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 2017-2018 academic year is $1,960.00 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.  Applicants and newly-accepted students (not current students) may retake the GRE and submit an updated/higher score by July 1st 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 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 Knauss 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 degree needs to be awarded through a United States accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories. Award amounts include an overall cooperative agreement of $56,000 per student, and $45,000 is provided to each Fellow for stipend and living expenses (per diem).

The Everglades Foundation Fellowships and Scholarships are 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.

The Congressional Fellowship Program gives early- to mid-career scholars an opportunity to learn more about Congress and the legislative process through direct participation.

The International Women’s Fishing Association Scholarship offers $500 - $3000 annually to a qualified graduate student pursuing a major in marine science.

The Thermo Scientific Pierce Scholarship is awarded annually to students with a declared Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, or other life science related field. This award consists of two, $10,000 and four, $5,000 scholarships to support education for the future generation of scientists.

The American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) Scholarships include awards to support research projects (Kathy Johnston Scholarship - $3,000, the Kevin Gurr Scholarship - $3,000, and two, $1500 scholarships for the best research proposals) in which diving is used as an important research tool or the research topic is diving science. They also offer general support awards, including the Kevin Flanagan Student Travel Award for up to $800 to attend an AAUS Conference and the Hollis Gear Award valued at $1250 per recipient to purchase Hollis diving equipment, plus $250 to cover training or academic diving travel costs.

The American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarships are administered by the American Indian College Fund and are generally based upon merit or demonstrated financial need. Awards range from $1000 - $2000. Students pursuing a graduate degree at any eligible college (tribal or non-tribal) may apply.

The Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association offers a $2,000 scholarship, open to all college undergraduate and graduate students in all majors/disciplines.

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. Spouses Education Scholarship is a general scholarship with no specific major requirement and is open to students of all academic fields. Preference is given to students living in or attending a school in the district of an African American member of Congress.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Scholarships are afforded to Latino students in the United States who have a history with community service activities and who demonstrate a desire to continue their civic engagement. This is a one-time award of $5,000 for educational expenses, including tuition and textbooks.

The Linda Lael Miller Scholarship for Women is open to women 25 years or older. The maximum award is $1,000. Applicants may request funding for tuition and fees, educational supplies, childcare, travel, or other education-related costs.

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans supports up to two years of graduate study in any field and in any advanced degree granting program in the United States. The maximum award is $25,000 in maintenance grants and up to $20,000 in tuition and fees or 50% of required tuition and fees per year.

On-Campus Employment

There are employment opportunities at both the Gables and RSMAS campuses for which MPS students are eligible. 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.MPS students are also eligible to apply for work-study positions on campus. Many departments seek students with a work-study award due to budget constraints. For more information about on campus employment, please contact the Office of Student Employment at (305) 284-6641 or via e-mail ( More information about the Federal Work Study Program can be found here:

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.

Office of Financial Assistance
The Office of Financial Assistance awards financial assistance in the form of financial aid programs, including grants, educational loans, student employment, and tuition payment plans. Please contact the Office of Financial Assistance directly at (305) 284-5212 or via e-mail ( 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.