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Funding Opportunities

Chatham provides several ways to help fund your graduate degree. The resources on this page will guide you through the various funding opportunities available to students.

Assistantships & Campus Employment

Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships provide students with the opportunity to conduct research with a faculty member, assist with teaching responsibilities, or participate in and organize departmental or campus projects. A limited number are available per term, and newly admitted graduate students will be given preference for these awards.

In addition to providing financial assistance, these positions offer students valuable hands-on experience, expanded learning opportunities, and professional skill development. 

Requirements

  • Apply for admission to a specific graduate program. Only students who have been admitted to a graduate program for full-time enrollment will be considered for a position.
  • Assistantships require a commitment of 10 hours per week of work during the academic year, while Fellowships require a 15 hour per week commitment.
  • Positions are initially awarded for one year, and may be renewed for a second year depending on academic and job performance. The maximum length of an award is two years, regardless of the length of the program in which the student is enrolled.
  • Students who decline a position automatically forfeit the award.
  • Students must maintain full-time enrollment while holding an award position. If a student ceases to be enrolled full-time during a semester, the tuition remission will be removed from the account and the student will be responsible for any resulting balance owed.
  • A student who is awarded an Assistantship position may also hold an additional on-campus employment position, with total work hours not to exceed 19 per week.
  • Students in the Integrated Degree Program (IDP) are not eligible for an Assistantship or Fellowship award.
  • The priority deadline to submit an assistantship application is February 15, 2020 for the MA in Creative Writing program and February 1, 2020 for all other graduate programs. Additional applications will be accepted through March 1, 2020 and on a rolling basis for any positions that are still open.
  • Review of assistantship applications will begin in mid-January, and award notifications will be made on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. Most award notifications will be made in February and early March.
  • Award recipients will be given a specific deadline by which they must accept the award. To accept, they must (1) submit a tuition deposit to confirm enrollment in their academic program, and (2) return a signed copy of an employment contract that is received with the award notification.

Apply

Food Studies and dual degree Food Studies+MBA

Project Assistant

This assistant will support the food studies faculty in organizing thesis submissions, including setting up and maintaining a database of final research projects. The assistant will also assistant with organizing speaker events and workshops for the food studies program.  

Food Hub Research Assistant

This assistant will work with the faculty to conduct surveys, library research, and informational interviews related to ongoing research on the topic of food hubs. The assistant will develop and may present workshops related to food hubs, and will help develop a guidebook and assessment tools for outreach and future research on the topic. 

Teaching Assistantship

This individual will assist the faculty with teaching responsibilities, research activities, and administrative tasks. Specific responsibilities include assisting with course preparation and management; grading; assisting professors during class time; providing students with feedback outside of class time; and conducting literature reviews. There will also be opportunities to lead classes and develop course content. 

Community Research Assistant

This assistant will focus on the development of programs and events connecting coursework and community development for the Food Studies program. The assistant will coordinate and help execute an ongoing series of activities for the program, as well as plan and organize events related to food or sustainable agriculture for both Chatham and the local community. This may include (but is not limited to) conferences, workshops, speakers, film viewings, and community discussions. 

Food Systems Policy Assistant

This assistant will provide support for research and community work related to local food systems policy analysis and advocacy. Working with city and county government, local non-profits, businesses, and academic partners, assistant will help develop a food system assessment for the city and specific communities within. The assistant will support the faculty member in providing data analysis and policy briefs on food and agriculture issues in the region. 

Eden Hall Agroecology Research Assistant

This assistant will work with the faculty to coordinate Chatham research projects on the Eden Hall campus. Responsibilities include (1) comparative research on the ecosystem services provided by different forms of urban to rural agriculture; (2) participatory research with community stakeholders designed to enhance the sustainability of agro-ecological systems, and (3) agro-ecological experiments at the Eden Hall Campus. Tasks include some farm and garden work in order to learn the basics of sustainable agriculture, and a summary analysis of the status of various projects at Eden Hall. 

Pedagogy Research Assistant

This assistant will work with the Food Studies faculty to on pedagogy and experiential learning. Work will include gathering and analyzing data on pedagogical practices; conducting literature reviews; managing logistics for research processes; and assisting with other aspects of research as needed.


Sustainability and dual degree Sustainability+MBA

Projects and Events Coordinator

This graduate assistant will assist the Dean in organizing speaker events and workshops for the Falk School of Sustainability, mostly at the Eden Hall campus. The assistant will also set up and maintain a database of student implemented projects within the school, which will include descriptive material and photographs to be used in publicizing the projects through web stories and display posters. 

Sustainability Communications Assistant

This graduate assistant has primary responsibility for providing communications materials and content for Chathams institutional sustainability initiatives, including electronic and print; assist the director with program communication and production, including but not limited to events, presentations, publications, and community activities; coordinate the Eco-reps program, leading training and education sessions, providing event guidance and supervision, interfacing with other campus offices for Eco-reps work.  

Stream Monitoring Assistant

The graduate research assistant will be primarily tasked with supporting research efforts in the ecological sciences conducted in the Falk School of Sustainability. Position obligations will involve a mix of tasks in the field, laboratory, and database management system. The position will involve some degree of flexibility and work may contribute to thesis research. 

Quantitative and Field Ecology Graduate Assistant

This graduate assistant will be interested in quantitative and field ecology, and assisting in research to support the various initiatives at Eden Hall and the surrounding terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The assistant will provide support with field work, data analysis and management, protocol drafting, and logistical planning associated with multiple initiatives. Opportunities to apply learned skills towards a thesis or capstone project are associated with this position, pending student interest. 

Aquaculture and Aquatic Ecology Graduate Assistant

The graduate assistant will support research projects and education opportunities related to the Eden Hall Aquaculture Laboratory, including: (1) food fish production and development of alternative feeds; (2) aquaponic culture systems; and (3) ecotoxicology and other ecological investigations focusing on native aquatic flora and fauna. Associated responsibilities will include regular water quality monitoring and system maintenance, food preparation and feeding, disease monitoring and control, and assistance with teaching laboratory preparation on an as-needed basis. Opportunities to develop novel research pathways leading to individual thesis or capstone projects utilizing laboratory systems and resources are available, based on student interest.

Sustainable Business and Green Innovations Graduate Assistant

This graduate assistant will support research and education opportunities in the areas of sustainable business and green innovation. Original research will look at the methods that local small and medium sized businesses use to manage their businesses sustainably. Research on green innovation seeks to identify drivers for successful innovative product adoption. The assistant will also support educational opportunities such as identifying and coordinating student projects related to classes and research. 

Forester - Professional Graduate Assistant

This Assistant will perform a variety of outdoor assignments, which allow the public to safely access and enjoy the Eden Hall woodlands. Duties include, but are not limited to, clearing downed trees from hiking trails and helping to remove invasive plant species; helping to promote the woodlands as an organizing focus for community development; planning and implementing community service projects and citizen engagement activities focused on trail improvement/enhancement; and developing citizen science programming to involve the community in collecting, analyzing, and making conclusions about woodlands data.


Food Studies or Sustainability

Graduate Assistant - Eden Hall Campus

This assistant with work with the Executive Director and Dean of the Eden Hall campus on issues related to campus development and advancement. Specific duties will be to assist in the creation of a community-based docent program for Eden Hall working with volunteers from the region and alumni of Chatham; supporting the work of campus working groups and task forces; creating a guidebook for Eden Hall gardens and meadows; and aiding with programming by members of the Shadyside and Eastside campuses.


Social Sciences

Graduate Assistant

The Department of Social Sciences is seeking an assistant to help with general department administration and support for department social media initiatives. Must have a strong work ethic, attention to detail, familiarity with a variety of social media platforms, and strong time management skills. The Department of Social Sciences includes the programs of Psychology, Political Science, History, International Studies, Modern Languages, Social Work and Criminology.

The following scholarships are available on a competitive basis to students applying to the Falk School graduate programs for full-time enrollment:

  • Three full scholarships, covering 42 credits of tuition (currently $40,236)
  • Six partial scholarships, covering 21 credits of tuition (currently $20,118)

Selection for these awards will be based on students' academic achievement and financial need.

