There are many ways to fund your graduate school experience. Many graduate programs provide scholarship and other funding opportunities to support student’s education. The resources below will empower you to make informed decisions about securing financial support during your graduate studies.

Costs and financial considerations

Illustration showing the elements of paying for grad school, also listed below.As a prospective graduate student, you might be curious about how the cost of your education is structured and how to navigate financial considerations effectively. Below are some considerations related to cost and finances

Tuition is a significant component of the overall cost of graduate education. It is crucial to research the tuition rates of your chosen program.

Both federal and private student loan options have associated costs and long-term considerations. Consult a financial aid officer for more information.

Be sure to factor in the cost of living in your chosen location. Expenses like rent, groceries, transportation, and healthcare can vary significantly depending on where you study.

Creating a budget is a valuable skill to manage your finances during grad school. Track your expenses and explore tools or resources that can help you budget effectively.

Graduate education is an investment in your future, and understanding the financial landscape is key to making informed decisions. As you explore your options and consider the costs and financial considerations of graduate school, remember that planning, budgeting, and seeking available financial aid are vital in measuring your return on investment.

General funding information

Each Graduate program has different pathways and resources for funding. It is important to check the program information before applying. Familiarize yourself with various types of funding, such as scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, grants, and loans. Differentiate between need-based and merit-based financial aid. Do not be shy in asking the graduate program coordinator or faculty members about funding availability and how to apply for and secure funding for the program.

Illustration with a graduation cap and calculator.PhD-specific funding opportunities

There are various opportunities to secure funding to support for a PhD experience. While some of these may also apply to Master’s or Professional degree programs, doctoral programs often prioritize funding opportunities for their students to support them during the program.

Research assistantships

Doctoral programs often provide opportunities for research assistantships, where you work on research projects alongside faculty members. These positions not only offer valuable research experience but also come with financial support, typically in the form of a stipend and tuition waivers. Research assistantships are an excellent way to gain practical experience while funding your education.

Teaching assistantships

Many PhD students also serve as teaching assistants (TAs), supporting undergraduate courses and faculty members. TA positions often come with stipends and tuition remission, making them a reliable source of financial support. Teaching assistantships not only help with finances but also develop valuable teaching and communication skills.

Grants and research funding

Doctoral students frequently have access to research grants and funding opportunities. These resources can be instrumental in covering research expenses, travel for conferences, and equipment or materials needed for your projects. Your advisor and department can guide you in pursuing these financial resources.

Collaborative research and partnerships

Engaging in collaborative research with industry partners or other academic institutions can open up funding opportunities. These partnerships can provide financial support, access to specialized resources, and networking opportunities that enhance your PhD experience.

Below are some sources highlighting fully-funded PhD programs and the process in identifying them:

Other graduate school funding resources

Illustration of a graduation cap.Many graduate students receive funding outside of their academic institution to support their research. If you’re not sure where to start, here are several funding opportunities that College of the Environment graduate students commonly apply to, including:

For more resources, please visit the College’s Other Graduate Funding Opportunities page.

UW graduate funding opportunities

Graduate Funding Information Service

The Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) helps current and admitted UW graduate students learn skills and tools to find funding for graduate school-related expenses.


There are three types of assistantships at UW:

  1. Teaching Assistant: work with students in a classroom, lab, or quiz section setting
  2. Research Assistant: work on research projects; does not involve teaching
  3. Staff Assistant: other types of duties such as advising or administration

To learn more about UW assistantships, including how to find a position, please visit the Graduate School.

Fellowships and scholarships

The Graduate School Office of Fellowships & Awards administers a variety of fellowships and provides a list of UW and outside fellowships and a calendar of fellowship deadlines. UW-administered fellowships you may want to consider include:

Many College of the Environment graduate programs offer funding through a combination of assistantships, fellowships and scholarships. Our Graduate Scholarships and Funding Page has more information about available funding within the College. If you have questions about your current funding or future opportunities, please contact the graduate program adviser in your department of interest.

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