Tuition and Funding

Tuition and fees for studying at George Mason University are listed here.  Click on Graduate Tuition Rates and scroll down to find tuition for the Volgenau School of Engineering.   Financial aid for highly competitive students is available through a number of avenues.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Research Assistantships

Opportunity for support of graduate students during their studies is available through CEIE Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA’s).  GTA’s assist faculty in teaching-related duties, including grading; classroom or recitation preparation; and assisting students in advising office hours outside of class time.  GTA’s are awarded competitively, and require both technical mastery of course material and the ability to express themselves well in English.

CEIE graduate students interested in being considered for a GTA position should indicate this on their graduate admission application, and, in addition, should contact the CEIE Department by emailing well in advance of the GTA semester of interest.  Full time GTA positions are usually reserved for full time graduate students.  Foreign students are eligible for GTA positions.

A half assistantship requires that the GTA spend, on average, 10 hours per week during a semester; and a full GTA requires 20 hours per week.   GTA support does not extend into the summer.  GTA support packages are set by the Volgenau School of Engineering and depend on whether the student is a Ph.D. student or an M.S. student.

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA’s) are also available, and are awarded competitively.  GRA’s conduct research funded by grants and contracts directed by individual faculty members, and are therefore linked to a particular faculty member, and to a specific research effort. Typically the research is also the basis of the student’s thesis (M.S.) or dissertation (Ph.D.), and the student is required to register for CEIE799 credit in the case of M.S. students; or CEIE998 or CEIE999 in the case of Ph.D. students.

Students interested in GRA support should indicate this on their graduate application, and, in addition, should contact faculty who work in the student’s area of civil engineering interest well in advance of the start of the research. Full time GRA positions are usually reserved for full time graduate students. Foreign students are eligible for GRA positions.

GRA support usually carries with it a multi-semester commitment to advance the research to some milestone. Renewal from semester to semester hinges on continuation of the research funding, and on the faculty advisor’s assessment of the GRA’s research progress. Support may or may not extend through the summer.   Students should be clear about the GRA expectations and conditions before accepting a graduate research assistantship.  GRA support packages are set by the faculty member but are expected to meet Volgenau School of Engineering GTA support levels, although they may be more if the research contract permits.

Other Funding Opportunities

The Volgenau School of Engineering and George Mason University offer other opportunities for graduate study support to highly competitive applicants.  Some may be comprehensive graduate support packages, such as the Presidential Scholarship, whereas others may be smaller scholarships or tuition assistance.  Students interested in being considered for these should contact the CEIE Graduate Coordinator at

Students are strongly encouraged to explore funding for their studies from off-campus sources, including, for example:

Forward-looking companies and government agencies frequently support part-time graduate study with full or partial tuition reimbursement and/or leave time for programs of study that will benefit the company or agency, and the student professionally.  Some government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Defense, permit fully paid leaves of absence for graduate study.  Prospective students are encouraged to explore this with their employers.

International Applicants

International students who are admitted to study, are required to provide proof that they can support their studies (tuition, fees, books and living expenses) while at George Mason University before they can apply for a student visa.  Details about requirements are provided here.

Support requirements can be met in whole or in part by scholarships, fellowships, Graduate Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Research Assistantships, and evidence of personal or family savings.  Prospective foreign students are encouraged to explore support from their home country before applying to study at George Mason University. In most cases, student visas do not permit students or members of their accompanying families to work off-campus.