Finances, Internships & Awards

Financial Information

Cal State East Bay is known to have lower tuition and fees than other similar institutions.

Please visit this Student Financial Aid page for a breakdown of the estimated cost of attendance at Cal State East Bay.

You may also find this Net Price Calculator helpful in planning your budget for attendance.

The University helps with financial aid including student loans, graduate fellowships, writing assistantships, and pre-doctoral programs. Contact the Financial Aid Office at (510) 885-2784 for more information.

You may also find funding opportunities at off-campus sites, such as:

California State University, East Bay offers numerous forms of financial support for current graduate students. The Office of Graduate Studies coordinates the many programs which provide financial resources and educational opportunities in support of your graduate education.

The Financial Aid Office also has information about assistance and opportunities for graduate students.

Department & Campus Employment

Federal Work Study (FWS) is a form of financial aid largely provided by federal funding. A student must apply for financial aid each year to become eligible for the award, or to keep working in their current Work Study job. Eligible FWS students earn money by working a limited number of hours per week at a pre-approved FWS site location. Employment may be found on or off campus with employers that have arranged in advance to offer FWS positions to CSUEB students. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 units or more) and actively attending in said classes to retain eligibility for their FWS job.

If you are interested in the Federal Work Study program, please consult with the Student Financial Aid Office.

Qualified students may be granted opportunities to teach lower-division classes, or to assist a professor with a class or project. To be eligible for consideration in teaching COMM 100 or COMM 104, students must show satisfactory achievement in COMM 625 (Teaching Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communication), successful completion of specified coursework, and must have mentored with a faculty member. Interested students should consult with the Graduate Coordinator or the department Chair for more information and to submit an application.


The Communication Laboratory is open to the campus community to provide communication-related support services. Upper division Communication majors and graduate students serve as tutors who help students research, organize, outline, and deliver oral presentations. Students are encouraged to volunteer in the Lab to gain valuable teaching experience and to serve other students. Graduate students may also serve as paid lab assistants. For more information and to apply for a position in the Comm Lab, please contact the director of the lab directly, and/or the Dept. Chair and Graduate Coordinator.


Awards and Honors

Annually since 1970, the graduate faculty has named an "Outstanding Graduate Student" completing the program. Since then, awards for “Outstanding Master’s Thesis,” “Outstanding Master’s Project,” “Outstanding Graduate Media Studies Student,” “Outstanding Critical Cultural Scholar,” and “Outstanding Social Justice Scholar” have been added. Winners are honored at the Communication Banquet in the Spring. Scholarship, leadership, excellence, and contributions to the program are basic criteria for selection. Congratulations to all of our outstanding graduate students!

2021 Graduate Student Awards

Outstanding Graduate Thesis: Iuliana Papuc

Outstanding Graduate Project: Roy Tillery

Outstanding Graduate Student: Auzeen Mendoza

Outstanding Graduate Media Studies Student: Karmen Yap

Outstanding Social Justice Scholar: Michelle Weber

Outstanding Critical Cultural Scholar: Karlee Yong

2020 Graduate Student Awards

Outstanding Graduate Thesis: Nina (Ta Ta Neshe) Woodruff

Outstanding Graduate Project: Brady Formoso

Outstanding Graduate Student: Roy Tillery

2019 Graduate Student Awards

Outstanding Graduate Thesis: Judy Tan

Outstanding Graduate Project: Reina Robinson and Brandon Leon (tie)

Outstanding Graduate Student: Zhuoying Liao


Each year the faculty names “Outstanding Graduate Teaching Associate” to the student(s) demonstrating outstanding performance in teaching the basic course(s). The person selected is honored at the Communication Banquet in the Spring.


Admitted students and current students are eligible to complete the Pioneer Scholarship Application. Students can search for scholarship opportunities by major, academic program, interests, and more. You can monitor the submission of letters of recommendation and send electronic reminders to your references. Students can view scholarship offers and accept scholarship awards online. Students are able to submit thank you letters online and learn more about our scholarship donors.

You will find a list of available scholarships here

Every spring professors across the University have the opportunity to nominate students for the Harrington Thesis Award, which comes with a cash prize. To qualify, the nominated student’s thesis must have been completed, defended, and filed with the university within the previous 1.5 calendar years. Students from the M.A. in Communication program have built an impressive record of success winning this very competitive award.

Internships and Other Opportunities

Internships may be found within the department, elsewhere on campus, or off-campus. With the permission of your committee chair, students may earn up to four units of internship credit by working in the Communication Lab, by mentoring in COMM 100 or 104, by internship through Co-op Education, by internship in Organizational Communication, or by other work-related internships.

Off-campus internships are managed through the CSUEB Internships Office. The steps to get academic credit for internship work are explained on their website. Please begin the administrative process early, as the approval process involves a couple of different departments and can take a bit of time.

Graduate Equity Fellowship

The Graduate Equity Fellowship Program seeks to increase the diversity of students completing graduate degree programs at Cal State East Bay, encourages continuation towards doctoral programs, and promotes consideration of university faculty careers. It provides fellowships for economically disadvantaged Cal State East Bay students who have had success in overcoming educational disadvantages and promotes faculty mentoring and research opportunities. Graduate Equity Fellowships are grants ranging from $500 to $2000 per year.


Program Eligibility

To apply for a Graduate Equity Fellowship, students must meet the following conditions:

  • Be a legal California Resident.
  • Be admitted to CSUEB and to a state-supported Master's program as a classified or conditionally classified student. (Not available to Doctoral program students.)
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by June 1st and have financial need of at least $1,000.
  • Enroll in at least 8 units of graduate work related to the master's degree for each of the fall and spring semesters.
  • Demonstrate the potential to succeed in graduate school and to complete a master's degree program, as evidenced by undergraduate coursework and letters of recommendation.
  • Have not received more than one previous Graduate Equity Fellowship.


Information and Application

Information about the program and application forms are available each spring on the Office of Graduate Studies website. Questions should be directed to the Office of Graduate Studies at

Through the Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP), the California State University (CSU) provides financial assistance in the form of a student loan to a limited number of individuals pursuing doctoral degrees. The program seeks to provide loans to doctoral students who are interested in applying and competing for CSU instructional faculty positions after completion of the doctoral degree. The program is designed to increase the diversity of persons qualified to fill instructional faculty position in the CSU.


Through the Doctoral Incentive Program, students may borrow up to $10,000 per year (up to a total of $30,000 within a five-year period). Students who complete their doctoral studies and teach in the CSU system as full-time faculty members will have their loans forgiven at the rate of twenty percent for each year of teaching; those who do not obtain a CSU faculty position are required to repay the loan at an interest rate comparable to other graduate student loans. Employment at a CSU campus, however, is not guaranteed. Applicants are not required to be accepted into a doctoral program at the time of applying but must enroll the following Fall to receive the award.


Information and Application

Detailed information about the CDIP program and applications for the program are available on the CSU Chancellor's Office CDIP website.


Appointments are available for faculty and students with questions about the program. Please call the Office of Graduate Studies at (510) 885-3716 to schedule an appointment.

The California Pre-Doctoral Program, jointly developed by the California State University and the University of California, seeks to increase the pool of potential California State University faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of economically and educationally disadvantaged students. This program provides students with $3,000 to explore and prepare to succeed in doctoral studies through faculty mentoring, scholarly and research opportunities, travel to visit doctoral-granting institutions, membership in professional associations, and attendance at professional conferences.


California Pre-Doctoral Scholars receive $3,000 which may be used to:

  • Attend or present research at professional conferences,
  • Visit doctoral-granting institutions in the U.S.,
  • Pay for graduate school application fees, the GRE, or GMAT preparation​.

In addition, each Pre-Doctoral Scholar is eligible to apply for:

  • A fully-funded summer research experience with a faculty member in his or her discipline at a Ph.D.-granting university in the U.S.

Applications are available each year in late December and due in February.

More information about this program is available on the CSU Chancellors Office website.


Program Eligibility

CSU juniors, seniors, or graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply. Students must be enrolled at CSUEB as of Spring and also be enrolled for at least one semester of the academic year 2018-2019.


Applicants will be selected on the basis of three major criteria: the potential for success in completing a doctoral program, probable effectiveness of the student/faculty plan, and level of economic and educational disadvantage. Applicants work with a faculty sponsor to develop an overall plan, which will ultimately lead to enrollment in graduate school. The program provides an opportunity for summer internships and funds for travel and other related activities.

Application Process


To prepare an application to the California Pre-Doctoral Program, students must:

1.Seek a CSUEB faculty sponsor.

2.In collaboration with a faculty sponsor, develop a 'Faculty Sponsor/Student Plan' for the funded activities they will engage in to prepare for entering a doctoral program.

3.Complete and submit the Sally Casanova Scholarship application online.


Completed applications will be composed of the application, three essay questions, transcripts, budget, and faculty letter of recommendation (all submitted online).


Appointments are available for faculty and students with questions about the program. Students interested in applying are encouraged to make an appointment to review their application prior to submission.


All materials must be submitted in by the CSUEB application deadline (February). Their applications will be reviewed, and feedback provided. Once any changes have been made, the amended application will be submitted online, reviewed, and submitted by the Office of Graduate Studies to the CSU Chancellor's Office by the application deadline.

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