Graduate Funding Opportunities

Posted by Lauren Dick on September 20, 2018

Enrolment | Get In The Know | Inside Perspectives

Applying to graduate school? Me too! A big part of the application process is understanding how to receive graduate funding. In this #YUBlog post we will discuss the most common awards, bursaries and fellowships for York U graduate students from York University as well as the provincial and federal governments!

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There are thousands of graduate funding options – choose the right one(s) for you!

What Type of Graduate Funding Options Are Available?

Graduate funding opportunities are available in different forms, including scholarships, awards, bursaries and fellowships. Each funding option has different application requirements and eligibility criteria, so please keep the following definitions in mind when searching and applying for your scholarships, awards, bursaries and fellowships!


Scholarships are merit based and recognize exceptional talent/promise or academic excellence as defined by:

  1. A minimum grade of 80% for students entering from secondary school; or
  2. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 7.5; or
  3. A minimum A average for graduate studies; or
  4. Top academic performance, when an award evaluates students’ marks in comparison with their peers.

In some instances, scholarships may also include non-academic criteria such as financial need and residency. All York U scholarships appear on a student’s transcript.


Awards combine academic criteria (minimum grade of 70% for students entering from secondary school, undergraduate grade point average of 6.0, or graduate average of B) and non-academic criteria such as community service, leadership, and financial need. Awards are also reflected on a students’ transcript.

York University has many internal awards, including ones for incoming students and international students as well as discipline-specific and pan-University awards.


Bursaries are primarily designed to assist student with financial need. Students must be in good academic standing to be considered for bursary assistance (minimum undergraduate grade point average of 4.0).


Fellowships are distributed on a term-by-term basis to full-time graduate students in good academic standing. Each program has different requirements for “good standing,” so please look at your graduate program description for details.

Success Tip:
A lot of graduate scholarships, awards and bursaries are offered when you’re entering your graduate degree and as you continue your graduate studies – stay on the lookout for these funding options!

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Look at each funding options’ eligibility criteria carefully – some may require an academic reference, a detailed application or more!

University-Specific Graduate Funding Opportunities

Now that we know the different types of graduate funding available, it’s time to start searching for scholarships, awards, bursaries and fellowships!

York U’s Graduate Funding Opportunities

York U’s Domestic Master’s Fellowship is administered each term a student is enrolled full–time in good standing. If you receive a $10,000 York Domestic Master’s Fellowship, you would receive $3,333 per term posted to your student account with tuition deducted from the Fellowship.

York U also has a York Graduate Scholarship (YGS), a recruitment scholarship based on academic merit intended to convert top applicants to registrants. All prospective graduate students are automatically considered for this scholarship.

In addition to the Master’s Fellowship and Graduate Scholarship, York U offers other funding opportunities through various assistantships, including:

Teaching Assistantship

A stipend may be paid to a full-time degree candidate who teaches in one of the York Faculties or Colleges.

Graduate Assistantship

A stipend for a full-time degree candidate who assists with a practicum, apprentices in a laboratory or applied setting, participates in a research group etc.

Research Assistantship

A stipend may be paid to a full–time degree candidate for research or academic activities relevant and related to the student’s field(s) of study within the academic program.

Research Opportunities

Faculty members in organized research units and other faculty with research positions can post relevant opportunities for graduate students.

Note: These are only some of York U’s internal awards and funding opportunities: check online for more graduate scholarships, awards, bursaries and fellowships.

If you have any questions about York U-specific graduate funding opportunities, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, contact the Graduate Program Assistant in your program and/or speak with Student Financial Services.

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Make a budget to find out how much funding you will need with the #YUBlog’s post, “A #YUBlog Guide to University Budgeting, Part 2: How to Save Money.”

Provincial Graduate Funding Opportunities

Another source for graduate funding opportunities is your provincial government. Keep in mind that each province provides unique funding options.

Here are some of the provincial graduate funding sources in Ontario:

Federal Graduate Funding Opportunities

There are many federal graduate funding options for graduate students in Canada, so we chose some of the most popular scholarships and awards to start you on the right path:

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Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for graduate student funding for more details.

External Graduate Funding Opportunities

In addition to University-specific, provincial and federal funding, students can also find external funding options! These scholarships, awards and bursaries are most easily found on large university funding hubs, including:

If you are a fourth-year undergraduate student like me, Convocation is coming up soon! Check out the #YUBlog’s post, “The Almost Graduate’s Guide to Your Last Term,” for tips about planning your last year at York U.

If you have any questions, please comment below or tweet us at @YorkUStudents.

Lauren Dick
Lauren Dick

Lauren Dick graduated in Spring 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Professional Writing and a Professional Certificate in Marketing. She loves to curl up with a good story and a warm cup of tea (only English Breakfast, mind you), and she hopes her blog posts will continue to encourage current and incoming students to learn more about York U and its community.

See other posts by Lauren Dick

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