There are a variety of funding opportunities available for Master of Urban Planning students. Please see below to learn more about the opportunities. Applicants applying to the MUP program for entry in autumn quarter will automatically be considered for departmental funding for which they are eligible. No additional application is needed to be considered for departmental funding. Departmental funding is typically not available for students entering in winter quarter.
Applicants wishing to be considered for federal financial aid (loans, work study, etc) will need to submit a FAFSA. Departmental funding and federal financial aid are different, and are determined separately.
Various departmental fellowship packages may be available to admitted applicants as follows:
- One-Year Fellowship: full or partial tuition award plus stipend for the first year in the MUP program (typically out-of-state tuition rates are reduced to in-state tuition rates).
- Two-Year Fellowship: partial tuition award plus stipend for two years in the MUP program (typically out-of-state tuition rates are reduced to in-state tuition rates).
The fellowships are typically non-service, meaning that students who receive them are not expected to work for compensation and instead can focus on their studies.
No additional application is needed to be considered for the fellowships. Applicants who are selected for funding will be notified by the MUP Admissions Committee in February or March.
An Applied Research Consortium (ARC) fellowship provides an opportunity for students to take the lead in an applied research project at a local firm. Typically three quarters, the research projects address the most vexing problems that firms face today. Faculty mentors and supervisors at firms work with the fellows, contributing to their academic and professional development in the program and ensuring that the projects fit with their longer term research goals. Fellows receive a paid internship with the firm, a stipend, and benefits, during the duration of the fellowship. Fellows are selected across all College of Built Environments departments, including MUP students in the Department of Urban Design and Planning. No additional application is needed to be considered for the ARC fellowship. Applicants who are being considered for nomination will be notified by the MUP Admissions Committee in February or March.
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)/Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides in-state resident tuition for four to five newly enrolled students in the Master of Urban Planning (MUP) program who are residents from the following states and US territories:
- New Mexico
- Guam and Northern Mariana Islands
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
The state of Washington has been a member of WICHE since 1955. WICHE is a 15-state commission working to improve access to higher education for students in the western region.
The MUP program is part of WICHE’s Western Regional Graduate Program, which makes this program available at a more affordable cost to approximately 4-5 incoming students living in the above 14 states and 2 US territories. Residents from any of these states and territories who are accepted into the MUP degree program for autumn quarter may be invited to apply for the WRGP rate – equivalent to UW’s resident tuition rate (students who enroll in winter quarter are not eligible).
WRGP Rate Eligibility
Students must meet the following 2 eligibility requirements and be selected by the MUP admissions committee to be eligible (4-5 students are selected by the MUP admissions committee each year; not all applicants who are eligible will receive the waiver):
- Residency– Only residents of one of the 14 eligible states and 2 US territories listed above are eligible to apply for the WRGP resident/in-state tuition rate. Applicants must provide evidence of residency (see below for acceptable documents).
- Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)– Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in order to qualify for the WRGP resident rate. Please note that all financial aid decisions, including approval of the WRGP tuition rate, are based in part on academic performance and merit.
Applicants must first apply to the MUP program for autumn quarter (WRGP tuition is not available for students entering in winter quarter). You do not need to submit a separate application for WRGP at the time that you apply to the MUP program.
The MUP Admissions Committee will evaluate all eligible candidates for WRGP tuition during the application review. The Admissions Committee will identify 4-5 applicants for the WRGP tuition rate based on residency status, academic merit, and overall rank in the MUP candidate pool.
Offers of admission to the MUP program are made in February-March, and candidates who’ve been identified for the WRGP tuition rate will be notified at this time.
Once the WRGP-identified applicants have accepted their offer of admission to the MUP program, they must complete and submit the formal WRGP application (the application is currently being developed and will be available soon) and provide the following documentation to the department by August 1:
- Reside in a WRGP eligible state for at least nine consecutive months prior to the beginning of the first academic term of WRGP acceptance.
- Proof of a permanent address in the WRGP state.
- Payment of state income tax on wages earned in the WRGP state.
- Proof of eligibility can be demonstrated by submitting three of the following items:
- Vehicle registration
- Driver’s license
- State income tax return
- Utility bill dated nine months ago
Undocumented students may be eligible for WRGP tuition and should discuss their circumstances with Diana Siembor, Academic Advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Tuition Rate Information
The Department will coordinate directly with UW Student Fiscal Services to implement a WICHE tuition waiver granting the WRGP resident tuition rate for those who qualify for WRGP participation and accept an offer of admission into the MUP program. Students will be responsible for communicating directly with the Office of Financial Aid about their FAFSA application and any other aid.
The awarded WRGP resident rate will apply to the tuition for the duration of study of the MUP degree program. Students do not need to “renew” or reapply for the WRGP rate each year.
Note: students who are pursuing a concurrent degree such as MPA, MPH, CEE, etc., are NOT eligible for the WRGP rate, as those programs are not WICHE participating degree programs. The University requires that students pursuing more than 1 master’s degree pay the higher/est tuition rate of the degrees being pursued. The concurrent MLA/MUP degree is eligible for the WRGP rate, but MLA/MUP students must be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis by both programs to receive the rate.
Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress
All students granted the WRGP tuition rate must maintain good academic standing in the department during the duration of their studies to receive the reduced tuition rate. Failure to maintain the minimum UW Graduate School and Department requirements for satisfactory scholarship and progress may result in a withdrawal of the WRGP resident tuition rate.
