Financing Graduate School
What can I expect in terms of costs and financial support?
In addition to the information specific to the Department written here, please visit the Graduate School's webpage on Funding Your Graduate Studies.
The Department is usually able to support 10 to 12 new graduate students each year with fellowships or assistantships. In most cases, financial aid offers guarantee 50%-time* support for 4 years in the PhD program and for 2 years in an MS program. In addition, a small number of students enter without financial aid and are given assistantships on a fund- and job-available basis. During their first year students normally identify a research project, and are encouraged with the help of their advisor to secure funding, including a stipend, to support the project in subsequent years.
All students entering our PhD and Plan A MS (thesis) programs are guaranteed support that provides
- a stipend in the form of research assistantships (RA), teaching assistantships (TA), and/or fellowships during the academic year;
- Research Assistant positions are funded from grants given to a faculty member for specific research projects. Typically, these positions are 50%-time (20 hours per week)* and include full tuition benefits and a health care package. This type of appointment is arranged between the graduate advisor and the student.
- Teaching Assistants are employed in the teaching program; they supervise laboratory work, grade papers, and/or proctor exams. Typically, these positions are 50%-time (20 hours per week)* and include full tuition benefits and a health care package.
- Fellowships are not paid positions (e.g. not on payroll) but provide the same benefits of a stipend (%-time determined by fund availability), tuition, and health care package.
- During any given semester, a student can be funded in any combination of these categories.
- tuition coverage-students must be registered full-time (6-14 credits per semester) in order to receive full benefits.
- and a health care package. ~95% of the health care premium is covered by the U/Dept; students are responsible for ~5% of the premium costs per semester. See Costs below for details.
*Important Note: 20 hours a week (50%-time) is considered 'full-time' in terms of graduate employment and students must be registered full-time (6-14 credits per semester) in order to receive full benefits. If a student has less than full-time registration and/or less than full-time employment/fellowship, the benefit package will be pro-rated accordingly. See Costs below for details.
- All first year, incoming PhD or Plan A MS students are provided start-up funds with the plan for distributed in July. Students will refer to their offer letters for more details about amounts and timing of the payment.
- The department provides partial support for students who travel to professional meetings to present papers and posters that are based on thesis research. Additional support is usually available from research grants.
- Summer support - Incoming graduate students are guaranteed summer support (TA/RA) their first year. In subsequent years, summer support is independent of academic-year funding and may come from a separate teaching assistantship, research assistantship, or fellowship.
In addition to the information specific to the Department written here, please visit these pages
- Graduate School's webpage on Funding Your Graduate Studies
- One Stop Student Services (Finance menu)
- Graduate Assistant Employment Office
- Graduate Assistant Health Plan
- International Graduate Student Resources
Tuition - full tuition coverage is a benefit of a full-time (50%-time) assistantship or fellowship. Students would only need to pay for tuition if they are not appointment full-time, if they register for more than 14 credits per semester, or if they leave the program before the end of the semester. In these cases, tuition is pro-rated. If you would like more information about this, please visit the Graduate Assistant Employment office webpage regarding the tuition benefit.
Fees: all fees are the responsibility of the student and vary by course, College, and semester. It is best to review the fees on the One Stop page for Fees. However, students can expect to pay approximately $455 per semester in student fees.
- Students in 'advanced status' (all coursework and thesis credits completed) register for a 'one-credit full-time equivalent' and only pay fees on that one credit.
- International students will have additional fees related to visa administration.
Health Benefit premium - the student responsibility is approximately $140 per semester. It is best to review the most current information on the Graduate Assistant Health Plan webpage.
- In most cases, fellowship support provides the same benefits as TA or RA.
- Summer: it is not necessary for our students to register for courses over the summer.