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Financial Assistance

Assistantships, Fellowships, Employment Opportunities and More

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Financing Graduate Education

The university’s Office of Financial Aid provides an estimated yearly cost of attendance. This includes fixed amounts, such as tuition and fees, as well as amounts that must be estimated, such as room, board, books, transportation, and personal expenses. These budgets are for the purpose of awarding financial aid, and may not represent the actual cost for each individual student, as enrollment and lifestyle choices vary:


This information is based-upon the current academic year and is subject to change for the next academic year. We recommend that you budget for more money than is listed below to allow yourself a “cushion” in the event of added and/or unexpected expenses.

Please understand that the figures below do not include other expenses such-as late registration fees, late payment fees, books, course materials, housing, health insurance, other personal living expenses, etc.

The fees are all set by the University, and not the Graduate Music Office. Fees and tuition remain the same for one full academic year (Fall, Spring, Summer cycle) and are always subject to change the following academic year. Fees are typically due during the second week of classes – there is no “deposit” prior to the term.

Preview the Waiver and Fee Chart from The Graduate School when reading the information below: Graduate WAIVER & FEE CHART

If a student is coded as “out of state”, they are charged the out of state University fees. If a student is coded as “in state”, they are charged the in state University fees. Multiply your per-credit-hour fees ($105.87 per credit hour for OOS; $75.81 per credit hour for in state) by the number of credit hours you are taking.

Graduate Assistants

The required minimum academic load for a graduate assistant is nine (9) graduate-level credit hours.

U.S. domestic students who are appointed as graduate assistants in the College of Music are eligible to apply-for the possibility of becoming Florida residents after twelve months, once certain criteria are met. Information is available here: Obtaining Florida residency will reduce your fee liability. Residence in an on-campus dorm facility does not qualify students for Florida residency.  It is advised that GAs who wish to apply for Florida residency reside in off-campus housing.

The Master’s GA tuition waiver covers 9 credit hours per semester (Fall and Spring). Doctoral GA tuition waivers cover a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 12 credit hours per semester (Fall and Spring). Tuition waivers cover only graduate-level credits (5000 or 6000-level). The tuition waiver covers the cost of tuition only. All students pay per-credit-hour and one-time fees that the tuition waiver does not waive. Information on the current tuition and fee rates may be found here: Tuition and fees are subject to change based on legislative and internal policy change.

Each graduate assistantship recipient is required to sign a Tuition Waiver Receipt Form at the beginning of both the Fall & Spring terms. Students are responsible for reviewing, printing, and signing the Tuition Waiver Receipt Form and submitting the completed form to the Graduate Music Office.  Students are able to access Tuition Waiver Receipt Forms for each semester through their Student Central account within “My Bill”.

The student’s class schedule will be verified for at least 9 hours of graduate-level courses (5000 level or above). Your tuition waiver will not be applied if your enrollment is below or falls below 9 hours. The tuition waiver entry window closes on the last day of drop/add so all schedules must be finalized by that time.


Approximately 225 teaching, research, accompanying, and administrative assistantships are awarded by the College of Music typically in March and April to highly qualified Master’s and Doctoral students. Teaching assistants are selected and assigned to particular courses on the basis of experience, professional qualifications, and musical expertise. There is no separate assistantship application process; rather, candidates are assessed during the formal admission/audition process. Academic year 2023-2024 assistantship stipends will be $7,790.42 (0.25 time), $9,348.50 (0.30 time), or $15,580.84 (0.50 time) for two academic semesters: Fall and Spring. (Assistantships in music education, musicology and music theory are occasionally available for the Summer semester.)

The College of Music allows for maximum assistantship funding as follows: up to four (4) semesters for Master’s students and up to six (6) semesters for Doctoral students. Students who complete a (funded) graduate degree in the College of Music, and elect to earn a second graduate degree here, may receive funding up to four (4) semesters for a second Master’s degree and up to six (6) semesters for a Doctoral degree. (**Please note: PhD Theory GA’s are eligible for a maximum of 8 semesters of funding.) Individuals pursuing exceptions to this policy must submit the “Petition for Waiver of Assistantship Policy on Maximum Term of Appointment,” available in the Graduate Music Office. Assistantship renewals are contingent upon satisfactory degree progress, satisfactory work in the duties assigned, continued recommendation by relevant faculty and/or Area Coordinators, and availability of funding. Students who receive an assistantship after initial matriculation into the degree program may receive term-only assistantships; they may or may not be renewed.

Please note that all graduate assistantships come with a tuition waiver. Master’s GA’s receive a tuition waiver for 9 credit hours, while doctoral GA’s receive a tuition waiver for anywhere between 9 and 12 credit hours (9, 10, 11, or 12). Tuition waivers cover only graduate-level credits (5000 or 6000-level). No undergraduate-level (4000-level and below) credits are covered by the tuition waiver. Please understand that the tuition waiver waives the cost of tuition, only (approximately 80% of the total bill). All students pay per-credit-hour and one-time fees that the tuition waiver does not waive. Information on the current semester’s tuition and fees may be found by visiting the following website: Please note that tuition and fees are subject to change for the following academic year.

All graduate assistants at FSU work under a contract negotiated by United Faculty of Florida-Florida State University-Graduate Assistants United (UFF-FSU-GAU) and Florida State University. UFF-FSU-GAU is the labor union certified as the executive bargaining agent for graduate assistants at FSU. For more information please visit the UFF-FSU-GAU website: . No department or University representative may make a binding agreement to reappoint the graduate assistant for longer than the term of the contract. Research grants, advisor’s promises, and departmental agreements are not binding.

