Financial Support

Over the past 15 years, we have successfully recruited and supported more NSF, UDF, and CNS fellowship winners than any other department at MSU.

Please be aware that your eligibility for financial support depends upon the degree program you are in. Ph.D. students are guaranteed five years of support. Plan A M.S. students are guaranteed three years of support. Plan B M.S. students are not guaranteed any support but are eligible for assistantships if available.

Below are the most common kinds of support that are available to graduate students in Integrative Biology.


Graduate Assistantships

All Ph.D. and MS-A students accepted into the graduate program in Integrative Biology are offered financial support in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and/or fellowships from the College of Natural Science (CNS) or Michigan State University (MSU) itself. Graduate student salaries for the academic year range from $1664 to $1814 per month (based on a half-time appointment), plus medical benefits, as well as a 9 credit tuition and fee waiver per semester.

Half-time teaching assistantships require 20 hours per week during the semester, helping with undergraduate courses. Half-time research assistantships require 20 hours per week of work on a faculty member's research grant.

Recruiting Fellowships

Recruiting fellowships, offered by the Graduate School or by the College of Natural Science, are available only for the very strongest candidates, and involve nomination by the Graduate Affairs Committee and the Director of Graduate Studies. University Recruiting Fellowships offer 12-24 month support packages for those starting study in the academic year, which include a $24,000 stipend plus medical benefits, a 9 credit tuition and fee waiver for each of fall and spring semesters, and a 4 credit tuition and fee waiver for the summer semester.

External Fellowships

Students with especially strong academic records may be competitive for fellowships from governmental agencies such as the National Science Foundation or the Environmental Protection Agency, or from non-profit organizations that support higher education and research training. The student is responsible for applying for such fellowships, although this is commonly done in consultation with a faculty advisor. Follow this link for more information about funding from extramural sources.


Funds for support of graduate student research are available from the Department of Integrative Biology, the Graduate School, and various interdisciplinary programs on campus such as Genetics or Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior (EEBB).