Graduate Students are vital members of our learning environment here at York and we are committed to supporting achievement of their academic goals including timely completion of their studies.
In addition to providing a vibrant and diverse educational experience, the overall funding package available to our graduate students is key to their success. York's graduate funding model offers eligible full-time domestic and international graduate students consistent funds throughout the academic year.
Driven by the principles of academic excellence, York's funding model offers competitive funding packages to support graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral programs.
Minimum Funding Commitment
- Covers tuition, and is indexed to increases in tuition fees
- A component of the minimum funding commitment is the York Fellowship
- Varies between domestic and international students to reflect differential fees
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is York's funding model?
Funding in the form of a York Fellowship is part of each funding package and is pro-rated so that students receive equal payments in each term in which they are registered active and in full-time status. This important structure supports students and enhances their academic experience.
The funding model is indexed to cover increases in tuition fees.
Detailed charts demonstrating previous vs. current funding structures can be found in the Standard Funding Package Details tab below.
When did the funding model begin? Who does it impact?
The funding model came into effect for the 2016 fall term. All current full-time graduate students in research-based programs transitioned. Eligible incoming graduate students will be offered a funding commitment upon admission.
Did all full-time graduate students transition to this model?
Yes, all current full-time graduate students transitioned along with full-time incoming students who were offered a funding commitment upon admission.
If I am a part-time student, will I receive funding through this funding model?
The funding model is only applicable to full-time graduate students who have been offered a funding commitment upon admission.
How does this model impact students’ work as Graduate Assistants (GAs)?
Students may apply for GAs through the normal posting process as identified in the CUPE 3903 Unit 3 Collective Agreement. GA funding is in addition to the Fellowship and available to students who are not working more than 10 hours per week on campus.
Please visit CUPE Jobs for more information.
Does the funding model mean there are no more CUPE 3903 Unit 3 positions (Graduate Assistants)?
No. GA positions are available and students can apply for GAs through the normal posting process as identified in the CUPE 3903 Unit 3 Collective Agreement. GA funding is in addition to the Fellowship and available to students who are not working more than 10 hours per week on campus.
Please note that there is an updated posting process for GA positions. Students will be able to review the details of GAs through the postings, prior to the start of the contract.
I entered year six of my PhD program at the time of the funding model transition. How will I be impacted?
The funding model does not change the original funding commitments from the University for year six PhD students at the time of the transition.
How does this model impact recruiting new graduate students to York University?
Prospective students receive more transparent funding details when offered admission to assist them in making a conscious decision of where to enroll and to better compare York’s offer with other institutions.
How does the Fellowship affect my funding, as a student? Am I able to work?
The Fellowship is administered each term a student is enrolled full–time in good standing. If you receive a $10,000 York Domestic Master's Fellowship, you would receive $3,333 per term posted to your student account with tuition deducted from the Fellowship.
You are able to accept no more than 10 hours of employment per week in a CUPE Unit 1 and/or Unit 3 position. Depending on the work assignment, the value of the Fellowship may be adjusted.
Doesn’t the Fellowship allow us to earn more money by accepting more work?
Prior to York's current funding structure, most graduate students were expected to secure CUPE 3903 assignments in order to receive their funding. For example, if a student received a full Teaching Assistantship in one term, their funding would have been met in that term and offered students very little funds throughout the remaining academic year.
The Fellowship provides funding to offset tuition fees for graduate students, and does not prevent graduate students from seeking out, and securing, CUPE 3903 work assignments. If a graduate student secures a CUPE 3903 work assignment, the funding model will allow the student to receive equal Fellowship payments throughout the academic year (through the Fellowship), and the wages earned from the CUPE assignment would be in addition to the Fellowship while they are a full–time student in good standing.
The funding model also aims to help graduate students plan their finances more effectively, as students are able to see how any incoming additional funding (such as internal/external scholarships, and awards) works alongside the Fellowship.
What is the difference between a Teaching Assistant (TA), Graduate Assistant (GA) and Research Assistant (RA)?
*RAs are graduate students registered as full-time who receive financial assistance from or through York University for research or academic activities which are predominantly for the purposes of advancing the students’ progress towards fulfilment of their program and degree requirements. They are not affiliated with CUPE 3903.
How does this model affect tuition indexation?
The minimum funding commitment is indexed to increases in tuition fees. This means that in cases in which the minimum funding commitment is met through a Fellowship, the Fellowship itself is indexed for increases in tuition.
Does the Fellowship vary between domestic and international students to reflect differential fees?
Yes, differential fees are accounted for in the Fellowship.
I see additional charges in my student account - why doesn't the York Fellowship cover this?
There are two categories of fees that, while paid automatically if you have a credit balance in your student account, are not covered by the York Fellowship and/or applicable scholarships and awards. In other words, the Fellowship is not indexed to account for the following fees: Referenda fees (approximately $111 per term), and Registration fees (approximately $15 per term).
If you do not have a credit balance in your student account, you are required to complete any outstanding fee payments.
How is the Fellowship impacted for a student holding a Tri-Council scholarship?
If a graduate student receives an external Tri-Council scholarship, part of the scholarship will count towards the York Fellowship.
How is the Fellowship impacted for a student holding an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)?
If a graduate student receives an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), the University's contribution of $5,000 towards the overall value of the OGS will be used to count towards the York Fellowship.
How is the Fellowship impacted for a student holding an Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS)?
If a doctoral international student receives an Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS), the York International Doctoral Fellowship will count towards the University’s contribution of the overall value of the OTS.
Are internal York University awards part of or on top of the Fellowship?
Internal awards that are fully supported by donor funds do not impact the Fellowship. For matching funds internal awards that are partially supported by the university, the portion of the university contribution will count towards the Fellowship. Further details are available on the specific internal award webpage.
How do Research Assistantships (RAs) count?
If you receive any funds in the form of a Research Assistantship, these funds may be in addition to your minimum funding commitment that is intended to cover the cost of tuition and ancillary fees.
Do bursaries count towards the Fellowship?
No, bursaries (defined as any award whose sole criterion is financial need) do not count toward the Fellowship.
How are health care costs covered?
Graduate students who receive a York Fellowship as part of their graduate funding are provided with a $1,000 York University Health Care Graduate Bursary accessed through their student account, to be used for extended health care coverage for students who do not have an alternative plan.
Currently, graduate students are required to enroll in the health care plan managed by the York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA). This health care plan costs $410 - the charge shows up as "GSA Health Care" in the student account in October. In order to opt out, students are required to demonstrate that they have comparable health and dental coverage in addition to OHIP and UHIP. Students can de-enrol in the YUGSA health care plan by visiting YUGSA - Opt In & Out.
For example, if a graduate student is enrolled in the YUGSA health care plan ($410 cost), they will have $590 left from the $1,000 York University Health Care Graduate Bursary for health care needs that arise throughout the year. If a student has demonstrated extended health care coverage elsewhere e.g. through the benefit plan of a spouse, they can use the York University Health Care Graduate Bursary for other expenditures.
Can all graduate students purchase the YUGSA health care plan for $400?
Yes, all graduate students can purchase the YUGSA health care plan. Due to a student referendum, students are required to enroll in the plan, however, if a graduate student is covered by CUPE 3903 Unit 1 and/or Unit 3 or if they can demonstrate they have extended health care coverage elsewhere then they are not required to purchase the YUGSA plan.
Will the YUGSA health care plan provide the same coverage graduate students received prior to the Fellowship?
Please visit York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA) - Health Plan for further details on coverage.
Is there any access to emergency funds?
Yes, graduate students can apply for emergency funds by visiting the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies. Students can also connect with the York University Graduate Students' Association (YUGSA) through their Donations & Loans program.
Is academic and professional financial support available under the funding model?
Graduate students seeking financial support for academic pursuits can apply for an Academic Excellence Fund offered by FGS. Funds are intended to be used for items such as conference fees and associated costs, research travel support, fieldwork support. More information on the Academic Excellence Fund will be provided shortly.
For professional development-related activities, FGS works closely with MITACS through the Graduate Professional Skills (GPS) program, who provide funding through their Accelerate Program.
What supports/resources do graduate students have under their funding commitment?
The Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (CSRR) provides graduate students general protections on all non-academic student conduct. Additionally, graduate students are encouraged to seek assistance from the Centre for Human Rights through their Case Resolution Services.
For graduate students with disabilities, Disability Services provides support for learning, mental health, and physical, sensory and medical disabilities.
If a graduate student applies for and receives a CUPE 3903 work assignment, they would receive any disability-related accommodations as outlined in the CUPE 3903 Collective Agreements.
How do funds appear in my student account and, and how do they get disbursed to my bank account?
The Understanding your Student Account and Funding Package guide covers the administration of fees and disbursement of funding in greater detail. We encourage you to visit this webpage to learn more: gradstudies.yorku.ca/current-students/student-finances/funding-awards/funding-guide/
Funding Package Details
Please contact your Graduate Program Assistant for further information regarding York's graduate funding model.