We provide some financial support to all students (including international students) maintaining satisfactory academic progress. With the approval of the dissertation committee, this support can be extended for an additional semester (the end of the sixth year). The Department provides a competitive stipend and coverage of all fees and non-resident tuition. This support is funded by Federal, State, and private sources in the form of Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) and Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) appointments; fellowships; and NIH traineeships. In addition, the department also provides travel grants to assist students who are presenting their research at a conference.

For more detailed information about funding opportunities, visit our current graduate student funding opportunities page.


Merit based fellowships are awarded to students annually by the ESPM admission/fellowships committee. The committee makes as many awards as possible each year. However, because funds are very limited, it is an unfortunate fact that sometimes well-qualified applicants do not receive fellowships. Awards are based on a combination of excellence in scholarship (a minimum of 3.5 grade point average in the last two years of undergraduate work, or in any graduate work completed), GRE scores, clarity and aptness of academic and career objectives, and letters of recommendation. The committee ranks both entering and continuing students, and makes awards to as many of the top-ranking students as funds allow. Applicants from the alternate list sometimes succeed to fellowship monies if for any reason an awardee declines a fellowship offer. Awards may include all or a portion of student fees or non-resident tuition, and/or a stipend.

Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) and Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSR)

Image of Graduate Student Instructor at blackboard

ESPM graduate student Andrew Rominger explains research to his lab group. Photo by James Block.

Students seeking GSI appointments must submit an online application for courses they are interested in teaching. Instructors may wish to perform an interview prior to making a  final selection. The hiring process is completed following the contract agreements with the UAW, which represents the GSIs. Students who do not have departmental fellowship, GSR, or GSI support should contact individual faculty to inquire whether they have any GSR positions available through their extramural grants. A comprehensive list of all Graduate Council requirements for the preparation of first-time GSI preparation can be found here.