Financial Support

What is my financial support package?

We are interested in students eager to obtain a high-quality graduate education. We believe our graduate students should be concentrating on their research and becoming accomplished scientists, not worrying about paying their rent. Therefore, our comprehensive package support students throughout their graduate careers. Features of our package include:

A competitive stipend. As of Fall 2021, the normal level of support is $31,380/year; the stipend amount typically increases by about 3-5% each year. Given Pittsburgh's low cost of living, this is a very comfortable income. For the first two semesters, this support is provided by the Department, independent of any teaching or research commitment. After the first two semesters, the student is usually supported by their faculty research advisor. Compensation is also provided during training as a teaching assistant. Currently (Fall 2021), 47% of our graduate students are supported on fellowships, 35% are supported by faculty grants, and 18% are supported as teaching assistants, a key part of our graduate training.

Health insurance. You're covered. The University of Pittsburgh provides excellent health insurance options, providing every student with complete medical coverage free of charge; supplementary dental and vision plans are also available. Rather than being limited to physicians at a student health service, every students is free to choose their own primary care physician. Moreover, spouses and children can be included in our medical plans at very reasonable costs.

Tuition waivers. Graduate tuition can be expensive. In our program, you will pay no fees; your tuition is paid in full each and every semester. Depending on your course load and residency status, this benefit can amount to more than $20,447 per semester.

Transportation. Who said there is no such thing as a free ride? With much thought to the future, the University of Pittsburgh offers free transportation throughout Allegheny county via the Port Authority bus system ( . Any bus - any time, any where - is free, including those to downtown or the airport. This benefit saves students the cost of monthly bus passes or parking permits.

Fellowship opportunities. There are many fellowship opportunities that provide for financial compensation, and make excellent additions to a glowing CV (that's science talk for resumé). In addition, several research support awards are available to assist students in conducting research at the Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology. As a testament to their stellar academic achievements, nearly half of our graduate students are currently supported by graduate fellowships.