educational loans, student employment, and tuition payment plans. Please contact the office of Graduate Professional Financial Assistance directly at (305) 284-5212 or via e-mail (ofas@miami.edu) for application forms, including information about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and relevant deadlines.

Pay As You Earn – Federal Loan Repayment Plan

The Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan helps keep your monthly student loan payments affordable and typically establishes a lowest monthly payment amount based on your income.

Paid Internships

Although it cannot be guaranteed, every effort will be made to coordinate student involvement in paid internships. We work with our students to identify and acquire internships that suit their interests and needs, including financial considerations. The typical graduate student intern stipend is $1500 - $2000 per month for the duration of the internship.