Advancing your degree within your budget

Graduate education can be costly but the College of Design and Iowa State University offer several opportunities to reduce students’ expenses. These opportunities include assistantships, scholarships, grants, and on-campus employment. While funding opportunities exist, no College of Design awards will cover the full cost of attendance to Iowa State University.

All terminal degree applicants are automatically considered for College of Design departmental assistantships and recruitment scholarships when all application materials are received by their program’s priority deadline. While no application is needed for many awards, students can explore additional scholarship offerings within and outside of the College of Design through the university’s OneApp scholarship portal. In order to reduce costs for as many applicants as possible, applicants will receive either an assistantship, scholarship, or neither, but not both funding types.

Departmental Assistantships

Quarter-time departmental assistantships (GAs) may be offered to our top applicants in many of our graduate degree programs. In exchange for 10 hours of work per week in either a teaching, research, or administrative role, graduate assistants receive:

  • Iowa resident tuition rates
  • A 25-50% tuition scholarship (50% for terminal degrees; 25% for nonterminal degrees)
  • Semesterly stipend
  • Health insurance coverage
  • A reduction in some student fees

Most graduate assistants keep their positions for duration of their degree program once awarded as long as they are progressing successfully through the program, meeting the needs of the position, and as long as budgets permit. Graduate students may not hold more than one assistantship in the College of Design. Assistantships must be filled each year as there is work to do and therefore cannot be deferred.

Departmental assistantships are not available for the online Master of Community Development, Master of Sustainable Environments, Master of Urban Development, Master of Arts in Interior Design, or Master of Arts in Experiential Graphic Design programs. Please view the cost of attendance before applying. Students are encouraged to explore on-campus employment opportunities when you enroll.

Departmental Merit Scholarships

Each College of Design department is provided scholarship funds to recruit their top candidates.

Merit scholarships apply to the applicant’s first year of study and are non-renewable. Due to scholarships’ ties to the fiscal year budget, scholarships cannot be deferred.

Additional funding sources

Students who are not awarded a departmental assistantship may seek assistantship opportunities elsewhere on campus. Graduate students are limited to 20 hours per week of on-campus work or up to half-time assistantship coverage.

Please visit the Graduate College for additional funding information.

College of Design student working on class project.

A Cyclone in the Making

Find your place at Iowa State University’s College of Design, where we like to ask questions, poke and prod, create something new, and make a difference through design.