Graduate Financial Support

Most of our full-time students receive financial support in the form of a Teaching Assistantship (TA), Research Assistantship (RA), or fellowship. All of these awards provide a stipend, benefits including access to health insurance, and full tuition remission. Detailed information regarding these awards can be found on the UWM Graduate School’s “Financing Your Education” webpage. Summary information is below. In addition to these Graduate School awards, the department has a limited number of scholarships and awards for its students.

Teaching Assistantships (TA)

Most students in our M.S. and Ph.D. graduate programs are funded via academic-year (9-month) teaching assistantships. Teaching assistants (TAs) are assigned to lead laboratory sessions that coincide with our lecture courses. TAs generally work approximately 20 hours per week and are paid a stipend.  Current TA stipend amounts can be found here (see C-BASIS, 9-month, 50% appointment column). Teaching assistants also receive full tuition remission and access to benefits such as health insurance. Due to state budgets, the number of TAs the department can hire each year is limited, and the process for determining which students receive offers for funding can be competitive.

Research Assistantships (RA)

Many of our faculty members have been very successful at applying for and receiving grants from regional, national, and international sponsors. These research projects usually require a team-like approach, and faculty will hire graduate students as research assistants (RAs) to work in their lab, accompany them in the field, and assist with analyzing and publishing their findings. Current RA stipend amounts can be found here (C-Basis, 9-month, 50% appointment; scroll down to find the Geosciences row). Like teaching assistants, research assistants also receive full tuition remission and access to benefits such as health insurance. Opportunities for these types of appointments are limited, and this serves as a good example of the importance of contacting members of our faculty early in your application process to discuss research interests. Working on an already-funded research project can be an exceptional advantage when determining your own thesis topic.

UWM Graduate Fellowships

Two Graduate Fellowships are available to incoming students.  Both provide a stipend, full tuition remission, and access to benefits such as health insurance. For current stipend levels and more information, visit the links below for each fellowship.  These awards are competitive across all UWM current and incoming graduate students.  To be considered at the university level, you must first be nominated by the Geosciences Department.

  • To be considered for nomination, you must submit your application for Fall admission by December 15. (Fellowships are not dispensed at Spring admission.)
  • Only submit your regular application through the Graduate School application portal.
  • Do NOT use the “Online Application” links on any of the Fellowship pages below.

Advanced Opportunity Program (AOP) Fellowship

AOP Fellowships are designed to assist underrepresented racial/ethnic minority as well as disadvantaged non-minority students. This includes first-generation college students with high financial need. The AOP Fellowship is renewable for up to 2 years for MS students and 3 years for PhD students. Many incoming Geosciences students have received this award.  If you think you might qualify for this award, you must also notify the Graduate Advisor (, in addition to submitting your application.

Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowship (DGSF)

The Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowship recognizes and supports the most academically excellent master’s and doctoral students enrolled at UW-Milwaukee, including incoming students. The DGSF is a non-renewable 1-year award. You will automatically be considered for this award if you submit your application by December 15.