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Department of Physics and Astronomy

Graduate Assistantship

Graduate Assistantship Eligibility

Admission Status

Must be fully admitted to the doctoral degree program. Master’s students are not eligible for assistantships.


Must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credits for the Fall and Spring semesters.

Academic Standing 

Must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA 


Graduate Assistantship Benefits

Teaching Assistant Stipend

Full-time TAs (teaching 20 hours per week) will receive $17,250 over the course of 9 months, to be paid bimonthly.

Tuition Waiver

Covers all credit hours in Fall and Spring if the student is a full-time TA. (tuition per credit hour is $568.75)

Health Insurance Subsidy

Covers $1,000 during the academic year to help pay for the university-sponsored student health insurance plan. 

TA or RA summer stipends

In addition to the 9-months TA stipend, graduate students typically receive as a TA $2,708 for a summer session for a total of $19,958 for 12 months. An RA with a research group typically is paid about $5,720 for the summer. 


Graduate Student Fellowships

In addition to the regular Graduate Assistantship, we offer three fellowships for incoming excellent students. 

Excellent graduate students have an opportunity to be nominated for the University's Presidential Fellowship or the Dean’s Fellowship from the College of Arts & Sciences, the latter being $4,000 per year for up to 4 years.   

In addition, the Department offers incoming graduate students with an excellent record a Fellowship of $1,000 per academic year.  The Department Fellowship is renewable on a semester by semester basis for up to 5 years provided the course grades and the progress towards a Ph.D. degree are satisfactory.


Per Semester Student Fees

Matriculation   $80 (one-time fee paid first semester only)
International Student   $200 per semester
Technology   $17 per credit hour
Health Center   $190
Mandatory Health Insurance (amount shown with subsidy)
   $449 – Fall ($420 subsidy included)
   $598 – Spring/Summer ($580 subsidy included)
   $1,047 – Annual ($1,000 subsidy included)

Teaching Assistantships are offered to all accepted PhD applicants; Master’s students are not eligible. Students are expected to be a TA until they earn an RA from a research group. After passing the Admission to Candidacy Exam, candidates are expected to become Research Assistants in the field they have chosen. RA stipend amounts are determined individually by each research group.

Amounts shown are for the 2018-2019 academic year.

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