Student Funding Opportunities

Sonoma State University is committed to supporting students throughout their education. The programs below can provide additional support for students throughout their graduate and undergraduate education.

Undergraduate Research/Creative Project Grants

As a part of its allocation of Instructionally Related Activity Fees, the Fee Advisory Committee has funded the Undergraduate Research Grant Program. These research grants are designed to aid undergraduates with expenses they may incur in their research projects, such as supplies, equipment, or travel to present their research at professional or scholarly meetings. The maximum award is $750 per grant, with an average award of $500.

As the research grants have become increasingly competitive, we urge faculty and students to closely adhere to the guidelines and meet the application deadline.

Eligibility: Current SSU undergraduate students are eligible to apply. To qualify, a research project must be supported by a faculty sponsor and must be directly related to a class in which the student is enrolled.

To Apply: Applications should be submitted to the SSU Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Experiences (SOURCE) in Salazar 2057 . Guidelines for preparing the application are on the back of the application, which can be download from the links below.


Download Application and Guidelines (Word)

Download Application and Guidelines (PDF)

Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars Program

The California Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to increase the pool of potential faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of CSU students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages, placing special emphasis on those who enter doctoral programs at UC campuses. Applicants work closely with a CSU faculty sponsor to develop an overall plan leading ultimately to enrollment in a doctoral program.

Those who are selected as Pre-Doctoral Scholars will be awarded $3,000 to be used as outlined in the above-mentioned plan, which may include application fees, test fees, membership in professional organizations, and travel to doctoral granting institutions or professional conferences. Up to $500 in additional funds may be provided to the faculty mentor for joint travel. The program also provides summer research internship opportunities at doctoral granting institutions. Students participating in the summer internship component are matched with professors according to their areas of interest.

Eligibility:  Junior, senior, and graduate students in the CSU, especially those from environments where university teaching is not a common career goal.

To Apply: The online application usually becomes available in mid-November and campus deadline is typically in late February. For complete application instructions and current deadlines, visit the California Pre-Doctoral Program web page.

For current information on SSU procedures and deadlines, contact the SOURCE office (707-644-2264), or by email,

CSU Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program (formerly Forgivable Loan Program)

The purpose of the Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP) is to increase the pool of individuals who show promise of becoming strong candidates for CSU instructional faculty positions by providing financial assistance to doctoral students with the motivation, skills, and experience needed to teach the diverse student body in the CSU. It is a competitive program directed by the California State University but open to doctoral students across the country.

Through this program the California State University offers loans and faculty sponsorship to full-time doctoral students who are interested in a teaching career at a CSU campus. Specifically, the program provides:

  • Loans of up to $10,000 per year up to a total of $30,000
  • Loan Forgiveness: 20 percent of the loan is forgiven for each year of full-time postdoctoral teaching in the CSU.
  • Part-time postdoctoral teaching in the CSU may also be considered for partial loan forgiveness.
  • Faculty sponsorship from a CSU faculty member.

For details on eligibility, selection criteria and the role of the faculty sponsor, visit the CSU systemwide FLP website.

For an application or to discuss the program, contact Dr. Deborah Roberts.

Graduate Equity Fellowship

The Graduate Equity Fellowship program seeks to increase the diversity of students completing graduate programs at Sonoma State University, who plan to pursue doctoral programs, and are considering university faculty careers. It provides fellowships for economically disadvantaged SSU students, especially for those who are underrepresented among graduate degree recipients in their areas of study, and promotes faculty mentoring and research opportunities.

The intent of the fellowship is to minimize the debt burden and time to degree by replacing loans with grants. Eligibility includes admission and full-time enrollment in a graduate program, demonstrated financial need, and an academic standing of 3.0 GPA.

Application materials are made available during the spring semester of each academic year. Please contact the graduate advisor in your department or the graduate studies office for more information.

Graduate Assistant/Teaching Associate Fee Waiver Program

Fee waivers are granted each academic year to eligible students who are hired by their departments as either Graduate Assistants or Teaching Associates. Criteria also requires that students be in classified standing, planning full-time enrollment, maintaining a GPA of 3.0 in their last 60 units of coursework with no grades below a B, and are making satisfactory progress toward the graduate degree. Students who are underrepresented in their fields of study are given priority in the selection process.

Nomination forms are circulated each spring semester. Departments wishing to award fee waivers submit nominations to the Graduate Studies Office through their school deans. Departments are notified of awards and students receive letters of confirmation in the summer months prior to the academic year in which the student is receiving the fee waiver.