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Financial Assistance

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Grad Handbook | Ombuds Committee | Why Utah?

Graduate students in Physics Astronomy receive financial support from several different sources including fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships. Students employed by the department as an RA or TA for 3 semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer) can expect to earn $25,740. To apply for financial assistance, please fill out the Financial Assistance portion on the ApplyYourself application form. Note that a tuition waiver is included in any activity (research, teaching, or scholarship). See description below:

Tuition Benefits

Graduate Tuition Benefit Program Guidelines The Graduate School Tuition Benefit Program (TBP) provides tuition waivers to PhD-seeking students who are receiving a minimum amount of funding through assistantships and/or fellowships. All students receiving a tuition benefit must meet minimum financial support requirements paid through the University of Utah for each semester that a benefit is received. Minimum support levels for the academic year:

  • $7,950 per semester: 100% tuition benefit
  • $5,962 per semester: 75% tuition benefit
  • $3,975 per semester: 50% tuition benefit

No tuition benefit is granted to students receiving less than $3,975 for the semester. The required minimum support level is annually indexed to general salary increases to prevent gradual erosion of established graduate student salaries and stipends. Further information on the Tuition Benefit Program, including health insurance, may be found at the Graduate School website (

Research Assistantships Opportunities

Financial support for graduate students, through the Department of Physics and Astronomy, comes primarily from one of two separate sources: Teaching Assistantships (TA) and Research Assistantships (RA). RA appointments are made directly through faculty involved in the research. Availability of research funds varies each semester and new graduate students are strongly encouraged to discuss potential research areas with members of the faculty involved in areas of the student's interest.

*These are considered half-time (20 hours per week) positions.

Teaching Assistant Opportunities

Graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) are used in many Physics Astronomy courses. TAs may run laboratory sessions, give classroom lectures, hold office hours, and be involved in grading. A TA is required to average no more than 20 hours per week.

TA assignments are made by the faculty. If you are interested in working as a TA, it is required that you fill out a TA application, which can be found here. In most cases, the department will retain TA positions for new students entering the program.

All students whose native language is not English, or who have not received their B.S. from a U.S. or Canadian institution of higher learning, must attend a teaching workshop before they will be approved for TA positions.

*Summer semester varies. Check with the graduate coordinator for more information.


Last Updated: 6/29/20