Graduate Fellowships


Most programs in the geosciences will provide either a research assistant (RA) or teaching assistant (TA) position. In addition to a monthly stipend (for living expenses), these assistantships will often cover tuition as well. A graduate fellowship from a national organization such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) will make you a very desirable applicant to graduate school.

Unlike an RA or TA position, a graduate fellowship (essentially a scholarship for graduate school) is not tied to any one graduate institution. You may find a professor with whom you would really like to work, but this professor may not have enough funding to support an RA. With a fellowship, you will come to graduate school with your own funding and have your pick of all professors! Some fellowships are only for one year of study, while others may last four years.

It’s a good idea to talk to your current professors to find out what fellowships are open in your discipline. Individual universities may also have in-house fellowships for which you can apply. Below are a few fellowship programs on a national level. A quick Google search will reveal many other fellowship programs.