Financial Support

Most full-time graduate students in the Department of Earth and Environment who are in the Ph.D. program are supported with Teaching Assistantships (TAs) or Research Assistantships (RAs). Assistantships provide a stipend and tuition waiver. The number of assistantships is limited and awarded to new students beginning in the fall semester on a competitive basis. Assistantships require up to 20 hours per week in laboratory instruction, research assistance, or equivalent responsibilities. For the 2014-2015 term, the stipend awarded for Teaching Assistantships is approximately $23,000 (Ph.D.) per year. Stipends supported with Research Assistantships may be higher. Assistantships are described more fully in the Graduate Program Handbook for the Earth Systems Science Ph.D.

Applicants seeking assistantships should indicate this in their application cover letter. In general, assistantships are only offered to applicants if a faculty member in the department agrees to sponsor them. We therefore request that each applicant seeking an assistantship contact a faculty member in their area of research who will agree to sponsor the application and (if admitted) to serve as the major professor. To be considered for an assistantship beginning in the fall semester, a prospective student must submit a complete application by February 1. To be considered for a Research Assistantship to begin in the spring semester (note that Teaching Assistantships for newly admitted students begin only in the fall semester), a complete application must be submitted by September 1. International students are encouraged to submit all of their materials well in advance of these deadlines.

In addition to the assistantships described above, there are several other opportunities for financial aid for newly admitted graduate students. Students who obtain these awards enhance their chances of admission by increasing our ability to support them. Information on the main fellowships and other graduate student financial aid opportunities may be found on the webpage of FIU’s University Graduate School. In particular, the programs listed below may be useful to applicants.

Presidential Fellowships

These highly competitive awards are intended to recruit exceptional graduate students to enroll full time in a doctoral degree program at Florida International University. The fellowships provide $30,000 per year for two years with an additional third year as a Teaching Assistant. The first and second years provide funds with no obligation other than to make excellent progress in the degree program. Tuition and health insurance for Presidential Fellows is covered for three years. Students awarded Presidential Fellowships are expected to be strong competitors for Dissertation Year Fellowships in their fourth year. Thus, strong applicants should be confident of receiving four years of support with only one of those years requiring any specific service in exchange for the support. The qualifications for this fellowship may be found at the University Graduate School’s web site here. Faculty will apply on your behalf if your qualifications appear to qualify you for an award. The approximate deadline for the next fall semester is Feb. 1.

Latin American and Caribbean Graduate Fellowships

These awards are available to applicants from all countries in the Western Hemisphere except the U.S. and Canada. The award grants the student Florida in-state tuition status while you are enrolled in the FIU graduate program, enhancing our ability to admit and support you with tuition waivers. If you are from an eligible country, you should encourage your prospective advisor to nominate you for this award with the International Student and Scholar Services office immediately. Information on this type of assistantship may be found here.

Florida Linkage Institutes

Graduates of certain foreign universities are eligible for Florida in-state tuition status. To be considered a Florida resident for tuition purposes under the linkage institutes program, prospective students must apply on their own behalf depending on their country of origin. Information on whom to contact in order to apply for this award may be found on the International Student and Scholar Services webpage (near the bottom).

McKnight Doctoral Fellowship

African-American or Hispanic U.S. citizens who apply to FIU’s Ph.D. programs are eligible for this fellowship, which provides full support for doctoral studies (fee waivers plus stipend). Further information and application forms are available on the University Graduate School’s webpage on graduate funding and here.