Skip to main content

Physics and Astronomy Graduate Student Salaries

To promote transparency and equity in the department, this page provides salary information concerning graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) and research assistants (RAs) in the department. This information will be updated each year. The distribution of TA and RA salaries across the department is shown below. All salary data below are 12-month appointments.

Physics and Astronomy Salary Data, May 2023

TA Salary

The TA salary for the academic year 2023-2024 will be $27,250. We aim to increase the TA salary by 3% each year, pending future budgetary constraints.

RA Salary

RA salaries are determined by the research advisor depending on the availability of grant funding. Thus, the following RA salary guidelines are recommendations and not mandated by the department. The department recommends a salary floor equal to the TA salary, also with 3% annual increases. Faculty are encouraged to consider a 5% raise after students pass the oral candidacy exam.  There is no ceiling in this recommendation.

University Fellowships

Fellowship amounts are determined by the University, not the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and are not included in our analysis. Some are less than the TA salary. If the amount is less than the TA salary, it is required that the research advisor provide the difference to bring it up to at least the TA salary.

Comparison with peer and aspirational institutions

The mean equivalent salary paid by similarly ranked schools is $23,292 (as of Feb. 2023), which is 85% of the WVU TA salary. Data came from published salary numbers on the schools' websites. These equivalent salary amounts from other schools were converted to the equivalent buying power in Morgantown, which accounts for differences in cost of living, using the CNN cost-of-living calculator. Thus, a salary from a school in a higher-cost-of-living area will convert to a lower number in Morgantown. School ranking follows the U.S. News and World Reports listing.