Research assistant (RA) and teaching assistant (TA) opportunities in the Department of Urban Design and Planning are infrequent and depend on faculty projects, grant support, and student skill set. As such they are not considered a guaranteed source of funding for MUP students. Most RAs and TAs in the department go to PhD students.
Research assistant (RA) positions may become available to masters students during the course of the academic year, depending on faculty projects and available grant support.
Similarly, teaching assistant (TA) positions may become available if the MUP student has the required skills and if a PhD student isn’t available to teach the class (PhD students have priority). In the event that a TA position does become available to a MUP student, it typically goes to a second year student and usually lasts for one quarter.
Any available positions in the Department are advertised to currently enrolled students via an email listserv. Also, some RA’s and TA’s are directly coordinated between the faculty member and student, with the Department’s approval.
MUP students can apply for RA’s and TA’s in other departments on campus. See: https://grad.uw.edu/graduate-student-funding/assistantships/ for more information on assistantships throughout the graduate school.
The Department of Urban Design and Planning may offer recruitment scholarships to admitted applicants. These scholarships are allocated to the Department by the College of Built Environments and vary from year to year. They are one-time awards that are applied to the recipients’ tuition accounts in their first year of study. The amount can range from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. The criteria varies per scholarship.
No additional application is needed to be considered for the scholarships. Applicants who are selected for funding will be notified by the MUP Admissions Committee in February or March.
Furthermore, all enrolled MUP students can apply for Departmental scholarships for their second year in the program. These are one-time awards that are applied to the recipients’ tuition accounts in their second year of study. Scholarships vary each year, but can range from $1,000 – $5,000.
The Master of Urban Planning program typically nominates one to two admitted applicants for a tuition award through the University of Washington Graduate Student Equity and Excellence (GSEE) office. GSEE encourages the nomination of underrepresented minority graduate students who have achieved academic merit despite significant social, economic, and/or educational challenges (i.e., first generation or those whose educational training has not exposed them to a wide array of resources). They are based on academic merit, diversity contribution, financial need, and rank in the MUP candidate pool, and range from partial to full tuition support for up to three quarters. The funding allocation is based on GSEE’s available resources, which vary from year to year.
Applicants who are selected for nomination will be contacted by the MUP Admissions Committee in February or March.
Furthermore, please see this page for Diversity Funding Opportunities at the University of Washington.
Hourly positions, paid at an hourly rate, may become available to enrolled students during the course of the academic year, depending on faculty projects and available grant support. These positions may go to first year or second year students depending on skills and interests. Hourly positions may occur in the Department’s research labs. Interested students may view the research labs’ websites or contact the faculty representatives in the research labs to determine if there are available positions.
Many of our MUP students work part-time in planning-related jobs or internships to supplement their income. Internship and job announcements are routinely announced to MUP students via a weekly email digest and are also posted on the Department’s LinkedIn page. The Department recommends that students do not exceed working 20 hours a week. Most first year students find that they have room in their schedule to work part-time starting in spring quarter of their first year and beyond. Working in autumn and winter quarter in the first year is possible but can be challenging due to the high course load.
The MUP program typically nominates one to two admitted international applicants for an International Student Tuition Waiver for one to three quarters in their first academic year in the MUP program. Recipients will still need to pay tuition for the remaining quarters that they are enrolled in the program. The tuition waivers are granted by the University of Washington Graduate School. The MUP program will nominate the applicant(s) based on their overall rank in the MUP candidate pool. The applicant does not need to submit an additional application to be considered.
Beyond this, international applicants are typically eligible for all other Departmental funding opportunities, including fellowships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships, hourly employment, scholarships, etc., as described in the accordion tabs above. However, because funding for MUP students is not guaranteed, it is imperative that international students be prepared to fully fund their education.
For further information, please see the University of Washington Graduate School’s page on international student financial ability requirement.
Many MUP students rely on loans to finance their education. All U.S. applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a FAFSA for federal financial aid. For further information about the FAFSA, please see www.fafsa.gov.
For further information about UW financial aid, please visit the Office of Student Financial Aid website.
Admitted applicants and currently enrolled students are encouraged to view the Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) funding resource page. Here you will find a link to the GFIS Funding Resources Guide and the GFIS funding blog, through which some of our MUP students have had success applying for and receiving funding for opportunities. Anyone can subscribe to receive emails, and you will receive a message when a new post has been added to the site. Please also see the GFIS Resources Handout.
Students can also seek employment and internship opportunities on the UW Career & Internship Center website. Opportunities are posted on Handshake, a recruiting platform which enables students and alumni to connect with employers, both domestic and international, for internship and employment opportunities.
UW Human Resources posts job openings that are available to students on all three UW campuses in Bothell, Seattle, and Tacoma.
Furthermore, students who are U.S. citizens and submitted a FAFSA may be eligible for work study.
The estimated cost for one year tuition and fees for full-time enrollment during the academic year 2023-2024, assuming enrollment during Autumn, Winter and Spring quarters:
Resident tuition and fees: $18,084
Nonresident tuition and fees: $31,329
A complete list of tuition rates, student fees and a per-credit-hour breakdown of tuition rates is available at the University of Washington’s Office of Planning and Budgeting tuition dashboard website.
MUP students pay the Urban Design and Planning tuition. Select “Urban Design and Planning” from the Graduate Program drop-down option on the tuition dashboard to find the correct rate.
Students enrolled in a concurrent degree in which both programs are tuition-based pay the higher of the two tuition rates, per UW policy. Students enrolled in a concurrent degree that is part tuition-based and part fee-based, such as the MUP/MPH-Community Oriented Public Health Practice program, have a different tuition structure and should consult with staff in both programs to learn more.