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Washington State University

Financial Support

Financial support for graduate students is most commonly available in the form of either a teaching assistantship (TA) or research assistantship (RA). Students supported on TAs or RAs typically have 9 month (academic year) appointments that include a tuition waiver, health insurance, and a living stipend.

Summer research funding is supported on a student by student basis by faculty advisors, fellowships and grants.

Prospective and current students requesting funding should contact their faculty advisor, graduate coordinator Denise Hopkins, and Associate Director for Graduate Studies Lisa Shipley. New students should make note of your request on your graduate application. There are also fellowships available which are listed below.

Teaching Assistantships

If you have been awarded a TA position, you will receive a letter stating the term of that appointment. Teaching assistantships are state-supported, half-time, nine month positions available to students with strong academic records. Graduate students on teaching assistantships work approximately 20 hours per week in teaching laboratory sections, grading homework, or answering questions during office hours. Teaching assistants may aid in courses that are in their sub-discipline areas.

Research Assistantships

Research assistantships are funded by external agencies such as the National Science Foundation, National Institute for Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and a variety of other state, federal and non-governmental sources. If you have been awarded an RA position upon admission, you will have already received a letter with information regarding the terms of that appointment and the faculty member who has agreed to provide funding. Graduate research assistantships are half-time appointments, and may, but not always, cover the summer months in addition to the academic year.  In many cases, the results of the work are applied to the research assistant’s thesis.

Hourly Wage Positions

The selection process for awarding graduate teaching and research assistantships is highly competitive. For students who are not awarded research or teaching assistantships, hourly wage positions may be available to provide partial financial support through the School of the Environment. Work closely with both the graduate coordinator and your academic mentor to keep informed of future funding opportunities.


School of the Environment has a variety of internal scholarships available to both graduate and undergraduate students. Every spring semester we solicit applications for internal awards. Students must apply for these scholarships in order to be eligible.

For more information please contact:

Graduate Program Coordinator (Pullman/Puyallup/Tri Cities): Denise Hopkins (

Graduate Program Coordinator (Vancouver): Casper Menson (

Associate Director of Graduate Programs: Dr. Lisa Shipley (

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Helpful Links

  • WSU Graduate School: Finance
    Information on Awards, Assistantships and Fellowships for WSU Graduate School
  • Student Employment Center
    The Student Employment Center have opportunities for students seeking on and off-campus employment, non-students seeking temporary on-campus employment, and employers looking to fill their work-study and non-work-study jobs.
  • Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarship Services
    The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarship Services provides information regarding financial support and available scholarship opportunities for students.