Paul D. Coverdell Fellow Program for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV)

The Falk School of Sustainability & Environment is proud to participate in the Coverdell Fellows Program for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. FSSE will provide up to five (5) Coverdell Fellowships each year to RPCV who have been accepted to the Master of Sustainability, Master of Arts in Food Studies, or dual-degree MSUS+MBA and MAFS+MBA programs. Each Fellowship will be worth 25% of the cost of tuition and mandatory fees. For more information, please email FSSE Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions Patricia Golla.

AmeriCorps Discount

Chatham University offers a 20% tuition reduction grant to full-time students who have completed AmeriCorps service. To be eligible for this benefit, students must submit a signed verification form to the University, along with a copy of their AmeriCorps Certificate of Service, prior to their first term at Chatham. Chatham students who choose to use the Tuition Reduction Benefit Program are not eligible for other reduced tuition rates at the University.

Biology 

Teaching Assistant - Introductory Biology

These teaching assistants will work closely with the biology faculty to help administer the introductory biology laboratory course for undergraduate students. Duties frequently include lecture/lab assistance, class prep, grading, tutoring, and exam review. 

Teaching Assistant

These teaching assistants will work closely with the biology faculty to help administer undergraduate biology courses. Duties frequently include lecture/lab assistance, class prep, grading, tutoring, and exam review. Job duties vary according to department teaching needs. 

Graduate Assistant

This assistant will provide teaching and administrative support to the faculty and department.

Graduate Assistant - Cell and Tissue Biology

This position will aid in research on the development and evolution of the immune system. Responsibilities will include maintaining the frog and tadpole colony; working with faculty to remove the thymic lobes of tadpoles by electrocautery and other dissection techniques. The research assistant, depending on their expertise, will assist in molecular biology experiments characterizing the expression of genes in frog and tadpole tissue. 

Graduate Assistant - Block and Dube

This position will involve research for the Block Laboratory, which studies the cell biology of neurotransmitter function, and the Dubé laboratory, which studies skeletal muscle and hepatic biology. This assistant will be involved in routine laboratory procedures as well as planning and execution of sophisticated experiments.

Lab Assistant - Professional Graduate Assistant

This position is responsible for delivering services and instruction related to introductory science labs for undergraduate majors. Working in close association with lab coordinators, the lab assistant will help with instruction and safety management of labs. The lab assistant will also provide office hours for students, grading support, and other services, as directed by lab coordinators.


Business & Entrepreneurship

Program Marketing Assistant, Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

The Center for Women's Entrepreneurship provides opportunities for women to start, develop, and significantly grow their businesses. This position will have the opportunity to work with the Executive Director and Program Coordinator to develop and implement programs for women entrepreneurs and women in business in the greater Pittsburgh area. Working in the business community, coordinating and attending events, assisting with social media marketing and newsletters, and implementing new processes and programs are all a part of this exciting position.  

Promotions Coordinator

This position will work with the B&E team for Social Media management (WordPress, Facebook, LinkedIn, weekly newsletter, Moodle, Trello, bulletin boards). The job involves developing content; interviewing and following up with students, faculty, alumni, etc.; researching, formatting, editing, posting, and tracking progress; assisting with events, including the developing flyers, planning events, inviting attendees, promoting events to classmates, and attending event. 

Chatham Physician Assistant Program/Allegheny Health Network Assistantship 

This graduate assistant will serve as a point of contact for preceptors and students of Chatham's Physician Assistant program. The assistant will help with coordination of placements for PA students; assist with the creation of professional development opportunities for PA students, including educational seminars and mentorship programs; and maintain an inventory of program-wide reports and data. This graduate assistant will be selected from the pool of incoming MBA students. 

Business and Entrepreneurship Department Faculty Assistant

This position will focus on supporting the faculty in both research and teaching. Tasks may include data entry, data collection, data management, manuscript preparation and editing, and instructional materials building in the Moodle environment.

Business Office Graduate Assistant

This position will focus on supporting the Student Accounts Office. Tasks may include data entry, collection, and management. 

Student Services Coordinator - Professional Graduate Assistant

These positions are responsible for delivering services and programs related to student engagement, learning and development.  In these roles, the Coordinators will support areas of Student Affairs including Student Engagement, Residence Life, Counseling, Health & Wellness Services, and Multicultural Affairs.  In these roles, Coordinators will work on projects related to student retention, community development, student programs and events, assist with advising student organizations as well as managing campus events including night and weekend activities.  


