Q: I want to know if there is a minimum GPA to be eligible for a fellowship in a masters program. I have a 3.2 GPA (overall) in the Mechanical Engineering Department and have participated on design projects, such as the Mini Baja Project. I would like to go to graduate school for a masters in engineering. I am not a resident of this country, which makes it impossible to fund my own tuition. I am planning to do research this quarter and find areas of interest within the engineering field. Thanks for your time.

A: A 3.2 in Mechanical Engineering is good. Getting fellowships is hard though, especially for Masters program students. Professors prefer to support PhD students. If you are interested in getting a PhD, apply directly to the PhD program. If you are really only interested in a Masters, take a two pronged approach. First, apply to as many Masters fellowships as you can. Your school should have an office that will help you find fellowships. You can also try a Google search. Second, it will be important for you establish relationships with some professors. The good news is that if you can establish that you are a hard worker, some professors might be willing to support you even though you are not a Ph.D. student. If you get accepted, you will most likely get support, so don’t worry too much about funding your own tuition. That said, you should still make sure the school will support you before you accept their offer of admission.

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