How to Finance Your Degree: Guide to Awards and Master’s Program Scholarships | Ontario Agricultural College

How to Finance Your Degree: Guide to Awards and Master’s Program Scholarships

Posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2024

Written by Nidhi Nidhi

Masters Scholarships and Awards in Canada:

The University of Guelph takes pride in fostering academic excellence through an array of scholarships and awards tailored for our graduate students. These opportunities are designed to recognize outstanding achievements, scholarly potential, and research endeavours. Programs such as the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), Tri-Council Awards (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR), and internal awards like the Arrell Food Institute Scholarships and International Doctoral Tuition Scholarship offer substantial financial support, covering tuition fees and providing stipends for living expenses.

As the U of G fosters a vibrant and inclusive academic community that welcomes students from around the globe, prospective and current international graduate students are encouraged to explore the numerous scholarships and awards available through the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (OGPS). Don’t forget, there are numerous opportunities to apply for our scholarships and awards but some of the applications can be extensive! Make sure you take ample time to review your possibilities.

External Funding for your Master’s Degree:

Exploring external funding sources can significantly supplement financial aid from the university. Organizations, foundations, and government agencies provide grants, fellowships, and scholarships specifically targeted towards graduate students pursuing research in particular disciplines or fields of study. Initiatives like the Mitacs-Accelerate Program and Ontario Women’s Health Scholars Awards could serve as additional avenues for financial support and professional development.

Master’s Student Assistantships and Fellowships:

Graduate assistantships present an invaluable avenue for financial aid while allowing students to gain hands-on experience in teaching or research. Teaching Assistantships (TAs) and Research Assistantships (RAs) not only offer financial support but also facilitate skill development and networking within one’s field. Additionally, fellowships, both internal and external, are available to support in various stages in their academic pursuits, providing funding for specific research projects or academic endeavours.

Funding from Departments and Research Groups:

Department and research groups often have their own funding mechanisms to support graduate students. These funds may stem from grants, endowments, or partnerships with external organizations. Building strong connections with faculty members and departments can unveil unique funding opportunities, including project-based grants or travel grants to present research at conferences - an asset for academic growth.

Some Additional Tips for Funding your Masters Degree:

  • When applying for funding opportunities, meticulous attention to detail is crucial. Ensure compliance with deadlines, submit well-crafted applications, and tailor your proposals to align with the objectives of each funding source. Clearly articulate your research goals, academic achievements, and the potential impact of your work to stand out among the pool of applicants.
  • At the University of Guelph, aspiring graduate students have the ability to leverage the plethora of resources available, proactively seek opportunities, and craft compelling applications to secure financial support and embark on an enriching academic journey.

Remember, while navigating the financial landscape of higher education can seem challenging, the University of Guelph stands ready to support and nurture the scholarly pursuits of its graduate students!

To learn more about OAC's graduate programs, including both course-based and thesis-based programs, visit their website.

About Nidhi Nidhi (she/her)

Nidhi is a passionate and dedicated 5th year undergraduate student at the University of Guelph. Currently, she is working towards completing her degree in Bachelor of Sciences in Environmental Sciences (BSc.ENVS) in Environmental Economics and Policy and a minor in Sustainable Business. Driven by a desire to contribute positively to the world, Nidhi actively engages in research, academic discourse, and practical initiatives aimed at promoting environmental stewardship.

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