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Financial Support for Plant Biology Graduate Students

Teaching Assistantships (TAs)

  • Awarded on a competitive basis
  • Includes tuition waiver ($24,270 for out-of-state; $12,282 for Ohio resident)
  • 12-month stipend for M.S. students $18,414*
  • 12-month stipend for Ph.D. students $22,440*

*For 2015-16

Teaching assistantships for Ph.D. students require about 15 hours per week of service. In general, weekly responsibilities include four to eight contact hours with students and a varying amount of preparation time, depending on the course involved. First-year TAs generally assist in introductory biology and botany courses, but TAs may be placed in higher-level courses in subsequent years. The department views the teaching experience as an essential part of a student’s training. All students in the department, whether funded or not, are required to teach at least one semester.

Ph.D. students without an M.S. degree are eligible for support as a TA up to the student’s first sixteen semesters (i.e. 5 years + 1 semester), including a tuition waiver.

Ph.D. students with an M.S. degree are Eligible for support as a TA up to the student’s first thirteen semesters (i.e. 4 years + 1 semester), including a tuition waiver.

Research Assistantships (RAs)

Research Assistantships are available through individual faculty with research grants.

University Fellowships

To qualify for University Fellowships, a student must be nominated by the department.

Teaching Associate (master’s student financial support)

Students in the Plant Biology M.S. program, the thesis option or the Molecular and Cellular Biology concentration, are eligible for support up to the student’s first six (6) semesters (i.e. two years) as a Teaching Associate (TA), including a tuition waiver. See conditions for support

An additional semester of support may be made available, but it is not guaranteed. This requires a letter of application no later than January 15 of the year in which additional support is requested to the Plant Biology Graduate Committee along with a supporting letter from the adviser. The letter of application must contain a compelling explanation for additional support.

Conditions for Departmental Support

  • Must be a full-time student (12 to 15 CR) in PBIO or MCB/PBIO graduate program.
  • Must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. May dip below this mark, but for only one semester.
  • Must make satisfactory progress toward degree as determined by adviser and committee. This includes, but not limited to, meeting important deadlines and submitting a progress report every academic year.
  • Must have a track record of satisfactory performance on TA assignments.
  • Ph.D. students must earn a passing grade on comprehensive exams.
  • Must successfully complete Chemical Hygiene Training.

Note: Having a RA or fellowship will not extend TA departmental support beyond the stated time limits.

Tuition Scholarships & Fees

If a student has been awarded an assistantship, he or she also qualifies for a tuition scholarship. However, each semester the student is required to pay the University’s General Fee, the College of Arts & Sciences Technology Fee, the Student Information System and Network Fee, and health insurance if not covered by another policy. For payment plan information, see the Bursar’s Web page. To enroll in the payment visit

For academic year 2015-16 and Summer 2016, the following rates and fees are in effect.

Department Assistantship Rates

  Fall 2015 Spring 2016 Summer 2016
Ph.D. $8,160 $8,160 $6,120
M.S. $6,696 $6,696 $5,022

General Fee per semester: $628*

College of Arts & Sciences Technology Fee per semester: $97 Student Information System and Network Fee per semester: $33

Health Insurance per semester: $867 (coverage runs Aug. 16, 2015, to Aug. 15, 2016, but is paid only in fall and spring semesters).**

Each semester, if you are receiving an assistantship/tuition scholarship, the Department requires you to register for a minimum of 15 hours of graduate credit.***

If your GPA falls below 3.0, you will be placed on probation and your funding will be reviewed. Please note that a 3.0 is a “B”, not a “B–”; i.e., a B– is less than a 3.0 (2.67). Refer to the Graduate Guidelines for details. See page 10 for a list of points assigned to letter grades.

*For students with assistantships, the Graduate College pays $134 of the semester General Fee. Therefore, the actual cost to you is $494 per semester.

**The Graduate College pays $40 of the semester health insurance premium. Therefore, the actual cost to you is $827 per semester.

***If you have a fellowship (e.g., NSF, named University, etc.), you must register for 15 hours.

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