Communications and Professional Writing

Social Marketing Director

The position serves as managing director of a student-run strategic communication agency focusing specifically on social marketing (using traditional tools and techniques of advertising, public relations, and marketing in order to work for the social good). This involves coordinating the "staff" of graduate and undergraduate students; assigning tasks; assuring that the agency meets deadlines; interfacing with clients; and approving overall strategy for projects. This position is ideal for a graduate student currently working or planning to work in public relations, marketing, or in a communications position at a nonprofit organization. It requires excellent leadership, organization, and communication skills. 

GA - Communications Department

The position involves working with communication department faculty on ongoing research projects, including but not limited to: library research; interviewing and data collection; running focus groups; attending conferences and presenting academic work; and descriptive statistical analysis. While prior experience in qualitative or quantitative research is not necessary, it is certainly a plus. This role is particularly suited for those students interested in pursuing doctoral studies. 

Managing Editor, Online Publications

Best Practices in Strategic Communication is the online publication of Chatham University's Communication and Professional Writing Master's Programs. Publishing new content weekly, Best Practices offers tips for freelance and professional writers, advice for delivering presentations, social media strategy, and case studies in strategic communication. The managing editor is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial calendar; recruiting writing staff; editing pieces before they are published; and increasing readership through promotional efforts. This is an excellent opportunity for a student currently working as a professional writer, journalist, communication strategist, or copy editor, or for students aspiring to such a career. 

Student Services Coordinator - Professional Graduate Assistant

These positions are responsible for delivering services and programs related to student engagement, learning and development.  In these roles, the Coordinators will support areas of Student Affairs including Student Engagement, Residence Life, Counseling, Health & Wellness Services, and Multicultural Affairs.  In these roles, Coordinators will work on projects related to student retention, community development, student programs and events, assist with advising student organizations as well as managing campus events including night and weekend activities.  


Creative Writing

Graduate Teaching Fellow

The individuals awarded with these positions will assist professors with undergraduate creative writing classes, teaching in the Words Without Walls program in the Allegheny County Jail, and possible work in the writing center. Competitive applicants for these positions will have experience providing instruction, particularly of creative writing, in the classroom or workshop environment. 

Margaret Lehr Whitford MFA '07 Fellowship in Writing (2 positions)

This Fellowship carries a full-tuition remission for two years. The Whitford Fellow is responsible, with the Fellow from the previous year, for coordinating the Word Circus reading series – a monthly reading series which features four MFA students followed by an open mic. Additionally, this individual will serve as a liaison between the students and faculty. For 2020-2021, we will offer two Whitford Fellowships, one of which will be designated for a student of color. 

Robert Hull Mansell Endowed Fellowship

The name of this endowed fund shall be the Robert Hull Mansell Endowed Fellowship in Poetry. The purpose of this fellowship endowment shall be to provide recognition and financial assistance to an incoming, full-time Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing student with a genre focus in poetry who has financial need and a GPA of a 3.5 or greater. If no incoming student meets the above criteria in an academic year, the award will be returned to principal.

Words Without Walls Fellowship (2 positions)

The individual awarded with this position will assist professors with undergraduate creative writing classes and teaching in the Words Without Walls program in the Allegheny County Jail or Sojourner House (a rehabilitation facility for women with children). Competitive applicants for this position will have experience providing instruction in a traditional or alternative space. For 2020-2021, one award will be designated for a student of color. 

Graduate Assistantship - Special Projects

This position will provide support for research, creative activity of faculty or special projects of the MFA program. This could include researching and assisting with grant proposals for the program or individual faculty members. Students may also be tasked to assist with coordinating the Summer Community of Writers Residency schedule and operation or teaching. This is a one-year position (which may be renewed for a second year).

Student Services Coordinator - Professional Graduate Assistant

These positions are responsible for delivering services and programs related to student engagement, learning and development.  In these roles, the Coordinators will support areas of Student Affairs including Student Engagement, Residence Life, Counseling, Health & Wellness Services, and Multicultural Affairs.  In these roles, Coordinators will work on projects related to student retention, community development, student programs and events, assist with advising student organizations as well as managing campus events including night and weekend activities.   


Education

Research Assistant in Special Education

This position will provide support for research and creative activity of faculty and projects within the Special Education program. The role also requires research and assisting with grant proposals for the program and/or individual faculty members. 

