Main Content Region

Funding Opportunities

Graduate school can be challenging. Paying for it shouldn't be.
Our MA students tap into various funding sources to help subsidize their degrees, including assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, grants, and loans. Learn more about those resources and opportunities here.


Graduate Teaching Associates (GTAs)

Our department's most well-established assistantship opportunity is our Graduate Teaching Associate (or GTA) program. GTAs teach their own sections of our undergraduate Oral Communication course (COMM 1006). GTAs are competitively selected each spring, and they and receive continuing training and support to enhance their instruction. Many of our GTAs go on to careers teaching in the California Community College system, the Cal State system, or they pursue doctoral studies. More information about the Graduate Teaching Associate program is available here, or you can contact our Department's Graduate Teaching Associate Coordinator, Dr. Jo Anna Grant, at

Communication Consultants

The Speaking Center at Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration helps students across campus to develop and refine their oral communication skills. The Speaking Center hires Communication Consultants to deliver its one-on-one consultations, group consultations, communication workshops, and other support services. As Communication Consultants, our MA students take what they're learning in their communication studies courses, use those skills and competencies to support students across campus, and receive funding for their work. For more information about becoming a Communication Consultant, including the "Shadow a Consultant" program, please contact the Speaking Center at

Instructional Student Assistants (ISAs)

Some of our faculty teach large undergraduate courses (120+ students). For those courses, faculty hire Instructional Student Assistants (ISAs) to support them with things like course preparation, student communication, and grading. ISAs typically work 5 hours per week. ISA positions are posted here and are distributed to our MA students regularly via e-mail. Contact the graduate coordinator Dr. Ahlam Muhtaseb for more information.

Graduate Assistants (GAs)

Our communication studies faculty do cutting-edge research and creative work, but they often can't do it on their own. So, for some research and creative projects, faculty hire Graduate Assistants (GAs) to support them on that work. Responsibilities and time commitments vary from project-to-project, but graduate assistantships typically involve some mix of professional, technical, or research-based duties. GA positions are posted here and are distributed to our MA students regularly via e-mail. Contact the graduate coordinator Dr. Ahlam Muhtaseb for more information.

Fellowships, scholarships, grants, and loans

CSUSB’s Office of Graduate Studies maintains an extensive list of funding opportunities. These include (but are not limited to):

The California Pre-Doctoral program

The California Pre-Doctoral Program provides financial assistance for students interested in exploring and preparing for a doctoral program. Through this program, the CSU Chancellor’s Office provides assistance as the Sally Casanova Scholars award to juniors, seniors, and graduate students who wish to pursue doctoral degrees. The funds may be used for students to visit U.S. doctoral-granting institutions, obtain membership in professional organizations, subscribe to academic journals, GRE preparation, and to cover the cost of graduate school application and test fees.

Funding amount: $3000 plus funded summer internship opportunities.

Meet Communication Studies MA student and 2020-2021 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar, Shane Burrell

The Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP)

Offered by the California State University, the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP) aims to increase the number of promising doctoral students applying for future CSU faculty positions by offering financial assistance in the form of a loan, and mentorship by CSU faculty. The program is open to new or continuing full-time doctoral students, undergraduate and master’s level graduate students applying to doctoral programs, and lecturers enrolled in a full-time doctoral program. 

Funding amount: Loans of up to $10,000 per year, up to a total of $30,000.

Graduate Equity Fellowships

The Graduate Equity Fellowship seeks to increase the diversity of students completing masters degree programs at the CSU, encourages continuation toward doctoral programs, and promotes consideration of university faculty careers. It provides fellowships for economically disadvantaged CSU students who have had success in overcoming educational disadvantages and promotes faculty mentoring and research opportunities. Under this program at CSUSB, awardees may be awarded either a Graduate Program Fellowship (one or more award winners per graduate program) or a Graduate Studies Fellowship (1 award winner per College).

Funding amounts: $500 - $2,000 for the Graduate Program Fellowship; $4,500 for the Graduate Studies Fellowship.

State University Grant

The State University Grant is a need based award to cover a portion of tuition. The maximum annual SUG award is up to tuition fee cost, SUG does not cover additional campus charges. Any state resident (this grant is only available to California residents) who applies for financial aid will automatically be considered for this program. SUG funding is limited and based on availability of funding at time of review of a student’s financial aid record. 

Student Research and Travel Grant

Note: Travel funding currently suspended due to Covid-19

The Student Research and Travel Grant program encourages and supports both undergraduate and graduate student research and creative activities by providing funding to support student research. Students may use the funding to conduct research for independent study, an academic course, honor’s project, or master’s thesis or project. Funds are made available through Associated Students Incorporated and Instructionally Related Programs.

Funding amount: Up to $1,000 each academic year.

Additional Funding Opportunities

Please see here for additional public and private funding opportunities curated by CSUSB's Office of Graduate Studies.