SPEAK Test: International students, whose native language is not English, are required to take the SPEAK Test in order to be considered for a graduate assistantship from the College of Music. SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) is a test for evaluating the English speaking ability of non-native speakers of English. At FSU, the SPEAK test is administered by the Center for Intensive English Studies to international students who have been appointed or will be appointed as teaching assistants in an academic department at Florida State University. If the SPEAK test is not completed, then a score of 26 on the speaking portion of the Internet-Based TOEFL must be obtained, (and verified by FSU Admissions). There are no exceptions to this policy. Please refer questions to our Music Admissions Office: 850/644-6102.

It is the policy of the College of Music that all financial assistance awarded to graduate students has one major purpose: to provide academically deserving students with financial assistance so they may pursue their professional studies at Florida State University. Consequently, the College of Music and its faculty members strive to ensure that the graduate assistantship assignments are:

  1. academically and professionally rewarding to the student
  2. well within the capabilities of the student
  3. directly related to the College of Music’s teaching, research, and administrative operations.

University and College of Music guidelines for the hours of weekly service required for various graduate assistantship assignments are as follows. For more information on the number of hours specific to your graduate assistantship duties please contact your Graduate Assistantship Supervisor.

Name FTE Average Weekly Contact Hours (9 mos.)
**These figures are approximate. Contact your GA supervisor
for the most accurate information relative to your job assignment.
Graduate Assistants (Academic courses) 0.25 1-6
0.30 12
0.33 3-6
0.50 4-8
Graduate Assistants (Studio/recital accompanying) 0.25 5
0.30 12
0.33 7
0.50 10
Graduate Assistants (Applied lessons) 0.25 6
0.30 12
0.33 8
0.50 12
Graduate Assistants (Opera accompanying) 0.25 7
0.30 12
0.33 10
0.50 15
Graduate Assistants (Research, administration, performing) 0.25 10
0.30 12
0.33 13 1/3
0.50 20

Graduate assistants are expected to observe the same duty days as faculty members. Exceptions to this schedule require prior approval from the Associate Dean (Director of Graduate Studies in Music).

Graduate assistants must enroll for a minimum of 9 hours of course work each semester. Other requirements for graduate assistants include:

  1. Regular graduate status
  2. Maintain a 3.0 (B) grade point average
  3. Perform duties to the satisfaction of the supervising professor and the Associate Dean/Director of Graduate Studies in Music.
  4. Uphold the expectations of the FSU Student Code of Conduct and the FSU Academic Honor Policy.

Each graduate assistant is assigned a supervising professor by the area coordinator or Associate Dean. For purposes of consultation and evaluation, the professor will observe the assistant periodically in the performance of assigned duties. The supervising professor will formally evaluate the graduate assistant’s work on a quarterly basis.

Graduate assistants who encounter problems related to their assistantship duties are encouraged to discuss the matter with their immediate faculty supervisor, the appropriate area coordinator, and/or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs/Director of Graduate Studies in Music.

Fellowships and Grants

The Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards (OGFA) offers a variety of services to assist graduate students in obtaining external fellowships, grants, scholarships, and awards. Services include assistance with proposal revisions and the application process, workshops, and round table discussions about specific opportunities. The OGFA’s Canvas organization site provides an inventory of external fellowships and awards as well as information on searching for additional resources. The OGFA’s newsletter, which contains information about upcoming events and deadlines, is available online through their website. For more information, visit:

A very limited number of government and private foundation grants also provide a possible source of financial assistance for graduate students. Information about the availability, deadlines, and application procedures for various grants can be obtained at the University’s Graduate School office (314 Westcott).


$10,000 awarded to one graduate music student for an outside project advancing their professional careers. Proposals must be submitted to area coordinators, who then each submit one proposal to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in Music. (Details about content of the proposals is distributed late in the fall semester.) From these seven, one is chosen to receive the award. Submission deadline usually end of January or first week of February.

Florida State offers a variety of different funding opportunities for graduate students outside of the departmental assistantship. Listed below are some of the awards frequently received by graduate music students. Detailed information about application for each one can be found at the listed websites.

Dissertation Research Grants: $750 awards to doctoral students actively working on their dissertation; new awards given each semester. Application deadline usually end of second week of classes each fall and spring semester.

For information on other financial opportunities through The Graduate School, please visit their website, and click on Funding and Awards:

OPS (Part-Time) Employment

Whether or not a student has been awarded Financial Aid, or Work Study through the Office of Financial Aid, part-time employment through the College of Music might be possible. The following offices in the College of Music often hire students. If interested, please contact their office(s) directly:

Contact Office Room Phone
Lisa Leaman Office Administrator HMU 202 644-3424
Michelle McDaniel Stage Management Ruby Diamond Concert Hall 644-2043
Reese Cloud
Instrument Library HMU 112 644-2705
Tiawana Meeks Office Assistant HMU 204-A 644-4649
Michael Strickland Music Technology Resource Center KMU 210 644-5788
Laura Gayle Green College of Music Library HMU 090 644-5028
Emily Clark/Andy Hunt Office of Student Success HMU 203 644-6105
Nick Smith Stage Management KMU 399 644-5486
Adrienne DeStefano College of Music Fiscal Office Kellogg 212 644-9254
Kristopher Watson College of Music Admissions Office HMU 236 644-6102
Chelsea Blomberg Band Department HMU 101 644-3507
Dr. Alexander Jiménez Orchestra Department HMU 101 644-3507
Dr. Kevin Fenton Choral Department KMU 230 644-5084
Dr. Joanna Hunt Undergraduate Music Office HMU 202-D 644-6105
Work Study

The Office of Financial Aid on campus (University Center) can provide information regarding long- and short-term (government insured) loans and Graduate Work-Study programs. Please visit their website here: