Graduate study is a major investment in your personal and professional future. We in UVA’s School of Data Science encourage you to explore all funding options: loans, fellowships, external scholarships, work-study positions, graduate teaching assistantships, research, and more. For more information, review the sections below, and visit Student Financial Services.

Federal Financial Aid

Student Loans are a major part of financing your graduate education. The Student Financial Services Office has a helpful chart explaining Direct Unsubsidized, Direct Graduate Plus, and private loans’ eligibility, interest, and application process. 

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is financial aid that is based on financial need and must be earned through student employment. To be considered, you must indicate your interest in Federal Work-Study in your FAFSA application. The annual award amount is up to $5,000 for graduate students but the actual amount depends on the hours worked each week, and the pay rate established by the hiring manager. Currently, FWS is available only for MSDS Residential Students. All available work-study jobs are posted on Handshake, which is the career management system for UVA Career Center and student employment. 

Note that all graduate students are considered independent from their parents when submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

For questions about financial aid options, visit UVA Student Financial Services or contact the Assistant Director of Student Financial Services, Debbie Davis.

Fellowships for the MSDS Programs

The Quantitative Fellowship Foundation offers need-based scholarships, called fellowships, to students in the MSDS programs. To qualify, you must submit the FAFSA (U.S. Citizens or eligible non-citizens). To apply for a need-based fellowship: 

  • Complete the required questions related to the fellowship on MSDS program application. 
  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  

MSDS Online (Fall or Spring entry):  
For the MSDS Online program, the application deadline is rolling; however, please email Assistant Director Degi Betcher once you have submitted the FAFSA. She will follow up with you if you are eligible to receive a need-based fellowship. The current maximum fellowship award is up to 10% of the total cost of the program

Need-based fellowships will be distributed over the length of the program (five semesters for the MSDS Online). Please note that students who take longer than five semesters to graduate will not receive additional fellowship aid for those semesters. 

Students must submit a new FAFSA each academic year starting Summer Term. Students who take a leave of absence or change their academic course load may not be eligible for the need-based award during that semester. Full details can be found on the Student Financial Services site

MSDS Residential (Summer entry):  
For the MSDS Residential program, need-based fellowships are awarded through the Priority Decision round. The fellowship is split between the fall and spring semesters, and typically up to 10% of the total cost of attendance. 

Fellowships are not guaranteed for those applying in the Regular Decision round; those seeking fellowship funds should apply in the Priority Decision round. All enrolling students planning to use any federal financial aid (including federal student loans and/or seeking work-study positions) are encouraged to submit the FAFSA by March 1. For questions, please reach out to Student Financial Services

Ph.D. Funding

Doctoral students typically receive full financial support from the School of Data Science for the duration of their enrollment in the program, pending satisfactory completion of requirements and progression through the program. This includes full remission of tuition, fees, and the premium for single-person coverage through the University of Virginia’s student health insurance plan.  Tuition and fees are set annually by the University of Virginia Board of Visitors in early spring.

In addition, Ph.D. students will receive either a fellowship, research assistantship, or teaching assistantship that includes annual living support in the approximate amount of $33,000 per year, distributed over twelve months. The Ph.D. program typically enrolls 8-10 students per year; learn more about Ph.D. in Data Science admission requirements here

External Scholarships

Teaching Assistants and Other Employment

Although teaching assistants do not receive tuition remission or adjustments, the School of Data Science hires MSDS students as teaching assistants for an hourly rate as needed each semester. These are paid opportunities to support faculty in the classroom (typically 10-20 hours per week). To be eligible to TA for a course, you must have a deep fundamental understanding of the material; those with undergraduate experience as a TA are strong candidates. 

Other employment opportunities in the School of Data Science include research projects, tutors, and most commonly, Student Ambassadors. Enrolling students will receive information on how to apply for TA positions and other employment once the MSDS program begins. 

Ph.D. students have the opportunity for graduate teaching assistantships or graduate research assistantships, which are a form of financial aid via tuition remission, a health insurance premium, and wages. See the Ph.D. funding section for more information.

Employer Benefits

Your employer may have education benefits; please contact your HR office for details. Payments would be made to Student Financial Services

Current UVA employees should visit UVA HR for more information. At this time, the University does not offer discounted tuition rates for faculty or staff.

Military/ Veteran Benefits

Educational benefits are available for veterans, family members of veterans, and active-duty military personnel. These programs have different benefits packages and eligibility requirements; please reach out to Student Financial Services for more information. 

Payment Plan Option

Students may pursue a semester-based payment plan, offered through Student Financial Services.

Information for International Students

International students seeking an F1 Visa to study in the US are not eligible for federal financial aid, federal work study, or need-based fellowships. However, the F1 Visa does permit part-time UVA-based employment for full-time students in the MSDS Residential program, such as a Student Ambassador, Graduate Assistant, etc. 

Please note that if admitted, any employment would be available after you begin classes, and would not be outlined in your offer letter. There are also several external scholarships and funding options available to international students, some of which are listed below.

Aga Khan Foundation 
Institute of International Education (IIE) Database 
International Education and Financial Aid ( Guide to Scholarships and Loans 
International Student Organization Scholarship Search 
PEO International Peace Scholarship Fund for Women 
Loans: MPOWER, Prodigy Finance, and The Rowe Fund 

The PhD program is fully funded for all admitted students (typically 8-10 per year); more information can be found here.