Department of Environmental Sciences

Graduate Program: Financial Assistance

The  Department of Environmental Sciences offers financial support to students in the form of graduate assistantships. Both teaching and research assistantships (TA's and RA's, respectively) are available. To be considered for one, the appropriate application form must be submitted to the Graduate School. The form can be downloaded from and submitted online. A graduate assistantship includes a waiver of all tuition fees plus a stipend (salary) for the nine-month academic year of $15,900 for MS/MSE students. For PhD students the stipend is $19,000. Students are still responsible, however, for paying the University's general fees.

A summer TA is available to all MS/MSE and PhD students during their first summer provided they are in good academic standing and lack an externally funded RA. The stipend is $3100 for MS/MSE student and $4100 for Ph.D. students. Additional support for a second (and all subsequent) year(s) for all graduate assistant MS/MSE students, or a fourth summer for PhD students will be granted if the student is making good progress on his/her thesis/dissertation research and other degree requirements. Assistantship support is normally limited to four semesters for MS/MSE students and eight semesters for PhD students (summers not included), and these limits apply to both teaching and research assistantships. An additional one (MS students) or two (PhD) semesters of assistantship may be granted by the Graduate Affairs Committee upon the recommendation of a student’s research advisory committee, and provided the student is in good academic standing and performing his/her assistantship duties in an acceptable manner. In exceptional cases the above limits may be extended.

Graduate assistant duties can include both teaching and research activities. TA's will dedicate 20 hours per week to their research/thesis activities, while up to 20 hours per week will include teaching laboratory courses, helping professors with grading, exam proctoring or performing other course- or department-related activities. RAs will work 20 hours per week on research projects and seldom have teaching responsibilities. RA awards are contingent upon continued funding from extramural sources and are usually given only to advanced students, although exceptions may be made for highly-qualified applicants. 

Assistantships beginning in the Fall semester are awarded the previous Spring semester in March and April.  For Fall applications, all requests for financial assistance should therefore be received by February 1 in order to receive full consideration.
Last Updated: 6/27/22