Teaching and Research Assistantships

Admission into the Ph.D. in Biology program carries no guarantee of financial support. Doctoral students are eligible to compete for support in the form of Teaching Assistantships (TAs) and Research Assistantships (RAs), contingent upon satisfactory progression through the program and the availability of funds.

It is expected that the program will provide a TA to students in their first two years and that a student's advisor will obtain research funds for an RA for subsequent years. To avoid unessecary financial burden, TA support for eligible Ph.D. students will be guaranteed for 8 semesters. TA support will not exceed 4 years (8 semesters) and total support (TA and RA combined) will normally not exceed 6 years (12 semesters). Every eligible student also receives a tuition waiver and health insurance (GASP award). GASP awards are available for up to 10 semesters.

Teaching Assistantships:

The PhD Program in Biology has Teaching Assistantships (TAs) available for full-standing students in the program for $22,000/academic year. These normally require a work load equivalent to the teaching of two labs with associated preparation each week as well as lecture exam proctoring and grading intermitently throughout the semester. The student must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0. To receive full consideration for financial support for the fall semester, all application materials should be received by the Graduate School by no later than January 15 (July 1 for spring semester). Applications received after the deadline will be considered for financial aid only if funds are available. A TA in the Department of Biological Sciences is a competitive award. A TA position is awarded on a semester basis for fall and spring semesters. Renewal of a TA position is contingent upon satisfactory evaluations of teaching performance and satisfactory progression through the program. 

Several Teaching Assistantships are available for summer sessions (summer TAs), and students may apply for these by contacting the Graduate Program Director. Salary for summer TAs is awarded in addition to the amount awarded for the fall and spring semesters. Summer TAs do not require that the student be enrolled in summer courses.


  1. A faculty advisor can have no more than 2 Ph.D. students holding a TA position.
  2. Students who have a TA position in association with a GASP award (Graduate Assistant Support Package) must enroll for 9 hours of course work per semester.


Research Assistantships:

Research Assistantships (RAs) are highly competitive and will afford the student to dedicate full time effort (40 hrs per week) to dissertation research. RA awards be available to Ph.D. students at the discretion of the major advisor and depending on the funding of research grants by the Doctoral Faculty. Applications for RAs are filed with faculty members holding the grants.