Film & Digital Technology

Graduate Assistant - Digital Video Specialist (2 positions)

This position will provide audio and video production services for the university, with the primary job responsibility being to record and edit events, lectures, and speakers on campus. The position may also take on more elaborate video productions for recruitment, publicity, or other university purposes. The production process involves not only shooting and editing, but also capturing, transferring, compressing, uploading and delivering videos to departments that make requests for such productions. The graduate assistant must also act as producer, and maintain communication with the requesting department as their client.


Interior Architecture

Graduate Teaching Fellowship 

This position will serve in a support capacity for assisted teaching in graphic design and visual communications. The selected individual will need to have earned an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design/Visual Communications, sufficient writing skills and strong graphic design sensibilities to enhance student graphic communication and presentation skills. Professional work experience in graphic design is also encouraged. 


Social Sciences

Graduate Assistant

The Department of Social Sciences is seeking an assistant to help with general department administration and support for department social media initiatives. Must have a strong work ethic, attention to detail, familiarity with a variety of social media platforms, and strong time management skills. The Department of Social Sciences includes the programs of Psychology, Political Science, History, International Studies, Modern Languages, Social Work and Criminology.

Psychology/Counseling Psychology

Teaching Fellow (Multiple positions)

This position will assist a faculty member with a master’s psychology course. Responsibilities include co-developing a syllabus for the course that is consistent with program expectations; provide partial instruction in the classroom, including lecture and supervision of activities and role-plays in class; evaluation of student performance on assignments and activities; and assistance in assigning final grades. 

Graduate Research Assistant (multiple positions)

This assistant will help support the psychology department in its data collection and research activities, including data analysis, writing, and research.

Student Success Coaches (multiple positions)

Success Coaches will interact with undergraduate students in one-on-one sessions and over phone/email to make sure they have the resources they need to succeed at Chatham, and to troubleshoot issues that might prevent their successful transition to and ability to stay in college. Coaches will develop ongoing relationships with the undergraduate students and effect real change in their lives, as well as gain significant experience through training, observing, and working with students. These positions are open to students in the MS Counseling Psychology program and Doctor of Psychology program. 

Graduate Assistant 

This assistant will provide teaching and administrative support to the faculty and department.

Student Services Coordinator - Professional Graduate Assistant

These positions are responsible for delivering services and programs related to student engagement, learning and development. In these roles, the Coordinators will support areas of Student Affairs including Student Engagement, Residence Life, Counseling, Health & Wellness Services, and Multicultural Affairs. In these roles, Coordinators will work on projects related to student retention, community development, student programs and events, assist with advising student organizations as well as managing campus events including night and weekend activities. This position is open to students in the MS Counseling Psychology program.

Research Assistant, Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics

This assistant will help support The Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics in its data collection and research activities. With direction and supervision, this individual will assist in data collection and analysis, writing, and research related to women in politics and public policy in Pennsylvania


Social Sciences

Graduate Assistant

The Department of Social Sciences is seeking an assistant to help with general department administration and support for department social media initiatives. Must have a strong work ethic, attention to detail, familiarity with a variety of social media platforms, and strong time management skills. The Department of Social Sciences includes the programs of Psychology, Political Science, History, International Studies, Modern Languages, Social Work and Criminology.

 

The Office of Residence Life – Student Affairs has several openings for our Graduate Resident Director (GRD) position for the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year. This position is great opportunity for a graduate student who is looking to work with students and make a difference on campus, while gaining some great transferable experiences.

All residence life staff members are called upon to focus on community engagement, staff supervision, resident empowerment, building management, crisis response, and event planning. As a GRD, you will be required to:

  • Complete eight office hours a week during the academic year
  • Supervise Resident Assistants and conduct weekly one-on-one supervision meetings with each of them
  • Participate in an on-call rotation (which is usually one night a week with rotating weekends and this includes holidays and University breaks)
  • Manage 1 to 2 residence halls or apartment complexes, which includes following up on facilities issues and submitting work orders
  • Be present and accessible in your living space on a regular basis and able to respond to emergencies as needed
  • Attend campus events and assist with the staffing and planning of large scale department activities
  • Facilitate weekly staff meetings and participate in bi-weekly team meetings and month division meetings
  • Oversee the development and implementation of community programming
  • Work on projects as necessary to the functioning of the office

GRDs receive the following compensation for their work each semester (only during the Fall and Spring semesters):

  • Housing (on-campus)
  • Chatham Meal Plan
  • Financial Stipend

Interested applicants should complete the online application. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled, but priority consideration will be given to those applicants who apply by March 2nd .

