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Graduate fellowships and assistantships

The department most commonly employs three types of financial assistance for graduate students: fellowships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships.

  • Fellowships

    Fellowships are competitive awards that generally do not require service (i.e., work) as part of the award. They are intended to fund your academic study and research. Fellowships may be offered by the department, the University, the federal government or private agencies. Every fellowship has different provisions, so take note of what is offered. After you receive a fellowship, remember it is your responsibility to ensure all requirements are met, such as enrollment or reporting to the funding agency.
  • Teaching Assistantships

    The TA appointment requires that you work an average of 20 hours per week for the period of support. As a TA you will work under the supervision of a faculty instructor and you will be assigned to a variety of duties that include office hours, leading laboratory or homework review sessions, grading reports, exams, or other homework assignments, tutoring students and possibly assisting in course development or operation of department computer systems.

  • Research Assistantships

    The RA appointment requires that you conduct research under the direction of a faculty member. This could include research planning, experiment setup and measurements, computational analysis, or theoretical analysis of a problem. The appointment requires that you work an average of 20 hours per week during the period of support. Students should meet regularly with their faculty supervisor to discuss progress and set goals. It is student’s responsibility to make satisfactory research progress.

International students

International students in degree programs are eligible to serve in assistantship positions. To be eligible for a Teaching Assistantship appointment, graduate students who are non-native English speakers must fulfill the English language proficiency requirements as stated in the UW Graduate School Policy 5.2

Graduate funding information service

The Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) helps current and admitted UW graduate students learn skills and tools to find funding for graduate school-related expenses. For more information contact: UW Grants & Funding Information Service at or call 206-616-3084.



How to search for graduate school funding: scholarships, fellowships, & grants

Explore the UW libraries to learn the skills and tools to find funding as a current and admitted UW graduate student

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