Graduate Student Financial Support

Departmental Funding Policy

All students admitted to the Ph.D. program receive five years of support, and all master's students receive two years. This support may be a combination of graduate teaching assistantships, research assistantships, curatorial assistantships, and fellowships. Most fellowships are for the academic year; whereas, assistantships are assigned on a semester-to-semester basis. Financial support varies during the summers, but opportunities for teaching and research assistantships, departmental scholarships, and university fellowships are available on a competitive basis. Support is contingent upon state funding, satisfactory progress toward degree, satisfactory performance in an assigned teaching capacity at KU, and, in the case of students whose native language is not English, passing a spoken English test. Any employment with the university, including appointment to graduate assistantships, is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background check. Prospective students should speak with their potential faculty mentor for more information regarding financial support.


University fellowships include the Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowships and Graduate Studies awards including the Graduate Scholarship and awards through the Graduate Initiative for Diversity. Current graduate students may be nominated for the Graduate Studies Summer Fellowship. The department's graduate committees nominate candidates for these awards. Summer fellowships through the botany and entomology endowments are also available.


The department offers teaching assistantships, most of which involve teaching in undergraduate laboratories. The Biodiversity Institute offers curatorial assistantships for work directly related to curation of specimens in research collections. research assistantships are offered by individual professors in connection with sponsored research programs. Most positions qualify for complete tuition waivers and also likely qualify for lower, in-state tuition rates.

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