Most doctoral students admitted to the department receive financial aid in the form of either a teaching or a research assistantship, and normally continue to receive financial aid throughout their studies. (Masters students are not offered assistantships at this time.) A limited number of fellowships are also available; they are competitive within the University, and the department has averaged one per year. Research assistants receive stipends competitive with those offered by other major research universities. Teaching assistants are given nine-month appointments at a rate similar to that for research assistants. In many cases, teaching assistants can receive additional remuneration for teaching or research duties carried out in the summer.
Teaching assistants work a maximum of 20 hours per week, on average. Typical duties include grading, proctoring exams, holding office hours, teaching in the lab or classroom, and holding discussion sections. Time is also alotted for preparation of these activities. Students who receive either teaching or research assistantships or fellowships are granted a waiver of all tuition and most fees, and a 95% reduction in the cost of their medical plan. All graduate students, regardless of their means of financial support, are expected to take advantage of numerous opportunities to gain a minimum of one year of teaching experience.