All graduate students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at West Virginia University are provided an assistantship. Included with each assistantship is a complete waiver of tuition. Graduate students only pay special fees ($675 University fee and $693 College fee per semester, covering services like the Recreation Center, transportation, Health Services, library, etc). Summer Support in the form of a TA or RA appointment is usually available.
Teaching Assistantships (TAs)
A TA is expected to spend approximately twenty hours per week teaching undergraduate laboratories and grading for lecture courses, e.g., teaching three sections of introductory physics laboratory and help with grading in the larger lecture sections. TA receive approximately $20,160 for the 9-month academic salary. With a 3-month summer teaching stipend of $6,720, the total TA stipend for 12-months is $26,880.
Research Assistantships (RAs)
RAs are awarded by individual professors to students who have decided on their field of research. The pay is generally slightly more than for a TA. Although students typically become RAs in their second or third year, students who advance rapidly into research may begin RA appointments sooner.
Each year, the Department of Physics and Astronomy is able to provide supplemental fellowships of $2,000 to several highly qualified students. These supplements are added to the regular academic-year teaching stipend. No additional teaching or research duties are required of these supplemental fellowship recipients. To be considered for a supplemental fellowship, please submit your application by February 15.
University-wide competition fellowships are also available. Applicants for the fellowships from physics must be nominated by the department. Because of a strict program deadline, the Department of Physics and Astronomy will select nominees for these fellowships from the set of applications it has received prior to January 20. GRE scores and U.S. citizenship are used as selection criteria.
If you are interested, please contact the Chair of the Graduate Admissions Committee, Dr. Loren Anderson, for more information.
For Students Applying in the Fall Semester
First-year graduate students usually receive a Teaching Assistantship. Advanced students may be considered for Research Assistantships provided by individual faculty. Students applying in the fall semester are guaranteed 12 months of support, i.e., $26,880 for their first year.