Funding & Financial Aid

Bascom Hall

Funding your education is likely a top concern. 
Follow these links for information about:


  • Distance master's program: Tuition for fall 2015 is $800 per credit, comparable to WI resident tuition per credit. See the UW-Registrar's tuition and fees table
  • On-campus program: Tuition and cost of living change annually. Using the Registrar's tuition and fees table, select the most current term, and under "Student Careers", choose "graduate".  Nine credits is considered a full-time load for the SLIS MA program.


Most on-campus SLIS students work one or more part-time LIS jobs on campus or in the community. In addition to gaining experience and new skills, you will make connections with professionals who can serve as a resource and a reference when you apply for professional employment.

Most on-campus jobs pay an hourly rate and do not include tuition remission or benefits.  UW-Madison does offer a limited number of graduate assistantships. Graduate assistants receive tuition remission, so long as they hold at least a 33% appointment. Most assistantships also include a stipend and affordable health insurance. Graduate assistantships come in the form of Project Assistantships (PAs), Teaching Assistantships (TAs) and Research Assistantships (RA).

SLIS has a limited number of PA and TA positions, which are typically offered to doctoral students. Some campus libraries offer assistantships. Some SLIS students accept graduate assistantships that are not directly related to LIS because of the financial benefits. Although percentages vary year to year, in general,  10 to 15% of SLIS students hold assistantships or fellowships.

SLIS informs students of openings for jobs and assistantships via the SLIS student listserv. You are also encouraged to search for jobs using these resources:


SLIS provides a limited number of scholarships to incoming on-campus and distance master's students who demonstrate both merit and need. Awards are made for the first year of study and typically range from $1000 to $6000.  Approximately 30% of incoming students are awarded a SLIS scholarship.  The application for the master's program includes a space for you to indicate your interest in being selected for a SLIS scholarship; there is no separate application process.  The following SLIS scholarships are generally awarded to incoming students:

Beatrice Owens Memorial Scholarship Fund
Charlotte A. Friedman Scholarship
Charlotte M. Sawyer Fund for Library and Information Studies Scholarship
Ethel M. Brann Scholarship
John R. Koch Fund Scholarship
Kathryn Eye Bading Scholarship
Library and Information Studies Directors' Scholarship
Leona Gifford Scholarship
Maralyn B. and George G. Babcock
Marguerite Linda Hasse Library & Information Studies Endowment Scholarship
Mary Rose Kobetich Scholarship
Olive C. Koch Rowe Memorial Scholarship
Olive Dornfeld Busjaeger Centennial Scholarship
Rachel K. Schenk Memorial Scholarship
Sally Davis Scholarship
Signe Ruh Ottersen Fund Scholarship
Valmai Fenster Memorial Scholarship
Vannita L. Wesely Funds Scholarship
William R. Werk Scholarship

UW-Madison offers a variety of scholarships and funding sources. Resources include:

  • The UW-Madison Office of Student Financial Aid lists UW scholarships. While some are open only to undergraduates, a number are open to graduate students.
  • The Division of Continuing Studies maintains an excellent list of scholarships and financial assistance available at UW-Madison. While the website is geared toward returning adult students, many of the resources are applicable to a wider audience.
  • The Graduate Student Collaborative sends a weekly e-newsletter, GradConnections, to anyone who subscribes. GradConnections includes a comprehensive list of funding sources geared toward graduate students (assistantships, scholarships, grants, etc.).

Scholarships are available through other organizations, foundations and agencies. Many professional associations, such as the American Library Association and the Wisconsin Library Association, offer scholarships. Also explore scholarships granted by your undergraduate institution or organizations in your hometown. The Grants Information Collection at the UW-Madison Memorial Library offers a wealth of online and print resources to help you research ways to fund your education. Non-UW students can obtain a day pass to use the collection.

Federal Financial Aid

The Office of Student Financial Aid manages federal financial aid for UW-Madison students, whether on-campus or distance.

Funding for International Students

The International Student Services Office (ISS) has compiled a resource page of Funding and Scholarships for International Students.

SLIS Student Travel Policy & Grants

SLIS has limited endowment funds to support MA student travel to and presentation at conferences.  SLIS students who are presenting at regional, national or international conferences may apply to the SLIS Director for travel support.  Applications for groups of students to share costs to attend a conference are also encouraged. 

To apply, email the SLIS Director with the following information:

  • Name, dates, and location of conference, URL;
  • Budget (include registration, accommodation, and transportation costs);
  • Names of other sources of funding to which you have applied, with amounts;
  • A two-three sentence explanation of why attending this conference is important to you. Include the title of your presentation, or nature of your participation if applicable.