Doctoral students in the Graduate Program in Biology making adequate academic and research progress receive some form of financial support. Most master's students in the thesis track receive some stipend support; however such support is not guaranteed. Students in the master's non-thesis track do not typically receive stipend support, but are potentially eligible for some forms of financial aid. Students are typically supported through one of three mechanisms: Fellowships, Teaching assistantships and Research assistantships.
Fellowships provide stipend support with little or no teaching commitment. All fellowships include a waiver of tuition and most fees (although a fee of approximately $200 is required of all US students, and $442 of all international students [additional cost for required health insurance]).
Board of Regents (BOR) doctoral fellowships currently provide a stipend of $30,000 per year. There is no teaching commitment associated with this 4-year fellowship, however, BOR fellows must make a presentation to a local K-12 school class at least each semester. International students are not eligible for BOR doctoral fellowships.
University of Louisiana (UL) doctoral fellowships, with a departmental supplement, have a stipend of $18,000 for each 9-month academic year, with a duration of 3-4 years. No teaching is required in the first or last years of these fellowships; during intervening semesters students are required to teach one laboratory section. University stipends are for 9 months; students can earn additional income during the summer as teaching or research assistants. To qualify for a University Fellowship, an international student must have earned a prior degree in the United States.
The Graduate School offers a master’s fellowship program, details of which are available from the Money Matters page.
Other fellowships are occasionally available to doctoral and MS students; applicants filling out the fellowship application form (which can be downloaded from the Graduate School's Forms & Resources page) will be considered for all available fellowships for which they qualify. Students requiring additional time in the program beyond the duration of their fellowship are usually funded as teaching or research assistants.
Teaching assistantships (TA) are available to both doctoral and MS students; availability is limited and preference is given to doctoral program applicants. Current target stipends are $13,000 for MS students and $17,000 for doctoral students; however this number varies slightly from year to year. Teaching loads usually consist of one or two laboratory sections per semester; an effort is made to keep teaching commitments as light as possible to provide the students with more time for their research. At their request, advanced doctoral students are sometimes assigned to lecture sections. TA stipends are for 9 months; students can earn additional income during the summer as teaching or research assistants. All teaching assistantships include a waiver of tuition and most fees (although a fee of approximately $200 is required of all US students, and $442 of all international students [additional cost for required health insurance]). International students are eligible for a TA.
Faculty members with grants may offer Research Assistantships (RA) and employ graduate students as laboratory technicians or as research assistants. Applicants need to discuss stipend levels with the prospective advisor if such funding is available. Most, but not all, research assistantships include a waiver of tuition and fees; consult with the faculty advisor. International students are eligible for a RA.
How to Apply for an Assistantship or Fellowship
Separate forms are required to apply for a Graduate Assistantship or Fellowship; applicants can apply for both types of funding (but only one type can be awarded). Assistantship and Fellowship application forms can be downloaded from the Graduate School's Forms & Resources page. Most fellowships and teaching assistantships are assigned to applicants in March of each year (for Fall admission).
- To ensure full eligibility for funding, applicants for financial assistance should submit the appropriate form to the Graduate School Office along with other application materials by February 1 for the Fall Semester or October 1 for the Spring Semester (note that these dates are earlier than the Graduate School’s deadlines for admission). Later applications may be considered for support if funding becomes available.
More Information Needed?
Contact the Graduate Admissions Coordinator in the Department of Biology (Dr. Scott France) if you have any additional questions about Graduate Assistantships or Fellowships.