Financial Aid

Students attending the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) have access to several types of financial aid. Awards are made primarily to full-time on campus students and most are based on academic merit rather than demonstrated need. Although there are no deadlines for submitting assistantship/fellowship applications, awards will be made as opportunities become available. Therefore, early submission enhances a student’s chance of receiving an offer. An application can be completed when applying for admission to the UTSI campus online or you can request an application using the contact information below.


Admissions Office
Phone: (931) 393-7228
Toll Free: 1-888-822-UTSI ext. 37228

Graduate Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships (GRAs) are available to qualified students in engineering and applied physics to engage in challenging research and academic work leading to graduate degrees while earning compensation for performing research services which contribute to their thesis or dissertation. Because UTSI offers only graduate-level programs, teaching assistantships are not available. Assistantships are most often awarded to incoming full-time students, both US and international. Initial awards are made for a 12-month period, and may be renewed based on satisfactory progress toward degree goals and research work, and the availability of funding. Students attending UTSI without an assistantship may be awarded one at any time during the academic year when a faculty member supports such action, and funds are available.


A 12-month initial research assistantship appointment provides tuition, maintenance fee, medical insurance and a stipend.


Applicants must provide GRE scores (general test only) although no minimum scores are required and three letters of recommendation for research assistantships. Normally, students will need a CUM GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale to be competitive for an award upon entry.


(Deadline: No deadline but students are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible)


AIAA Scholarship

Local Fellowships
Several endowments have been established in honor of individuals that have made a unique contribution to the Space Institute. These fellowships, ranging up to $3,000 per year are awarded to particularly outstanding U.S. students and are used to supplement assistantships or fellowship awards. Fellowships currently awarded include: Art and Helen Mason Scholarship, International Test and Evaluation Fellowship, Morris L. Simon Fellowship, Thomas Jefferson Fellowship, Jordan G. Ennis Fellowship, William R. Carter Fellowship, Lloyd W. Crawford Fellowship, Creation per Sapientia Revelata Fellowship, and J. B. Dicks Scholarship.


(Deadline: Applicants for an assistantship or fellowships received by February 15 for the next fall term are automatically considered. Initial awards are generally made in March.)


Minority Fellowships
To help promote diversity in the student body, funding is available to students from underrepresented minority lineage. To be eligible, an applicant must be a full-time student. The financial support provided to students is the same as that for a graduate research assistant at the same (MS or PhD) level. For the first year, the MS student has no work requirements but in the second year, he/she becomes a graduate research assistant and works on a research project for 20 hours per week. At the PhD level, the student has 2 years without a work requirement.


(Deadline: No deadline but a limited number of fellowships is available.)


GEM Fellowships
Applicants that have been awarded a GEM MS Fellowship by the National Consortium for Graduate Education for Minorities in Engineering will be considered for a UTSI Fellowship to supplement the GEM stipend, to make the total stipend equivalent to the GRA stipend at the MS level. GEM Fellows in the PhD program are normally supported according to funding levels for GRA students. These awards are available to U.S. students.


(Deadline: GEM applications to headquarters at Notre Dame, by December 1; no deadline for UTSI Supplemental Fellowship.)

Student Loans

Student loans are administered by the Financial Aid Office at UT Knoxville. The FAFSA can be filed electronically at Submitting the FAFSA to the Federal Student Aid Programs starts the process of obtaining a Stafford, Supplemental, Perkins and/or Plus loan. A limited loan may also be available for emergencies. Students must be admitted as degree seeking and enrolled a minimum of six semester hours to qualify for a student loan. More information on student loans can be found at


(Deadline: Applications should be submitted no later than June 30 for fall.)

Academic Common Market

UT is a member of the Academic Common Market (ACM). The Academic Common Market is an agreement among Southern states for sharing unique programs. Participating states can make arrangements for their residents who are fully admitted to specific programs at UT to enroll on an in-state tuition basis if these programs are not available in the state of residence. Information about ACM is available from the Southern Regional Education Board’s (SREB) website at


(Deadline: No deadline but students should apply early or funding may not be available.)