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. Your eligibility for financial support depends upon your degree program:

  • Doctoral students are guaranteed 5 years of support
  • Masters of Science Plan A students are guaranteed 3 years of support
  • Masters of Science Plan B students are not guaranteed any support but are eligible for assistantships if available

Below are the most common kinds of support available to our graduate students.

Living Expenses & Tuition

Graduate Assistantships

All doctoral and Masters of Science Plan 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 or Michigan State University. Graduate student salaries for the academic year range from $1,664 to $1,814 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. These fellowships require 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. Learn more about funding from extramural sources.

Research Expenses

Funds for support of graduate student research are available from our department, the Graduate School, and various interdisciplinary programs on campus such as Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior.