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Financial Support

Most students enter the graduate program with a Teaching Assistantship (TA) but often accept a Research Assistantship (RA) in one of the research groups during the second year. Current TA and RA stipends are competitive. In addition, the Graduate Committee actively pursues national fellowships for outstanding individual students.


Among the duties performed by the TA's are teaching recitation sections, instruction in the general physics laboratories, and occasionally a grading assignment. The typical TA duties require 20 hours or less per week.


The TA appointments are usually made for the academic year, August 15 through May 15; a few summer school TA's are also available along with a greater number of temporary RA's. In recent years the department has provided year-round support—as a TA, RA or graduate fellow—for all its students. Research assistantships are funded for the entire calendar year from research grants and contracts; thus they are awarded by the individual faculty members. The assistantship salaries are competitive with those of other physics departments in regions with comparable costs-of-living and generally increase from year to year. In addition, all non-residential tuition as well as the first six credit hours of residential tuition are completely waived each semester for teaching and research assistants.

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