I am a undergraduate student majoring in Human resource management and planning to get admitted in such a university where I have great opportunity to do research. Is it possible to pursue masters degree from US university without taking financial help from family? In what extent does US university provide financial aid for MS students? What are the benefits of getting TA or RA facility in US university?

3 Answers 3


Universities, and departments, often view Masters degree students as something of a cash-cow, so there are far less funding options than are available to PhD students. That being said, there are a number of options you have before turning to family:

  • There may be a limited number of TA/RAships available to Masters students. The benefits will depend on the university, but will likely include a modest salary, and will possibly include benefits like health insurance or tuition remission.
  • You can work your way through it, viewing tuition as just a major life expense. This of course depends on the local job market.
  • You can take on debt. Many people I know took out student loans in order to pay for their Masters. Whether or not this is desirable and economically justified is another question, but it is always an option.

In general in the US, masters degrees which are not on a PhD track are not funded. That is there are not really opportunities to work as an RA or TA. As master's programs tend to be more professionally oriented, the expectation is that the student will take out student loans. In contrast, in PhD programs, the student does work for their professor, and therefore receives funding.

My understanding (and this may be more true of the sciences than other fields) is that PhD students are strongly preferred for TA and RA positions. Both TA and RA positions build useful experience for PhD students by giving the PhD student experience with teaching and academic research.

As to the more general question of funding for masters programs, I would guess that you will probably have the most luck looking for opportunities specific to your situation (e.g. field of study), however in general masters students are expected to pay their own way.

  • 2
    Additionally, the availability of TA and RA positions, and funding in general, will depend on the specific university and department. Be careful when researching schools to determine if funding opportunities will be available for your particular path.
    – BBS
    Oct 20, 2015 at 16:10
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    I'd like to add that programs that either: 1) do not have many PhD students or 2) do not have a PhD program but offer classes that need TAs are likely to hire MS students. This was the case at my master's institution (in geology), where I was fully funded.
    – Neo
    Oct 20, 2015 at 17:54

It is possible to pursue a masters degree at a US university without getting financial back-up from family: You can get a grant or scholarship to cover your expenses. I've heard about some people who did that. You fill the forms, add documents and send it to the funding agency which provides grants and scholarships. If the agency thinks that you are worthy, it will award you a grant or scholarship. I just gave you a hint, Google knows more about it (:

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post.
    – Nobody
    Oct 20, 2015 at 10:45
  • @scaaahu I've answered first part of his question and told what he should do
    – Schullz
    Oct 20, 2015 at 10:58
  • Typically I'm used to seeing answers be voted on to be considered the most useful answer; the implication is that they are complete, and so answer all questions.
    – TOOGAM
    Oct 20, 2015 at 11:07
  • Could you answer more specifically @Schullz
    – GoodboY
    Oct 20, 2015 at 14:52
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    It's true that such grants and scholarships exist, but they are pretty rare. Anyone pursuing this option should definitely have a backup plan. Oct 20, 2015 at 17:20

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