Current Students - Graduate
PhD candidates are generally admitted with a tuition waiver and a stipend. Our stipend levels are competitive with most major US institutions. At the MS level, there is no financial support for either full time (thesis) or part-time (coursework) options. Funding will be available on a continuing basis if the student maintains satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree. A 3.00 GPA must be maintained in course work throughout the program, and this will obviously be the main criterion in assessing performance during the first year. After the first year, however, progress will be primarily in research, where a clear quantitative measure of performance is infeasible. In general, the thesis advisor is responsible for this progress review, but in cases where there is disagreement between advisor and student, the thesis committee will provide an independent evaluation to determine if there is "satisfactory progress" for the continuation of funding. In the event that progress is deemed unsatisfactory, the student will be provided at least three months notice that funding is in danger of being discontinued, and will, wherever possible, be given sufficient opportunity to rectify the situation. Although the likelihood of this happening during the early stages of the research is slim, students should be aware that all theses must come to an end and thus the likelihood of funding being discontinued increases as the residence time in the program increases. In particular, funding is not guaranteed beyond four years.
The majority of students in the department will be supported on research grants and contracts obtained by their faculty advisor. Students on projects without external funding will be provided support (assuming that their progress is satisfactory) through the use of either departmental funds (e.g., industrial grants) or by appointment as a teaching assistant. No student will be supported by departmental funds for more than five semesters; funds beyond such a commitment must be provided by the thesis advisor or by appointment as a teaching assistant. This policy does not apply to students working with new faculty, where full support may be provided for purposes of initiation of new research.