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Admitted MESM Students: Funding and Employment


This year, the Bren School was able to offer general recruitment and diversity fellowship funding to 24% of admitted MESM students. If you were offered a Bren School fellowship award, it will be listed in your official Bren School admission letter. 

Additional scholarship and fellowship information can be found on the following sites: 

Financial Aid

The UCSB’s Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships provides work-study and loans to supplement the costs of enrollment, and Bren students are successful at securing employment throughout the school year.

The Bren School expects all prospective and current domestic students to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available online or at the financial aid office of any college or university in the United States. For information about additional funding support opportunities, please visit the UCSB’s Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships website. These financial aid programs are based entirely on demonstrated financial need. Assistance from the Financial Aid Office is usually offered as a combination package of work-study and direct loans.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms are processed by UCSB's Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (not the Bren School). Incoming UCSB graduate students are notified of eligibility for student loans by the Financial Aid Office during the summer. Any questions regarding financial aid packages and loans should be directed to the financial aid office:

On-Campus Employment Opportunities

Teaching Assistant (TA) Positions
TA positions are a great way for students to gain teaching experience while offsetting the cost of school. If you are employed as a TA at 25-50% time (10-20 hours per week, respectively), you receive a salary and payment of regular tuition and health insurance for the quarter(s) you are employed. TA positions do not cover campus fees, Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition (PDST), or Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition (NRST). 

The Bren School does not offer undergraduate classes, so we cannot hire MESM students to TA Bren classes. Bren staff distribute any advertisements received from departments via email to students, and students also contact UCSB departments with undergraduate programs that employ TAs. All UCSB departments have a different process and timeline for recruiting TAs. TA selection for Fall Quarter typically starts in late spring and continues throughout the summer up until just before the start of the school year. More details on TA appointments will be sent to incoming MESM students over the summer.

The TA salary scale represents a 100% time appointment (which is not permitted by the university). To determine salary, TAs need to apply the % time appointment to that scale. For example, most TA positions are 50% time appointments, so one academic quarter's salary would be 50% of $15,046 which is $7,523. Another common appointment is 25% time, which would be $3,761.50 per quarter. The salary is typically paid out monthly over the course of the quarter, but TAs should discuss the specifics of the position with the department they are hired by. TAships are regarded as Academic Student Employment (ASE). ASEs whose appointment is at least 25% time qualify for a partial fee remission (includes tuition and student services fee) and payment of health insurance. The salary is in addition to the tuition and insurance coverage.

More information can be found here and here.

Student Assistant Positions
Most staff units within the Bren School hire MESM students as Student Assistants. Often these jobs do not directly relate to the students' academic or professional interests, but they offer decent wages, flexible hours, and the convenient location at Bren Hall, make them of interest to students. Staff units circulate announcements advertising opportunities throughout the year to cohort listservs as they identify hiring needs, though most prefer to hire assistants at the beginning of Fall Quarter. 

Research Assistant Positions
While less common for Bren master's students, Research Assistant positions can be arranged directly with the faculty member who needs a student to assist with research.

There are two types of positions: Research Assistants (RA) and Graduate Student Researchers (GSR). The RA position is typically paid an hourly rate in exchange for assisting faculty in their research. GSR positions are usually held by PhD students doing research in their faculty advisor's lab, for which they receive a salary and tuition remission. On occasion, MESM students are hired as a GSR, usually in the second year.

Estimated fees and tuition costs can be found on the Tuition and Finance page

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