Financial Support

Financial support for graduate students comes primarily from one of three separate sources: Research Assistantships, Teaching Assistantships, and fellowships. Additional support is provided through the Tuition Benefit Program (TBP).

Teaching Assistant Responsibilities & Policies

Faculty research advisors make TA requests. The TA assignments are made by the department.


TAs may run laboratory sessions, give classroom lectures, hold office hours, and be involved in grading. The Department classifies classroom assistant positions into three categories:

    • Lab TAs are typically responsible for all aspects of laboratory sections associated with certain undergraduate courses. Duties may include the set-up of experiments, lectures to undergraduate students on particular experiments, supervising undergraduate students during the data acquisition phase of experiments, and grading lab reports.
    • Course TAs typically assist with course instruction. Duties may include conducting problem sessions, occasional lecturing, and grading of student homework and projects.
    • Graders have limited interaction with undergraduate students and are primarily responsible for grading homework.

Stipend Amount

Expected Workload and stipend information for each type of TA position is given in the table below.


Tuition Benefit Support Level



Student Contact

Lab TA




Course TA








*Course TAs and Graders can receive 100% support if their workload totals 20 hrs/week, such as combined TA and RA funding.
Current support level amounts can be found at the Tuition Benefit Program website.

International students and TA positions

In order to qualify for a TA position, international students must attend the International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) workshop in their first semester. The Graduate School requires all non-native English-speaking graduate students to be cleared by the ITA Program in order to be eligible for a tuition benefit for teaching assistantships. The clearance process includes screening for oral English proficiency and either online or in-person training ang workshops to prepare ITAs for their teaching assignments. Ongoing training and support is offered throughout the academic year in the form of graduate-level English classes, one-on-one and group tutorials, classroom observations with follow-up consultations, mid-semester student evaluations, and seminars on topics of interest to ITAs.

Summer teaching positions

Occasionally, instructor positions are available each summer semester for advanced Ph.D. students. The graduate student/instructor is given full responsibility for a course, including lecture preparation and delivery, test creation and grading, student advising on course material, and all course administration. The graduate student/instructor is provided a mentor from the regular faculty who provides advice and guidance on all aspects of course management. These positions provide the opportunity for Ph.D. students interested in an academic career to gain experience in teaching. Stipends are based on the class level and number of students registered for the class.

Research Assistant Responsibilities & Policies

RA positions are available to students working on grant-funded research programs. Awards are made directly by the faculty involved in the research. Full-time RA positions are generally 20 hrs/week. Partial RA positions may be awarded by faculty with a corresponding decrease in hourly expectations. The amount of the RA stipend is determined by the funding faculty member. Availability of research funds varies from semester to semester and graduate students are encouraged to discuss potential research projects with faculty.


The Graduate School has both internal and external fellowship listings available to graduate students on a competitive basis. Complete information regarding these fellowships can be found on the Graduate School fellowship web page.

Tuition Waivers/Tuition Benefit Program

The Tuition Benefit Program (TBP) provides tuition waivers to graduate students through assistantships and/or fellowships. All students receiving a tuition benefit must meet minimum financial support requirements paid through the University of Utah for each semester that a benefit is received.

No tuition benefit is granted to students receiving less than the 100% level of support for the semester. The required minimum support level is annually indexed to general salary increases to prevent gradual erosion of established graduate student salaries and stipends. Further information on the Tuition Benefit Program may be found at the Graduate School website.

Tuition benefit does not cover

    • Differential tuition
    • Fees outside of mandatory fees (specialized program fees, lab fees, course fees, e-book/materials fees, etc.)
    • Undergraduate courses
    • Repeated courses outside of courses required for degree to be repeated (namely thesis/dissertation credits)
    • Enrolled credits more than then maximum coverage of 12 graduate credits
    • Non-credit/continuing education courses
    • Withdrawn courses
    • Audited courses
    • International student surcharges

How to Participate

  1. First-time employees must also fill out new hire paperwork.
  2. Students meeting the minimum stipend amount must fill out a Tuition Benefit Enrollment form at the beginning of each semester.
  3. After the department enters their information, students must accept their Tuition Benefit in CIS. Failing to complete this step can result in loss of waiver and a retroactive tuition charge. Please note, students may need to accept their Tuition Benefit multiple times if changes are made by the department.

Student Health Insurance

Health insurance is available to graduate students via two plans: the Graduate Subsidized Health Insurance Program (GSHIP) and the Voluntary (Unsubsidized) Plan. Enrollment is mandatory for international students. Enrollment is optional for domestic students.

Subsidized Health Insurance

Full-time RAs and TAs (20 hr per week assignment) on Tuition Benefit are eligible to enroll in the Graduate Subsidized Health Insurance Program, which provides a 100% subsidy of the annual premium for the student insurance plan offered by the University of Utah. The plan allows students to add a spouse and/or children at the student’s own expense. Further information on the insurance plans is available at the GSHIP page.

How it works

  1. Eligible RAs and TAs elect to enroll in the health insurance when they submit the Tuition Benefit Enrollment form.
  2. Students desiring to add family members or to increase coverage need to fill out additional paperwork. See Grad Advising for more details.
  3. The Graduate School will pay 100% of the premium for single-student coverage at the time of enrollment.
  4. Fall insurance coverage is from 8/16-12/31. Spring/Summer coverage is from 1/1-8/15.

Unsubsidized Health Insurance

The same level of coverage available to RAs and TAs is also available to all graduate students through the Voluntary Health Insurance Plan. This health insurance is unsubsidized, meaning students must pay the entire premium themselves. Students can find more information at the Student Health Center website.


Uninsured students may be eligible to receive discounted health services at the Student Health Center. Charges and Fees can be found here.


Non-resident students participating in tuition benefit are exempt from paying non-resident tuition.

  1. Graduate tuition benefit is posted to tuition bills at the resident tuition rate.
  2. Tuition and fees not covered by the tuition benefit (see above) are the student’s responsibility.
  3. Domestic non-resident graduate students should apply for Utah residency upon fulfilling 40 graduate credit hours.
    1. A student’s ability to establish residency will not affect eligibility of a tuition benefit.
    2. Visit the Admissions Office website for details on how to apply and qualify for residency reclassification.

Financial Resources