The Physics Department only admits the number of students that we anticipate being able to support all the way through the PhD. Every effort is made to offer continuous financial support during the entire PhD program. This financial support typically comes in the form of Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, and Fellowships.
Teaching Assistantships (TA’s): Newly admitted students are typically offered TA’s for their 1st year in the program. TA’s are 12-month appointments that provide funding throughout the academic year and the summer after the 1st year. In addition, 2nd year grad students usually work as TA’s. TA’s typically work as supervisors in freshman physics labs, as recitation leaders, and as graders for undergraduate courses. The TA workload is roughly 20 hours per week. All TA’s receive a stipend, full tuition waivers, and University health insurance coverage. The current Physics Department TA stipend is $29,845 per year.
Research Assistantships (RA’s): Students typically move from TA’s to RA’s during the 2nd or 3rd year of the program. RA’s are usually funded through grants held by the student’s PhD advisor. RA’s are also 12-month appointments, and include a stipend, full tuition wavier, and University health insurance. Current RA stipend levels are typically in the range of $31,669 – $33,931 per year.
Fellowships: Graduate students are also often supported by internally and externally funded fellowships. The UMBC Graduate School has additional information about external fellowships.
Qualified students from underrepresented minority groups will be considered for the UMBC G-RISE Fellowship (for the Physics program) or the UMBC / NOAA Scholarship (for the Atmospheric Physics program). The goal of the G-RISE (Graduate Research Training Initiative for Students) program is to increase diversity and participation of underrepresented students pursuing doctoral degrees in STEM fields at UMBC and to promote advancement to leadership positions in STEM careers. G-RISE offers three year fellowships, a variety of courses and workshops to develop essential skills and a supportive community of like-minded scientists.