Financial aid

Early application to the program will increase your chances for financial support. We offer graduate assistantships, outside scholarships, research assistantships, and more.

Graduate assistantships

The overall model for an assistantship includes:

  • a stipend, in exchange for up to 20  hours of invested work per week
  • health insurance, depending on the level of support offered
  • tuition reduction
  • close involvement with faculty as research or teaching staff

Teaching Assistantship (TA)

  • TAs are typically assigned to assist professors with certain courses. Possible job duties might include: preparing and delivering guest lectures
  •  grading assignments
  • preparing class projects
  • delivering required laboratory sections

Qualifications for a teaching assistantship include:

  • strong organization skills
  •  excellent verbal communication skills
  • past experience in teaching


Weekly time commitment

Benefits: (to qualify, your appointment must cover the entire semester)

10–19 hours per week

Pay tuition at resident rates, tuition remission of $2,121 ($1,060 in the fall and $1,061 in the spring).

20 hours per week (full-time)

Pay tuition at resident rates, tuition remission $4,242 ($2,121 in fall and $2,121 in spring); health insurance premium subsidy (if you enroll for health insurance).

Research Assistantship (RA)

RAs are funded by research grants submitted to outside agencies and awarded to various faculty members.

Because these grants are based on achievement of certain research goals, RAs are selected based on their abilities in the particular research area, i.e., the extent to which they can assist the faculty member in completing the targeted research.

Because they are based on currently active research grants, the availability of RAs may vary widely from year to year. RAs are not distributed by the computer science program at all; decisions about RAs to fund and who to award them to are made by the faculty member leading the funded research project.

Benefits are similar for RAs as for TAs except that --- at the sole discretion of the supervising faculty member (who is Principle Investigator on a grant) --- the stipend for the RA may be up to 150% of the standard rate set for TAs.

All GAs (that is, both RAs and TAs) are typically awarded on an annual academic year basis, but may also be awarded for individual semesters depending on funding other factors. GAs are awarded for the particular time period in question, with no guarantee of further support beyond that period.

Other funding opportunities

  • Outside scholarships—We support talented graduate students in applying for outside financial support. For instance, we have been successful in winning the lucrative Science Foundation Arizona (SfAZ) scholarship for our students.
  • Paid Research Assistants—It is common for both graduates and undergraduates to work as research assistants on faculty research projects on an hourly-wage basis. In computer science, this usually means being a paid programmer on a research effort. While not as advantageous as a GA, these hourly-wage jobs do offer the possibility to earn a substantial amount of money, and can lead to an RA-ship in the future if you impress the faculty with your initiative, reliability, and creativity.
  • Hourly wage on campus—Students are used to staff many clerical, receptionist, and other positions on campus. The hourly wages for this work vary, but are typically less than what paid research programmers are able to earn.  Visit the Office of Financial Aid’s section on student employment.
  • Off-campus employment—Faculty have a variety of local contacts, and once they have gotten to know a graduate student and the level of work he/she is able to perform, they are typically happy to recommend a student for part-time employment outside the university.