There are two types of financial support available through the University: merit-based awards and financial need-based awards. Applications for support are handled through various University departments as described below.
For domestic students, awards based on financial need include loans and work-study. Contact the Financial Aid Office (A129 Murphy) for applications and information about these programs.
Merit-based departmental awards are administered through the Department Graduate Affairs Officer and fall into three main categories.
The Department is honored to receive generous donations from illustrious private donors who support the advancement of science and wish to foster the training of scientists. The donor-supported awards are considered endowment fellowships and are offered as part of the first year fellowship to incoming graduate students. The awards range in amount from $5,000 to $20,000. These awards are offered in conjunction with other types of support (i.e. TA position). A list of our current donors who support graduate education follows. We hope that this list continues to grow.
University support for graduate students is limited to a total of six years combined as a Teaching Assistant or Graduate Student Researcher (TA limit is four years, GSR limit is six years). These positions provide tuition remission benefits. For details regarding these benefits, please visit the Academic Apprentice Personnel (AAP) link at left.
Teaching Assistantships: The teaching assistant (TA) devotes approximately 20 hours per week under the guidance of the faculty to teaching laboratory or discussion sections, grading problem sets and examinations, preparing for classes, consulting with the instructors, and holding office hours. Exact assignment duties vary from quarter to quarter, depending on the TA's abilities and training, and the needs of the Department. Applications for teaching assistantships are available in the Scheduling Office (1-707D PAB).
Graduate Student Researcher: Graduate student researchers (GSR) perform research as directed and guided by the professors for whom they work. Because these professors are usually also the students' research sponsor/thesis advisor, graduate student researchers have the additional advantage of progressing toward the completion of the dissertation while receiving support. Applications for graduate student researchers are made directly by the students to professors whose research most closely corresponds to the research interest of the students.
Readers & Special Readers: The department employs graduate students as readers for lower division courses and special readers for advanced graduate courses. Applications for reader positions are made through the Scheduling Office (1-707D PAB).
Extramural Fellowships: The Graduate Division Fellowships Office maintains a library of extramural funding publications. The staff in the Fellowships Office (1252 Murphy Hall) advises students on application procedures.
Graduate Division Fellowships: Special awards such as the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Award are designated for diverse and qualified new graduate students.
Graduate Division Research & Travel Grants: Limited funds are available for the partial support of thesis and dissertation research and travel to research conferences. Applications are available through the Physics and Astronomy Graduate Office.