Please email GRD Search Chair, Simmone Bell, Assistant Director of Residence Life & Student Engagement if you have questions or would like additional information about the GRD position.

Apply

On-Campus Employment

Chatham offers a limited number of paid graduate Student Employment positions in various academic and administrative departments across campus. These positions are paid hourly, and individuals may hold both an assistantship and a campus work position, up to 19 hours per week. 

Positions are posted on HandshakeCareer Development's online database of employment opportunities—before the beginning of the academic year. Roles include but are not limited to:

Academic Affairs

  • Teaching Assistant, Anatomy Lab
  • Graduate Writing Mentors
  • Farm Outreach and Education Associate

Athletics/Athletic Fitness Center

  • Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Announcer
  • Graphics Coordinator and Videographer

Enrollment Management

  • Graduate Admissions Front Desk Assistant
  • Graduate Financial Aid Associate
  • Graduate Ambassador

Finance and Administration

  • Communications Assistant
  • Sustainability Metrics Assistant

Marketing & Communications

  • Video Production Graduate Associate
  • Writing Work-Study
  • Design & Video Communications Graduate Assistant

Student Affairs

  • Graduate Associate, International Programs and Services
  • Graduate Associate for Community Service
  • Health & Counseling Graduate Associate

Learn More

Other Funding Opportunities

Corporate Partner Discounts

Chatham University offers a 20% tuition reduction grant for full-time employees and members of professional organizations that are enrolling in a degree-seeking program at the University, whose organization or employer is a member of the University's Corporate & Strategic Partner Program listed below.

To be eligible for this benefit, students must first be accepted to their program of interest and submit their deposit. Once this is complete, students must submit an electronic membership/employment verification form to the University prior to their first term at Chatham. This electronic form for membership/employment verification is required for each term enrolled.

Once deposited, students may access and complete the form.

Access Form Here

Chatham students who choose to use the Tuition Reduction Benefit Program are not eligible for other reduced tuition rates at the University.  

This discount does not apply to the following programs: This discount does not apply to graduate-to-graduate programs.

Find your company.

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Don't see your company on the list?

That doesn't mean you are out of luck. Contact the Chatham University Office of Admission about getting your current employer in partnership with Chatham's Tuition Reduction Benefit Program plan.


NOTE: to be eligible for this benefit, your organization must have completed the Corporate & Strategic Partner Program - Tuition Reduction Benefit program form. If your company or membership organization name does not appear on this list, they have not yet done so.

FINANCIAL AID RESOURCE NOTE: By receiving the 20% reduction students will not be eligible for any other reduced tuition rates offered by the University. Additionally, if a student already receives a reduced tuition rate, which includes all Graduate Chatham Aid, they will not be eligible for the Corporate & Strategic Partner Tuition Reduction Benefit Program. As required by federal guidelines, the 20% tuition reduction must be counted as a financial aid resource for students receiving financial aid assistance. Some limitations may apply by program.

Please contact Chatham Admissions at 412-365-1825 with any questions

Alumni Discounts

Chatham University is pleased to offer Chatham alumni holding an undergraduate degree from Chatham University a special 20% tuition reduction benefit for most graduate programs at Chatham University.

Details

By receiving the 20% reduction students will not be eligible for any other reduced tuition rates offered by the University. Additionally, if a student already receives a reduced tuition rate, which includes all Graduate Chatham Aid, they will not be eligible for the alumni discount program benefit. As required by federal guidelines, the 20% tuition reduction must be counted as a financial aid resource for students receiving financial aid assistance. 

Chatham University is pleased to announce its participation in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program). A provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, the program provides matching funds from the Department of Veterans Affairs as a supplement to the Post-9/11 GI Bill®. The Post-9/11 GI Bill covers tuition and fees not to exceed the maximum in-state tuition & fees at a public Institution of Higher Learning. The Yellow Ribbon Program covers tuition and mandatory fees and does not include room and board or books and supplies which are provided for separately under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. These benefits will replace merit scholarships awarded at the time of acceptance.

