Graduate Student Financial Support Policy and Statistics

The department recognizes and values the teaching and research contribution from our graduate students. We offer financial support to new and existing PhD and MS students in the form of teaching assistantship (TA), research assistantship (RA), and fellowship. Each semester, a number of (typically 25-35 in the Fall and 5-10 in the Spring) best qualifying new students, identified by the admissions and financial aids committee, are offered financial support with admission.

The department gives priority to students who were admitted with full financial support (20-hour TA/RA appointment or fellowship) and PhD students who were admitted without support, but have passed the PhD Preliminary exam. The general departmental policy is to continuously support such students until they graduate, provided that sufficient funds are available. Typical duration of continuous support is as follows.

  • 6 years for PhD students who entered the program without an MS degree in CS
  • 5 years for PhD students who entered the program with a CS MS degree
  • 2 years for MS students

Requirements for continuous TA funding support for PhD students

For continuous TA support, PhD students have three levels of priorities: Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3, with Tier 1 being the highest priority. As of Spring 2018, all students in all of the three levels of priorities are funded by the department (but this may change in the future). All students in any priority group for TA support must meet the following requirements:

  • Making minimum satisfactory progress toward the degree as specified in this document.
  • Satisfying all university requirements for being a teaching assistant, including passing the English speaking test for foreign students.
  • Performing assigned duties (e.g TA/RA duties) satisfactorily and reliably.
  • Informing the department in sufficient advance the desire to be supported and the commitment to the duties assigned by the department.

A PhD Student who (1) was admitted with full financial support (20-hour TA/RA appointment or fellowship), or (2) was admitted without financial support, but has passed the PhD Preliminary exam, is in the Tier 3 priority group if the student meets the above requirements.

A PhD student who meets the above requirements is in the Tier 2 priority group if the student is identified by a tenure-track faculty as a Tier 2 TA.

A PhD student who meets the above requirements is in the Tier 1 priority group if the student is identified by a tenure-track faculty as a Tier 1 TA.

Requirements for continuous TA funding support for MS students

MS students admitted with financial support are defaulted to the Tier 1 priority group for the same level of support when admitted. As of Spring 2018, all students in the priority group are funded by the department. To remain in the top priority group, an MS student must

  • Make minimum satisfactory progress toward the degree: maintaining a 3.0 GPA and completing the degree within 2 years.
  • Satisfy all university requirements for being a teaching assistant, including passing the English speaking test for foreign students.
  • Perform assigned duties (e.g TA/RA duties) satisfactorily and reliably.
  • Inform the department in sufficient advance the desire to be supported and the commitment to the duties assigned by the department.

Statistics of Recent Graduate Student Financial Support

Fiscal Year Spring 2017 Spring 2018
No. of MS Students 97 98
No. of PhD Students 65 74
No. of Students with Assistantships 114 132