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Graduate Tuition and Financial Aid

Financial Information

We know the cost of graduate education can seem daunting, but MSIS and MSLS students at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) can take of advantage of many opportunities to help defray the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses.

UNC-Chapel Hill and SILS offer merit-based support for promising incoming students, several assistantships with full-tuition support are awarded each year, our students regularly succeed in securing awards from professional organizations and other external sources, and there are many flexible, competitively-compensated employment options on or near campus.

Explore this page to learn more about the cost of attendance and potential funding sources available to SILS master’s students.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fee rates are posted on the University Cashier’s website.

Click here for estimated costs of attendance (including tuition, books, room and board, etc.) for one year at UNC provided by the University Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.

In addition, students should consider the cost of the required laptop computer.

Calculate Your Expenses

Use the UNC budgeting calculator to estimate cost by semester and calculate what you may owe.

Budget Calculator

NC Residency

Residents of North Carolina may attend UNC-Chapel Hill at a significantly lower cost. Please refer to the Graduate School’s website for North Carolina Residency for Tuition Purposes, which contains information about NC residency requirements and how to apply for resident status.

Financial Aid

Prospective master’s students are encouraged to apply for admission by December 1 to ensure they receive full consideration for financial aid. Specific application deadlines can be found on the UNC Graduate School’s page for specific degree programs.

Need-Based Aid

Need-based assistance is handled by the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA). Application is made by completing the FAFSA form and requesting that financial information be sent to UNC-Chapel Hill. For questions regarding need-based aid, please consult OSSA directly.

Merit-Based Aid

SILS awards scholarships and fellowships based on the strength of admission applications and progress made within a program after admission. No separate application is required. The SILS admission committees and the academic affairs office work to disperse all available aid to students each year. Several endowed funds have been established over the years to benefit SILS graduate students, including the Evelyn J. Bishop Scholarship Fund, Kathleen McNiece Moore Fellowship in Children’s Library Services, Lisa Burmeister Computer & Information Science Fellowship, Michael Hooker Graduate Fellowship in Applied Networking, and Margaret Ellen Kalp Memorial Fellowship. Dozens of SILS students receive support from these sources annually.

Most SILS financial aid is given to students who begin their programs in summer or fall semesters, though some fellowships are awarded to those who begin in spring. If an award is made in summer, it will generally not begin until the fall semester.

PLEASE NOTE: No separate application is required to be considered for any merit-based aid from SILS, and citing specific fellowships in your application or tailoring your application materials to fit the descriptions of endowed funds is not recommended.


Assistantships generally require 15-20 hours of service per week, and recipients are not allowed to accept employment beyond the assistantship. Assistantship stipends are set at or above the minimum stipend level for terminal master’s programs suggested by the UNC Graduate School. With the exception of the EPA Library Internship Program, nominations for assistantships are based on the strength of your admission application or progress in the program. Candidates may be asked to interview or submit additional materials, but no separate applications are required.

In addition to the assistantships described below, SILS generally offers about five grant-funded and SILS-funded assistantships per year, including stipends, health insurance, and full tuition support.

Carolina Academic Library Associates (CALAs): Two-year appointments with UNC Libraries; includes stipend for 12 months, health insurance, and full tuition support. Approximately eight CALAs are appointed each fall. Appointments are announced in February and early March. Candidates are matched with departments based on the needs of the various libraries and departments, as well as their own professional interests. Recent students have been appointed to assist at the Sloan Art Library, Digital Research Services, Carolina Digital Repository, Special Collections Technical Services department, UNC Music Library, Stone Center Library for Black Culture and History, Health Sciences Library, and Kenan Science Library.

Carolina Technology Associates (CaTAs): Two-year appointments in a systems or technology setting on campus or in the area; includes stipend for 9 or 12 months, health insurance, and full tuition support. The number of CaTAs varies from year-to-year depending on demand. Appointments are announced in February and early March.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Library Internship Program: Appointments in the EPA Library in Research Triangle Park; varying length, usually made after one semester has been completed; includes stipend, health insurance, and full tuition support. Approximately six assistants are appointed each year. EPA Library Director will recruit applicants working with SILS Career Services Coordinator as positions become available.

Graduate School Merit Assistantships: One-year assistantships with minimal service requirement; 9-month stipend, health insurance, and full tuition support. Successful nominees are notified in late February.

Weiss Urban Livability Fellowships: One-year fellowship provides funding, learning opportunities, and practical experience; 9-month stipend, health insurance, and full tuition support. Fellows design a community project that impacts urban livability in Chapel Hill. Successful nominees are notified in late February.

External Awards

A number of foundations, professional associations, and other organizations provide support to students. UNC’s Graduate Funding Information Center can help graduate students find fellowships and other funding opportunities.

Office of Distinguished Scholarships Funding resources for undergraduate and graduate students

Visit our professional organizations page for links to a variety of information science organization websites and check out the American Library Association (ALA) scholarships page, which allows you to apply for a variety of general and specialty scholarships through one application.

External funding organizations have their own procedures and require separate applications. SILS shares notices of award opportunities with current student via listservs.

Additional Work Opportunities

Numerous student assistant positions are available in on-campus and off-campus information technology units and libraries for students in SILS programs. Students must apply directly to the individual departments or organizations for these positions. The School receives notices of part-time job and internship opportunities and makes this information available to students via the SILS jobs listserv.

Funding for Enrolled Students

Small grants are available to SILS students for assistance with research costs and travel to research or professional conferences. Visit the Student Research Funding page for additional information.

Additional Assistance

Lara BaileyProspective Master’s Students

Contact Lara Bailey or 919-962-7601



Prospective Doctoral Students

Contact Eleni Papadoyannis or 919-962-0182