Funding Your Degree


Most of our graduate students receive financial support as a teaching assistant (TA), research assistant (RA), or with a fellowship. All of these positions provide:

  • A living stipend. Stipends range between $14,025 – $21,420 for the 9-month academic year, depending on the type of position (TA, RA, fellowship). To better understand how far your stipend will stretch, read more about costs of living in Milwaukee and UWM benefits available to all students.
  • Benefits including access to health insurance. The university pays most health insurance costs, but a student contribution is currently about $50 per month.
  • Full tuition remission. Tuition remission means that funded students do not pay tuition.

The number of available positions each semester varies greatly depending on faculty grant funding (RA) and enrollment in undergraduate geosciences courses (TA).

Awards are competitive based on a student’s record (experience, letters of recommendation, GPA), and all applicants to the program will automatically be considered for each type of award if your application is submitted by the given deadline. Faculty members with funded RA positions choose the student who best fits that project. TA positions are competitive within the pool of applicants to the entire department.  Fellowship awards are competitive across all UWM graduate students (current and incoming students).

Funded students who are making satisfactory progress in their degree program, may have funding renewed for up to 2 years (4 semesters) for MS students and 4 years (8 semesters) for PhD students. Renewal could be in the form of a TA, RA, or fellowship, regardless of original funding source. Students often switch between funding sources during their academic career

The Geosciences Department also offers a number of supplemental scholarships and awards. Most of our funded graduate students qualify for an additional UWM Chancellor’s Award, which can add to the base stipend (usually on the order of $1000-2000 depending on available funds, offered on a competitive basis).  We also provide many opportunities for our students to apply for money to defray expenses for their field or lab research and present work at professional meetings.

Some students wish to join the graduate program without being offered funding, especially those students who would like to undertake part-time graduate studies.  For those students, we recommend learning about financial aid options through UWM’s Financial Aid Office.

For more information: