Most graduate students in good standing receive financial support in the form of a Teaching Assistantship (TA) or Research Assistantship (RA) during the academic year and summer. TAs and RAs include a stipend plus Tuition and Fee Waiver. In limited cases, a Tuition and Fee Waiver can be provided without a stipend. Continued financial support is contingent in all cases upon satisfactory progress toward the degree. It is department policy not to extend financial aid through Teaching Assistantships for M.S. students beyond two years (not including loans, tuition and fee waivers, and outside scholarships) except under extraordinary circumstances. The department limits a Ph.D. student’s reliance on Teaching Assistantships to a maximum of four years. For both M.S. and Ph.D. students, financial support can be extended beyond these limits under the direction of the advisor and with the approval of the DGS and Department Head.
All students employed as TAs or RAs are to report to the Department one week before the first day of classes of the Fall Semester unless otherwise directed.
Any student with a TA or RA must enroll for a minimum of 8 credit hours during each semester that aid is received or 9 hours to receive the Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA) U-Pass and to be considered full-time. Students with University Fellowships or Tuition and Fee Waivers must sign up for 12 credit hours per semester and 6 for the summer. If a student has completed all course requirements, EAES 596 and EAES 598 (M.S.) or 599 (Ph.D.) credits can be used to complete the required hours. Failure to register for sufficient hours will result in loss of tuition and fee waivers. More details are at http://grad.uic.edu/course-loads-and-full-three-quarter-and-half-time.
The following forms of financial aid are available to graduate students. Check the Graduate College website “Funding Your Education” for details and other opportunities including the Dean’s Scholar Award, the Provost’s Graduate Research Award, and the Award for Graduate Research.
A. University Fellowship – Awards made by the University for superior scholarship to entering graduate students. A limited number are awarded each year. A Fellow is expected to pursue a full program of graduate study (at least 12 hours per semester). The Fellowship carries a stipend and a tuition and fee waiver.
B. Teaching Assistantship (TA) – The department awards a limited number of Teaching Assistantships each year. The duties of a TA are to assist in undergraduate instruction. Final decisions are usually made by April 15th of each year, following completion of the annual review. Additional TA positions may become available on a semester-to-semester basis.
C. Research Assistantship (RA) – Faculty members conducting research may support a graduate student with funds from a research grant. The arrangements for RAs are made between the student, the faculty member involved, the Department Head, and the Graduate College.
D. Tuition and Fee Waivers – The Department usually has two of these to award each year. Recipients are required to enroll in at least 12 hours of course work per semester.
E. Summer Support – Most graduate students in good standing are normally supported by Research Assistantships at the discretion of their advisor.
F. UIC Graduate College Student Presenter Awards – Small grants for travel to present research at professional conferences are available from the Graduate College. The amount of the award is up to $300 (with departmental matching).
I. External Research Support – Students should consider applying for funding from outside sources. Consult your advisor for appropriate opportunities. Also, students will be sent announcements of opportunities as they arise via the department’s graduate student listserv.