Individuals may be eligible if they:

  • Served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of at least 36 months;
  • Were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001;
  • Are dependents eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above.

There is no minimum number of credit hours required for participation and awards will continue in subsequent years in which the student maintains satisfactory progress, conduct, and attendance.

If eligible, students should apply for Benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill with the Department of Veterans Affairs upon acceptance. Please forward your Certificate of Eligibility to the Office of the Registrar to be considered for the Yellow Ribbon Program. Please visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website for additional information.


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website.

Credit where credit is due.

Chatham recognizes that life learning may provide a knowledge base equivalent to college-level learning outcomes. And we believe that knowledge should be rewarded with an opportunity to work toward a degree faster and at a reduced cost. As such, Chatham's Prior Learning Assessment program grants degree-seeking students the ability to be awarded academic credit for prior learning knowledge gained in advance of matriculating at Chatham. Knowledge gained from employment, job training, independent study, open courseware, volunteer and civic duties, military service and travel are just some examples that may prepare a student to earn credit through our Prior Learning Assessment program.

Benefits of Using the PLA Program

  • Accelerate Degree Completion: Using PLA can lessen course overloads and potentially allow students to take advanced courses sooner.
  • Save money: Fees for credits earned through PLA are charged at a significantly reduced rate relative to Chatham University's undergraduate tuition rate and/or graduate per credit rate. Students can use PLA for up to 50% of their program credit requirement.
  • Satisfy pre-requisites, general education requirements, or elective credits: Prior Learning often develops knowledge that aren't included on a student's transcripts. Using PLA can help students evidence their course-specific knowledge for pre-requisites, general education requirements, or electives that allows them to then focus their time and effort on subsequent program courses.

Who Can Benefit from the PLA Program

  • Undergraduate Students: Transfer students, Gateway/Adult Learners (students starting Chatham at 23 years of age or older), Military/Veterans, and traditional undergraduate students
  • Graduate Students: Traditional graduate students, Military/Veterans

Ways to Earn Prior Learning Assessment Credits

  1. Portfolio Development: Based on course-specific learning outcomes, students assemble a portfolio that consists of a written narrative along with supporting documentation that demonstrates a student's proficiency in the course learning outcomes.
  2. Credit-by-Exam: A student may earn credit for a course by meeting established guidelines on standardized or challenge exams as approved by program or department per department approval.

How to Begin the PLA Process

After you have contacted your admissions representative, please use the Prior Learning Assessment Contract (also located at myChatham) to determine and continue with next steps.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many credits can be earned through PLA?

Undergraduate degree-seeking students may earn up to 60 credits through the PLA Program. For example, undergraduate students may earn 50% of their program credits through PLA. The remaining 50% must be completed through courses at Chatham. As many as 6 credits earned through the portfolio development program may count towards Chatham University's residency requirement.

Graduate degree-seeking students in eligible programs may earn a maximum of 20% of their program requirements through PLA and transfer courses.

  • What courses are eligible for PLA?

This answer varies based on your major or program requirements, credits transferred or recognized from other institutions and other PLA credits (e.g. CLEP exams, Challenge exams) that you have applied towards your requirements. PLA credit may not be granted for PED courses (Physical Education) or SDE (Student Development) courses.

  • How much does PLA cost?

Fees for credits earned through PLA are charged at a significantly reduced rate relative to Chatham University's per-credit tuition rates. Undergraduate: For the portfolio review option, the PLA rate is $83 per credit assessed* ($249 per 3-credit course). For the credit by exam option, fees for CLEP and DSST exams are $85 per exam plus an administration fee of approximately $20.

Military Service members may be eligible for free exams. Eligibility information can be found at the DANTES site here.

Graduate: For the Prior Learning Assessment the charge is 20% of the per credit tuition rate. For the credit by exam the charge is 10% of the per credit tuition rate.

Both options represent significant cost savings for your education, with fees sometimes less than the cost of books and materials for a typical course.

*The PLA fee per credit assessed is not eligible for federal or state financial aid; however, as a Gateway student, a no interest, no application fee payment plan is available.