Assistantships and Fellowships

All students admitted to the CSE Ph.D. program are guaranteed funding for 3 years in the form of a research assistantship, teaching assistantship or fellowship. After this period and depending upon the availability of funds, students who continue to make good academic progress will be funded through graduation. No application for this extended funding is required.   All or most of the cost of tuition is covered by the assistantship or fellowship.

Assistantships

A variable number of Research Assistantships are available each year through faculty member’s research grants. In addition, Teaching Assistantships for undergraduate courses and some graduate courses are also available; a minimum of at least two quarters of teaching duty is required to graduate from the program. International students should be proficient English speakers to be considered for Teaching Assistant responsibilities.

In exchange for 20 hours of work per week, Research/Teaching Assistants receive: (figures are current as of the 2016-2017 academic year)

  • Tuition waiver of all but approximately $316 per quarter in fees
  • Monthly stipend of $2631 for beginning students  
  • Health insurance (100% of premium for student, 65% of premium for dependents)

Fellowships

There are two major categories of fellowships: those that students can apply for directly, and those to which students must be nominated by faculty. Most students will be more interested in the first category, since these are the fellowships that they can actively seek for themselves.

Fellowships Requiring Applications

These are all national, well-known fellowships. In most cases (but not all--the Hertz is available to upper-years as well), students are eligible to apply during their senior year as an undergraduate, or at the beginning of their first or second year in graduate school. Unfortunately, many fellowships require U.S. permanent residency status at a minimum; most require full citizenship. These fellowships all follow approximately the same application format: 3-4 essays, transcripts, resume or awards list, 3 letters of recommendation, and a research proposal. Don't worry: none of them expects you to follow your proposal; they simply want to see that you can think logically about problems in your field. Also, it is acceptable to get recommendations from both your undergrad and graduate programs (internships/summer jobs/research labs are other good sources for these).

Fellowships Requiring Faculty Nominations

These fellowships come from a wide variety of sources and are applicable to students at various stages in their careers: beginning, n-th year, and postdoc. Most are open to international students, as well. Although you cannot apply for these directly, it can still be helpful to know about them so that you can discuss them with your advisor, if you wish. Some of these fellowships put candidates through a post-nomination interview process, while others are awarded with no student involvement whatsoever.

More specific information about available fellowships is available on the Current Graduate Students site.