Courses can be taken full-time (3 or 4 per semester for 3 semesters), or in any other pattern (2 per semester, etc.). If you take out a loan, you must take a minimum of two courses–6 credits–each semester that you wish to receive loan money. Since one must stay enrolled in order to continue receiving loans, it is to your advantage to spread out the coursework so that you have two courses left to take in the fourth semester. (There is also a “Perkins Loan” that does not require more than 3 credits a semester. See Financial Aid for more info on all kinds of loans.)

Most of our students attend full-time, but about a fourth are part-time. During the last semester one also finishes the thesis and takes comprehensive exams. One pays the same per course regardless of whether one takes one course or four. The only advantage of taking four per semester is that these students are allowed to take additional courses, if desired (such as seminars, private lessons or jazz ensemble) at no additional cost. Please look at the Rutgers website for current tuition rates, both for non-New Jersey residents and current New Jersey residents. In 2011 it was $600 per credit for NJ residents and about $900 per credit for others—a course is 3 credits.

Keep in mind that you can take 1,2, or 3 (maybe even 4) courses per semester, whatever works for you! After one year of living in NJ, one will sometimes qualify for the resident rates. As stated above, part time enrollments are possible.

Starting second semester, but especially in the summer, some of our grad students get the opportunity to teach one basic undergraduate course, which pays about $4000. Even more important than the pay, since many of our students want to teach when they graduate (among other things), they gain supervised experience (Porter and his colleagues supervise) and they are actually hired as part-time faculty (not as a teaching assistant). These teaching jobs are offered only while one is in the program–new full-time students always get priority for them.

The Financial Aid Office can only offer loans and work study funding.  Let Lewis Porter know if you qualify for Work Study aid. We have our own Work Study position and it is available at Financial Aid. Be sure to ask them about the position called: Graduate Research Assistant in the Dept of Arts, Media and Culture (formerly Visual and Performing Arts). If it’s not on their list, be persistent—it does exist and several students each year have been hired. There are a number of possible responsibilities, including cataloging DVDs and CDs, refiling books and CDs, transcribing interviews, maintaining and editing websites, photocopying, scanning articles and converting to PDF format, audio and video dubbing, etc., etc. (Be sure to find out how many hours you are allowed per week and per semester. Don’t exceed your allotted hours.)

Separately from the Financial Aid Office: There are sometimes awards directly through the MA program (depending on that year’s budget) that pay for one or two courses per semester. Program Director, Lewis Porter personally considers all applications automatically for these awards, when they are available.  In addition,
sometimes awards become available after you have already started taking courses here—so if you didn’t get anything your first semester, all is not lost. Dr. Porter will we’ll simply notify you if you have been awarded.

  • The Milt Gabler Scholarship (founded by the family of the late legendary jazz record producer) is an award exclusively for jazz MA students. Each year faculty will choose a winner, who receives about $800. Contributions to the fund are still being sought.
  • The Clement Meadmore Scholarship (founded by the estate of the late sculptor, who was a jazz fan) is exclusively for our MA students and provides about $1500 to one student per year.
  • Ed Berger of the IJS manages the Carter-Berger Fund which gives several research awards of about $1,000 every spring. This fund has been very generous to our students–about a dozen have won awards. Dr. Porter will notify you if you should apply for this, and how.

Students have found jobs on campus, sometimes even at the IJS, and off campus. We also arrange on occasion for music gigs, small jobs in the industry, and for publishing opportunities. There are possibilities of funding from grants and foundations as well, which the student can pursue. There are also non-paying internships for academic credit, at IJS and with jazz critics and record companies, radio stations, etc. These have on occasion led to jobs after graduation, and are good experience in any case.

Grants that might be worth applying to. For example, Women can consider applying for this grant:
http://www.aauw.org/learn/fellowships_grants/career_development.cfm
Application deadline: December 15

OR for women from outside of the USA: http://www.aauw.org/learn/fellowships_grants/international.cfm

IF and ONLY if you are certain that you will go on for a PhD (most of our students do not), consider applying for this fellowship: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/jacobjavits/eligibility.html

There are certainly a few others out there, if you do some research, and/or ask your undergrad office to help.

General Financial Advice: The website ibrinfo.org is a reputable place to learn about special programs that make repayment of student loans easier. Dr. Porter strongly recommends this site. He also recommends Clark Howard, CNN/HLN’s financial adviser, a real and sincere consumer advocate. View Howard’s show on the HLN network at noon on Sat and Sun and his site is here: http://www.clarkhoward.com/