Financial aid may be offered in the form of Graduate Assistantships. An assistantship is awarded to a graduate student who provides teaching (teaching assistantship: TA) or research (research assistantship: RA) support to his/her academic program. In recognition of this support, the tuition and a portion of health care (but not fees) are provided by the grant/contract funding agency or through the University. Additional information is provided by the Graduate School
Admission to the M.S. or Ph.D. programs does not guarantee the award of financial aid. Assistantships are offered based on availability and merit, with priority given to Ph.D. students, and often depend on funding from individual faculty advisors. Assistantships are awarded on a yearly basis and continuity of funding at the same level is not guaranteed by the program.
Assistantships may be offered at various levels, corresponding to 10, 15 and 20 hours of weekly duties. The level of compensation depends on the level of the student (M.S. (level I), Ph.D. (level II) and Ph.D. who passed the qualifying exam (level III)) and is set by University policies on a yearly basis. Summer salary is not covered by assistantships and is provided at the discretion of individual advisors, depending on availability. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is necessary to award and maintain a graduate assistantship.
The terms for graduate assistantships are regulated by the contract between the university and the Graduate Student Union. Information on the contract and the activities of the Union are provided on their website (http://www.uconngradunion.org/). Additional information on payroll authorization and related questions are provided by the Payroll Department (http://payroll.uconn.edu/PY/for_employees/graduate_assistants.html). Specific questions not addressed in these two websites may also be directed to Althea Lozefski, the Administrative Assistant of the ENVE program (see Contact Information).
It is important to note that the terms of graduate assistantships and especially research assistantships do not cover the obligations of graduate students towards progressing in their own research, applicable to M.S. Plan A and Ph.D. students. It is at the discretion of the graduate student and their advisor to agree on the terms and timeline of the research plan and thesis requirements.
In addition to assistantships, travel funds are available to doctoral students who have passed their qualifying exam to participate in professional meetings and present their research. Students may fill out the relevant form found on the Graduate School website (http://grad.uconn.edu/current-students/forms/) which contains detailed instructions.