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Financial Support

Worried about College Loan Debt? Forget about it! In the majority of cases, we pay you. The Program has over 20 graduate Teaching Assistantships, numerous Research Assistantships and Fellowships that will get you through graduate school without adding to your debt load!

Teaching Assistantships (TA’s)

A TA is a nine-month appointment paying $13,350 per year (M.S.) or $15,750 (Ph.D.), and a waiver of full-time university tuition (up to 12 credit hours per semester). The value of the stipend plus university tuition waiver is more than $29K. In return, the student works about 20 hours per week (half time) teaching and/or assisting in undergraduate labs and classes. Summer university tuition is waived for students who held a TA or RA during the preceding two semesters. Health insurance coverage is required of all students as are library, computer use, and recreation fees, and these are not waived. A few TA positions are available in summer. TA awards are highly competitive, and normally only tendered to strong students without substantial undergraduate deficiencies.

The TA review process starts in February, with first offers issued in early March. Positions are normally filled by April 15. While most TA’s start in Fall, there is from time to time a TA vacancy for Spring semester start.  Approximately 10 TAs are awarded to new entering graduate students each year.

Research Assistantships (RA’s)

Research Assistantships support graduate students under supervision of a faculty members with funded research grants. RA’s commonly provide up a twelve months of support and pay approximately $17,000-$23,000 per 12 months, plus a full waiver of university tuition. It is not uncommon for students to switch between RAs and TAs on a semester basis. The research performed is frequently for a student’s thesis or project. Students interested in obtaining RA support should contact faculty working in their field.

Meritorious Tuition Waivers

Students without a TA or RA may apply for waivers of university tuition.

Stipends from local and University research units

The Morgantown National Energy Technology Center (NETL), the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES), and the National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE) sponsor research assistant positions that provide hourly wage positions of Fellowships for some students. These positions may in some cases include university tuition waivers.


Fellowships from a number of sources, including NSFNASA, and WVU, support graduate students. There are also WVU University Fellowships, primarily for Ph.D. students. These are highly competitive but several of our students have obtained them in the past. For more information, see the university web site:

To apply for one of these fellowships you need to be nominated by the Geology Program. The Geology Graduate Program Co. reviews the files of potential candidates and contacts students who may be competitive. The university deadlines for these fellowships are often earlier than our usual admission deadline, Therefore, to be considered for a university fellowship, please complete your application prior to December 1.

WVU Tuition and Fees

If you want to see the current WVU tuition and fees, check this link: Tuition is typically waived for current graduate students but all students need to pay fees.