Graduate Student Fellowships (GSF). The most attractive forms of financial aid are Graduate Student Fellowships. These awards can only be offered to incoming PhD students. They pay a stipend ($20,000 – $25,000 per year for 4 years) with a tuition waiver and health insurance. They are controlled by the University, not the Department. For us to propose you for one of these fellowships, you would have to have GREs over 315.
GSF top-up awards. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may authorize us to award funds as top-ups for an incoming PhD student who has accepted a teaching or research assistantship. These additional funds may range $3,000 – $5,000 per year for 4 years. They may only be awarded to an incoming PhD student who is receiving a teaching or research assistantship from Geography.
Grinter supplements. These are funds that the Department can use to supplement our base assistantship stipend, usually $2,000 – $4,000 per year for 3 years. These funds do not carry a tuition waiver and must be awarded concurrently with an assistantship to an incoming PhD student. Students whose GREs are decent (e.g. in the 1200’s or low 1300’s) but not competitive for the GSF may get a Grinter Supplement.
McKnight Doctoral Fellowships. There are fellowships earmarked for African-American applicants. The URL to apply is http://www.fefonline.org/mdfapply/ . Please note that you also need to apply to UF and our department as well as applying to this program. Let us know in your SOP if you are applying to the McKnight as we will be asked to support your application, and do indicate Geography on your application to the McKnight program.
Title VI Foreign Language Fellowships. If you are preparing for research in Brazil or Haiti, fellowships are available for the study of Portuguese and Haitian Creole. These are handled through the Center for Latin American Studies. http://www.latam.ufl.edu. FLAS awards are available for African study. To qualify, your statement of purpose must show a genuine commitment to research in one of these languages. Details: http://africa.ufl.edu/graduatestudies/flas.html . European Studies also offers FLAS funding for Catalan, Czech, Hungarian, Italian, modern Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish. Details: http://www.ces.ufl.edu/FLAS/index.shtml. Please see these websites to apply.
Research Assistantships (RA). Some faculty members have research grants which permit them to hire students as research assistants, who will receive tuition waivers and health insurance along with their stipend. Faculty with such grants will generally allocate them to their own students. You must contact individual faculty members to inquire about the possibility of funding through this avenue – the Graduate Coordinator and Secretary do not maintain a list of faculty with RA funding for students. Duration and stipend amounts for RA positions vary by project.
Teaching Assistantships (TA). The most frequent form of financial aid is the Teaching Assistantship. The recipient works 20 hours a week in exchange for a stipend, health insurance, and a tuition waiver. Because we have about 50 graduate students enrolled in any semester and 10-12 assistantships per semester available, these are highly competitive. Generally the stipend is $15,660 total for the Fall and Spring Semester (with a fee waiver for 9 credit hours each semester), with additional summer funding available (usually for either Summer A or Summer B, around $2000, plus a 2-3 credit hour fee waiver). Incoming PhD students receiving TA funding will be nominated for GSF top-ups and Grinter Supplements when possible so that your 9-month salary COULD be as high as $20,000. Teaching assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis based on the teaching skills of the existing and incoming students and the teaching needs of the department. Masters level students may only teach lab sections (such as GEO2200L: Physical Geography Lab). PhD students may teach lab or lecture sessions and thus have more opportunities for funding.
Other Personnel Services (OPS).http://www.hr.ufl.edu/training/neo/newops.asp Students can be hired for work and be paid an hourly wage. This type of funding does not come with a tuition waiver or health insurance. The University has positions available through the website above, and individual faculty with research funding may also have these types of positions available.
Geography does not have any separate tuition waivers that we can award. All tuition waivers accompany fellowships and assistantships. Please do not ask us for “just” a tuition waiver!
All students (those that are applying as well as those that are continuing) are encouraged to perform their own thorough search for external funding (e.g., National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, NASA Fellowships, etc.), even if they currently receive funding from UF. It is possible that if you can provide funding for 2 or 3 years of your studies with us, we may be able to provide funding for one or two additional years.
In a given year, we will not know how many incoming students will receive funding until late January as the college often does not notify us of awards such as the Graduate Student Fellowship and Grinter Awards until this time. When the admissions committee meets in February to review applicants, we rank them in terms of priority for funding. We may receive notification that we can offer additional funding after February and in this case we will refer to our initial ranking from the February meeting. This is why it is imperative that you submit your application materials before January 31 – otherwise, you will not be placed on our ranked list.
Many students that do not receive an initial offer of funding have been funded as research or teaching assistants once they arrive at UF or in later semesters. If you are accepted but do not receive funding, you have the option of deferring your matriculation for up to 1 year so that you may continue your search for funding.
All incoming PhD students in Fall 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 had some form of funding if they requested it: GSF, TA, RA, other fellowship, or funding from the government of their home country.
Few MS students received departmental funding during this period.