Most students in the program receive funding support from a variety of sources over the course of their graduate training. Funding sources include: department-assigned assistantships, lecturing positions (for advanced students), faculty-assigned research assistantships, assistantships with other departments on campus, and many other possibilities.
A small number (4-5) of department-assigned funding slots are reserved for incoming students. These are awarded based on a committee review that begins in February. Entry cohorts are about 12-15 new students each Fall. This means that about 1 in 3 new students enter with department-assigned funding. Many of the other new students find financial support from one of the many other sources once they are enrolled and on campus and in position to respond to seek out available opportunities.
Acceptance and Department-Assigned Funding
Unlike many departments, we do not require that new students be awarded department-assigned funding as a condition for being accepted into our program. As a result, we are able to offer the opportunity of graduate training to more deserving students; not just the small number we can support with department-assigned positions.
Many students welcome the opportunity to be accepted into the program on this basis. However, it is crucial for these students to recognize that they must assume primary responsibility for identifying and obtaining alternate sources of financial support. While opportunities for support definitely exist on campus and in the local community, it often takes considerable time and effort to find one. The potential stress can jeopardize chances for succeeding in the program. In view of this, students who do not receive department funding may be asked, as part of their review for acceptance into the program, to show that they have a realistic plan for providing for financial support in their first year.
Continuing students can apply for department-assigned assistantships that are awarded annually on the basis of committee review. In addition, they may seek other funded positions that offer opportunities for research and teaching experience. While there is no centralized review process for these other positions, there are many more of these positions than there are department-assigned assistantships. Thus, about two-thirds of our continuing students are supported through such positions.
For more information, please visit the Texas A&M Financial Aid page.