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Financial Support

Over the past 15 years, we have successfully recruited and supported more National Science Foundation (NSF), University Distinguished Fellowships (UDF), and College of Natural Science fellowship winners then any other department at Michigan State University.

Your eligibility for financial support depends upon your degree program:

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

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 (NSF) or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 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.

Other Support

The Graduate School maintains a funding opportunities website that provides links to hundreds of funding sources for support of graduate students and their research. The MSU Libraries also maintains a electronic funding database page.

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.

Travel Expenses

The Graduate School also has limited funding available to support graduate student travel for presentation of research, assistance in emergency situations, etc. Our graduate secretary, Lisa Craft, has application details. The Department of Integrative Biology also awards funds towards professional development.

All University business related travel (seminars, conferences, field research, etc.) must be authorized by the Department in advance of departure.