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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. 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 graduate 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:

  • $7,500 per semester: 100% tuition benefit
  • $5,625 per semester: 75% tuition benefit
  • $3,750 per semester: 50% tuition benefit

No tuition benefit is granted to students receiving less than $3,750 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 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.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has 2 salary levels for RAs. These depend upon the level of accomplishment in the graduate program.

Salary Levels for the academic year

  • RA range approximately $9,371.25 per semester*

*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.

Current salaries for these positions are around $8,843.67 per semester*.

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 secretary for more information.

Department Fellowships Scholarships

Check out the Graduate School's Student Resources site for a comprehensive list of financial resources and more.

J. Irvin and Norma K. Swigart Graduate Scholarship

Amount: $5,000. ($2,000 cash award to the student, an additional $1,000 in travel support for presentation of a paper at a relevant conference, and up to $2,000 of support for the student's RA or TA stipend.)

Eligibility: Student must be an admitted graduate student of the department and affiliated with a research group at time of application.

Selection Criteria: Based on GRE scores, references, and academic achievement.

Duration: Fellowship is limited to 1 year of support.

Deadline: Applications are due by March 1 of each year.

Submit Application: Graduate Secretary, 201-D JFB, 801-581-6861

Application: Application materials consist of a department application form, a current CV, two-page (single-spaced) statement of research (including plans for use of the travel award), and a letter of support from the faculty adviser.

Last Updated: 1/3/19