Funding for the MEng program is not guaranteed. Students who are funded typically receive funding through one of two sources: Teaching Assistantships (TAships) or Research Assistantships (RAships). With a TAship, students work approximately 20 hours a week assisting in the teaching of a particular class (the exact duties of a TA depend on the class). With an RAship, students work approximately 20 hours a week on research. In most cases, this research is related to the student’s MEng thesis, although it’s not required to be (balancing two distinct research projects can be quite difficult, though).
RAships are most commonly arranged directly between the student and supervisor; some RAships are advertised and be found on the EECS Opportunities List. If seeking an RA appointment, you should begin outreach to labs of interest in the term before you begin MEng.
TAs are selected from a pool of applicants in the term prior to the appointment. Find the link for the TA application and deadline information at the link above.
Full-time assistantships — both RAships and TAships — pay a monthly stipend as well as full tuition and health insurance.
You may find a TA or RA appointment in another department. That department will fund the appointment and EECS will process the appointment.
Need-based financial aid is unavailable for the MEng. For other options for financing the degree, please contact Student Financial Services. The EECS Undergraduate Office encourages students to begin the search for funding before they begin the MEng program.
Limitations of Support
Both TA and RA appointments are offered for one term and students must reapply (TA) or be renewed (RA) for each subsequent term. MEng students are only eligible for graduate support during their first three regular grad terms (summers are excepted). If a student has been a graduate TA at least once or has unusual circumstances that have delayed progress on the thesis or classes, the student may request one additional term (a fourth term) of support eligibility by contacting the EECS Undergraduate Office.
Some RAships, especially those from Lincoln Labs, may be restricted to US citizens.
Registration Limits for RAs and TAs
During regular terms (fall, spring), students with full-time TAships and RAships should be registered for twelve units of 6.THM and either 24 units of 6.981 (TAship credit) or 12 units of 6.991 (RAship credit). These subjects allow students to earn units for TAing or RAing.
In addition to these subjects, students with full-time TAships or RAships may only register for two additional twelve-unit subjects. Students holding a half-TAship or half-RAship may register for an additional class.
Students who hold an RA assistantship in the summer are expected to work full-time during the summer, and should register for 12 units of 6.991 and 12 units of 6.THM. There is no summer tuition charge for students who are only registered for 6.THM and 6.991, provided they were registered students in the prior spring, or will be registered students in the following fall.
Tuition Charges for RAs and TAs
RAships and TAships cover your tuition. However, tuition is often charged to your account before RAships and TAships are processed. If you are holding an RAship or TAship in a particular semester, and you see a tuition charge early (e.g., in August for the fall semester), you can ignore it. Be sure to pay any fees that aren’t covered by your funding (e.g., the student life fee).
Early Thesis Submission
If a student has completed all of their MEng coursework, and finishes their MEng thesis early in the term, they are eligible for prorated tuition as long they were registered for the term immediately preceding.