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PhD Program Funding

Upon admission to the MES PhD program, a student is notified if they qualify for department funding. Students admitted to the MES PhD program are eligible for a five-year funding package that provides a combination of fellowships, employment as a graduate student instructor, and summer research stipends. 

Current PhD students are welcome to seek additional sources of funding for independent research, projects, program development and other scholarly activities. For questions about funding, please contact the student services team at

Non-Departmental Funding Resources

Students are encouraged to seek non-departmental funding when appropriate. University resources include the Rackham Graduate School, the International Institute, the Institute for the Humanities, and the relevant International Institute Centers. Rackham also provides links to possible external resources. Any non-departmental funding resources/fellowships that are advertised to departments are forwarded to our graduate students.

Tuition-only Fellowships

To aid in compliance with the Continuous Enrollment policy, LSA provides financial assistance to students through tuition-only fellowships. These fellowships are in addition to the five-year guaranteed funding package from the Department. Upon achieving candidacy, MES students are allotted three of these fellowships to be used during their remaining time in the graduate program. Each fellowship provides 100% tuition coverage and healthcare benefits for one term, but no stipend.

The scenarios when tuition-only fellowships are used vary, but typically students will use one of the fellowships when they have secured external funding for living expenses, research, and travel but need coverage of their University of Michigan tuition.  The only time a student cannot use a tuition-only fellowship is in the semester in which s/he defends the dissertation.

Departmental Awards and Fellowships

The George F. and Celeste Hourani Memorial Scholarship

The George F. and Celeste Hourani Memorial Scholarship will support a PhD candidate in the Department of Middle East Studies by providing a defense term fellowship. One award will be given each academic year. The fellowship will consist of full tuition, fees, and a stipend commensurate with a .50 GSI appointment. The award will only be given in the intended term of defense. Applicants must have a record of excellence within the program and be in good academic standing. Applicants must be certain of defense in the next academic year and intend to use this fellowship in that term of defense. Only students whose funding package has come from the University of Michigan are eligible to apply. See the Student Services Assistant for details. 

Emergency Funding

The Rackham Graduate Student Emergency Fund is intended to help meet the financial needs of Rackham graduate students who encounter an emergency situation or one-time, unusual, or unforeseen expenses during their degree program. You can find out more on the Rackham website

Through their counseling program, the Center for the Education of Women awards small emergency grants to graduate students and nontraditional undergraduates, including parents and returning students, who face serious and unexpected financial problems. To apply for a "critical difference" grant, call (734) 764-6360 to make an appointment with a counselor.