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Financial Aid

Available in several forms, financial assistance to graduate students is an integral part of the atmospheric science program. Financial assistance is generally awarded to students who meet a variety of qualifications.

Graduate Research Assistantships

The department awards graduate research assistantships covering tuition but not fees to qualified students for the nine-month academic year commencing with the fall semester. However, the department may award several assistantships at other times during the year due to attrition or initiation of new research projects. Approximately 40 to 50 assistantships are active during any given semester. As with most forms of financial aid, more applications are received than are awardable, so the selection process can become quite competitive. Approximately 25% to 33% of the total number of active assistantships become available for each year. Decisions for the fall semester are generally made during the previous spring semester when the availabilty of research funds for the upcoming academic year has become fairly well established.

Graduate research assistantship stipend amounts vary according to the applicant's level (M.S. or Ph.D.) and advancement within that level. Upon recommendation by their advisor, M.S. applicants may reach level two after successful completion of one year of graduate work. Advancement of Ph.D. applicants depends on their advisor's satisfaction with research, progress, and preliminary examination results. The department publishes current stipend amounts here.

The M.S. program is designed so that students can complete the course and thesis requirements within 24 months. Awarded M.S. students generally receive their stipends for a period of two years. However, given special circumstances, advisors or the Department Head may elect to extend them up to one semester.

Students on part-time graduate research assistantships are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per week on their research. However, such students should not conclude that their research obligations may be satisfied by by working a certain number of hours per week, nor that they are being paid to work a fixed number of hours and no further effort is necessary. They are working toward a degree; and by virtue of the availability of faculty-generated research projects which provide for reimbursed student participation, are being afforded an opportunity for financial support while acquiring a graduate-level education. The more rapidly they advance in their work, the sooner they will obtain their degrees and seek gainful employment.

Graduate Fellowships and Other Funding Opportunities

A variety of fellowship opportunities are available to outstanding applicants. Many students in our department have received fellowships from the American Meteorological Society (AMS), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We encourage all students to consider applying for one or more of the following fellowships. Please note that some of these fellowships are only available to students in entering their second or later years of study.


Last Updated: 09 April 2014. Contact the Webmaster