Department of Physics and Astronomy

Financial Assistance, Physics and Astronomy Graduate Program


There are currently three types of assistantships available:  Teaching Assistantships (TAs), Research Assistantships (RAs), and Graduate Assistantships (GAs).  Teaching assistantships are typically offered to students in conjunction with their acceptance to the program, and these assistantships include a waiver of tuition costs;  the number of assistantships is always limited, and the admission process is competitive.  Note that for international applicants from countries where English is not the native language (countries other than the United States, Canada (non francophone areas), England, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand), eligibility for a TA requires a score of at least 22 on the Speaking portion of the TOEFL, and TA responsibilities require functioning well in English and good preparation for teaching introductory physics or astronomy laboratories.  Students joining research groups often receive RA stipends.  Assistantships normally continued for the duration of the student's stay in the program, conditioned on satisfactory performance by the student.

Assistantship levels consist of a standard $18,000 for the academic year (Fall and Spring semesters).  In addition, summer TA positions receive a stipend of $5,000, and summer RA positions receive up to $6,000.  Teaching Assistants spend about 20 hours per week on their duties.  Assistantship stipends for the 12-month period beginning August total at least $23,000.  Stipend Enhancements and Fellowships are available for highly qualified students (see below).

The Professional Science Masters in Photovoltaics program offers a limited number of Graduate Assistantships, on a competitive basis.  Recipients of the Choose Ohio First fellowship receive a GA in the amount of $24,000 ($18,000 for Fall through Spring semesters, and $6,000 for the first summer in the program);  students are typically compensated by the internship host during the final 24 weeks of the program.

Stipend Enhancement and Fellowship Awards

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers assistantship Stipend Enhancements to exceptionally well-qualified students with interests in astrophysics and condensed matter/materials physics/photovoltaics.

  • Stipend enhancement amount is $1,000 per semester, renewable for up to a total of four years.
  • For further details, please inquire by email: rupali.chandar (at)
  • Students with interests in other areas in the department will continue to receive full consideration.

The Department has received Choose Ohio First (COF) scholarships to be awarded to applicants to the Professional Science Masters in Photovoltaics (PSM-PV).  Applicants must be a resident of Ohio, and should note their Ohio residency on their application.  The COF Scholarship provides the standard tuition waiver, and a GA stipend of $24,000/yr. 

Expenses (Fees, and Living/Housing Costs)

Graduate students pay a general fee of about $595 each semester; this entitles them to use all campus facilities, including the Recreation Center. Other fees include the Facility fee (~$170/yr), Library fee ($5.00/credit hour), Technology fee ($13.00/credit hr), a one-time Orientation Fee ($100), a Special Services fee ($6.50/credit hr), and an STEM surcharge ($12.90/credit hr).  In addition, students not covered by another approved medical insurance program must purchase Tier 1 insurance through the University of Toledo at an annual cost of $2,016/yr.  Students receiving assistantships are generally not required to pay instructional fees (tuition) or out-of-state fees. Assistantship stipends are subject to US Federal (about 15%) and Ohio state (much lower) income tax, though citizens of other countries may be exempt from taxation on part of the stipend.

Housing for graduate students is available in International House on campus. Major apartment complexes, smaller apartment buildings, houses, rooms, and duplexes are all listed on the university's Office of Residence Life web site. For example, complexes within 1 mile of campus or served by campus shuttle buses offer 1-bedroom apartments for $350-$450 per month. Food and entertainment costs are slightly lower when compared with most larger cities.

International students are encouraged to seek more information about housing, living conditions, local culture, and of course visa and immigration issues at the university's Office of International Student Services

Graduate Program

Last Updated: 6/26/15