Financial Support

The Department of Geoscience offers merit-based graduate assistantships.  All admitted graduate students are eligible for assistantships.

M.S. students may hold an assistantship for two academic years and Ph.D. students for up to four.  In order to retain their appointments from semester to semester, students must perform satisfactorily in the assistantship and must continue to make satisfactory progress toward completion of their degrees.  Students who begin graduate study without an assistantship may become eligible for one as appointments become available.

Students must demonstrate proficiency in English before they can be considered for a teaching assistantship.  Teaching assistants are evaluated each semester for teaching proficiency and communication skills, through student evaluations and observation by a supervising instructor.  Research assistantships are typically funded by individual faculty grants; they vary depending on the nature of the funded project.  Duties often involve activities such as sample collection and preparation; collection, analysis, and interpretation of analytical or measurement data; preparation of maps and diagrams; and assistance with fieldwork.

Outstanding students who are entering their first year of graduate school and are enrolled in doctoral programs may apply for a Presidential Graduate Fellowship, which provides three academic years and all summers without formal work assignments, freeing students to pursue their own research.

The department also awards a significant number of tuition scholarships based on merit.

Teaching Assistantships

In addition to the eligibility requirements outlined above, students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English before being considered for a Teaching Assistantship. Applicants whose primary language is English can establish proficiency by (1) having a minimum score of 500 on the verbal GRE test, (2) having appropriate comments concerning English proficiency included in letters of recommendation, or (3) being interviewed by a member of the Graduate Admissions Committee. Applicants whose primary language is not English (e.g., applicants from countries where English is not a primary language) can establish proficiency by taking a test of oral English proficiency offered by the University.

Teaching Assistants are evaluated every semester for teaching proficiency and communication skills by compiling student evaluations and observation by a supervising instructor. Recommendations for enhancing these skills or reassignment may be made based on these evaluations.

Teaching assistants are responsible for teaching lab and discussion sections in the following courses:

EES:1030 Introduction to Earth Science
EES:1040 Evolution & History of Life
EES:1050 Introduction to Geology
EES:1080 Introduction to Environmental Science
EES:2410 Mineralogy
EES:3020 Earth Surface Processes
EES:3100 Introduction to Applied Remote Sensing
EES:3210 Principles of Paleontology
EES:3500 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
EES:3840 Structural Geology
· 12:153 Geocomputing
EES:4630 Hydrogeology
EES:2831 Geologic Field Methods

In addition, advanced students have the opportunity to teach EES:1030 Earth History and Resources and EES:1080 Introduction to Environmental Science during the summer session.

Research Assistantships

Research assistantships are typically funded by faculty grants, and vary depending on the nature of the funded project. Duties often involve activities such as: sample collection and preparation; collection, analysis, and interpretation of analytical or measurement data; preparation of maps and diagrams; and assistance with fieldwork.

Fellowships and Scholarships

Outstanding students entering their first year of graduate school and enrolled in doctoral programs may apply for Iowa Fellowships. These fellowships carry a minimum stipend of $17,500 plus full tuition for four years on a 12-month basis. For two of the four years and all summers, recipients have no assignments and are free to pursue their own research.

Departmental Tuition Scholarships

In addition to out-of-state tuition adjustments, the Department also awards a significant number of tuition scholarships based on merit.

For additional information, see:
Graduate Admissions homepage
Graduate Admissions Finances page