A number of fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis each year to full-time graduate students in the Department. In addition, the University awards various competitive fellowships each year to particularly outstanding students. Both entering and continuing graduate students are eligible for financial aid.
Graduate fellowships provide financial support for students to pursue research and studies without directly defined teaching or research responsibilities. There are a variety of internal and external (including NSF, DoD, DoE, and industry) fellowship programs for which students are strongly encouraged to apply for. The ECE department offers a limited number of competitive scholarships for first year Ph.D. students. ECE first year department scholarship recipients are fully supported in the first semester, so that they are able to explore different research groups, and should identify a research advisor to begin working with in the second semester.
Research Assistantships are awarded by individual faculty to students for work on specific research projects. Typically, the work of Research Assistants (RAs) is directly related to their thesis or dissertation, but this is not always the case. The direct responsibilities of RAs have a maximum of 20 hours/week. Typically, Research Assistant contracts cover nine months (academic year, from September to May) or twelve months (September to August) duration.
Teaching Assistants (TAs) perform teaching or instructional support for courses for up to 20 hours/week. Activities of TAs may include course preparation, teaching discussion or laboratory sections, and holding office hours.