Nearly all of our graduate students receive financial support, either from us or from their own governments.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistant positions are awarded by the department. This is the most common support for first-year students who have not yet chosen a research advisor.

Most TAs have a half-time (50%) appointment. The most common assignment is for TAs to teach three sections of a physics laboratory, each with three hours of contact with students, or four sections of an astronomy lab, each with two hours. These TAs work under the supervision of the laboratory coordinator and the professor in charge of the course. Other TAs serve as tutors, proctors, or graders. A half-time appointment requires up to 20 hours per week of service to the department. At the same time you can take a full load of courses, up to 12 semester hours.

Some TAs also receive support as an RA. It is common for a student to be supported as a half-time TA during the academic year and as an RA for up to three months during the summer. Some students are supported during the academic year partly as a TA and partly as an RA. For example a student supported with a one-quarter-time TA position and a one-quarter RA position would serve up to 10 hours per week as a TA and serve as an RA in the remaining time.

Research Assistantships

Research Assistant positions are usually awarded by individual professors. Usually, the work you do as an RA is the same as the research you do for your thesis. Most commonly, students take an RA position after their first year, when they have learned about the opportunities for research with various faculty members. If you already know which faculty member has a research program that is best for you, you may contact that professor to inquire about RA support during your first year.

Scholarships

Students holding a 25% or greater teaching or research assistantship appointment will be assured a tuition scholarship. The University’s contribution towards the tuition for graduate assistants is listed below. The scholarship will be pro-rated, so that students who are registered for less than 9 s.h. will receive the appropriate percentage of full tuition according to the number of credit hours for which they are registered.

The tuition scholarships will be applicable only for the academic year and do not include scholarships for summer semester enrollment. The tuition scholarship is not affected by the level of appointment above 25%.

Andrew Nelson Summer Research Grant

This grant provides all first year graduate students up to two month's summer support in order to explore research opportunities and research advisors. At the end of the summer, the recipient is required to submit a report on the proposed research project.

Goertz/Nicholson Memorial Scholarship
Award amount varies (one award).

The award will be presented to a post-qualifier graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy who demonstrates the promise of achieving excellence in the field, preferably space plasma theory. No application is required; qualified students are automatically considered.

Nicholson Fellowship
One award of $1,000.

This award is for an entering graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The choice of the individual to receive the award will be based on financial need and promise of academic achievement. No application is required; qualified students are automatically considered.

Swift Scholarship
Award amount varies (number varies).

This scholarship is for an entering graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. All entering graduate students are eligible for the award, which is given at the discretion of the DEO. No application is required, qualified students are automatically considered.

John and Stacey Wahl Scholarship
Two awards of $2,000.

Scholarship is for graduate or undergraduate students studying physics. Recipients should be married, with preference given to those students with children. May be renewed. No application is required; qualified students are automatically considered. Please let Misty Lyon know if you are married and/or have children so you can be considered.

Pfeiffer Family Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to one or more deserving students in space physics graduate studies. Requirement that recipient is a U.S. citizen or other lawful Permanent Resident of the U.S. This award is renewable if recipient continues to qualify under specified criteria.

G. William Pfeiffer and Marilyn M. Maltby Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to one or more deserving students in space physics graduate studies. Requirement that recipient is a U.S. citizen or other lawful Permanent Resident of the U.S. This award is renewal if recipient continues to qualify under specified criteria.

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Who May Be Nominated:

Teaching assistants from all academic units may be nominated for these awards. To be eligible, nominees must have had some type of formal student contact as part of their duties during the Spring, Summer, and/or Fall 2021. A teaching assistant who has won this award in the past may not be nominated again.

How To Nominate:

· Nominations may be initiated by students, faculty, colleagues, departmental executive officers, or deans.

· Self-nominations will not be accepted.

· Nominations must follow the guidelines. Student nominators who need assistance with any aspect of the nomination process should contact a faculty member or the Departmental Executive Officer in the teaching department.

· Follow the guidelines within the Physics & Astronomy Department for internal deadline. Nominations are generally due to the departmental DEO in January or February (see Misty for deadline date).

Please reference the following website for complete information regarding this award: https://uiowa.edu/cot/outstanding-teaching-awards

Our graduate students are valuable to us

We make every effort to pay our graduate students an attractive stipend. Most students have what is called a 50% appointment, with the following stipends:

The stipend levels for year 2022-2023 per the contract negotiated between the University of Iowa and the graduate employee union, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, Local 896 (COGS) are:

  • Academic year salary: One-half time (20 hours/week) $20,598; One-quarter time (10 hours/week) $10,299 (2022-2023)

Students holding a 25% or greater teaching or research assistantship appointment will be assured a tuition scholarship and 50% of mandatory fees paid.

Tuition & Fees Table can be found here:  The University of Iowa – Tuition & Fees (uiowa.edu)

International students do have some extra fees. Please see the ISSS page for info and estimated costs:  International Student Expenses | International Programs (uiowa.edu)

Employed Graduate Student Benefits 

Please see information regarding graduate student health and dental insurance on the following website: 

Benefits and insurane information may be found at the following link:  Employed Graduate Student Benefits | University Human Resources - The University of Iowa (uiowa.edu)

University Benefits Student Insurance

Email: benefits-students@uiowa.edu
Phone: 319-335-2676
Hours:  Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Graduate College

The Graduate College offers a wealth of information about funding for graduate students. For more information, visit Funding your UI Education in the Graduate College at the University of Iowa.