Financial Support for Graduate Students

Research Assistantships

Most Ph.D. students entering the graduate program in the Department of BBMB receive a half-time research assistantship that provides financial support.  The stipend for a half-time assistantship for the Ph.D. student is $26,000 per year, paid over 12 months and includes 100% tuition scholarship.  The obligation taken on by the student in return for this support is (at least) 20 hours per week of work towards the research objectives of their host laboratory and towards the student’s Ph.D. dissertation project.  This obligation is in excess of any formal course work or research course credits (BBMB 699).

Students admitted for the fall semester, who are required to participate in the research rotation program before selecting a host laboratory, will be guaranteed a continuing stipend for five years as long as satisfactory progress is being made.  The details of the guaranteed time of support may vary for students admitted directly into a specific laboratory without participation in the rotation program.  The details of the level of support and the duration of the stipend will be specified in a letter from the Department Chair that formally offers admission to the program.

M.S. students also typically receive half-time research assistantship, although the level of the stipend and tuition scholarship support is reduced from that of Ph.D. students.

Teaching Assistantships

During the periods that students are serving as teaching assistants they will receive the same level of financial support as when they are on a research assistantship.  Teaching assistants are obliged to spend 20 hours per week in their teaching duties for a half-time appointment.


In addition to the regular stipend, outstanding candidates will be considered for an additional graduate fellowship award provided by the BBMB department or ISU.

Tuition and Fees

Students on a graduate or teaching assistantship earn tuition scholarship.  Ph.D. students on a half-time (20 hours per week) appointment receive 100% and M.S. students 50% tuition scholarship, provided they remain students in good standing.  If for any reason a student is enrolled but is not on a graduate research appointment, the student is charged tuition at either the in-state or out-of-state rate, whichever is appropriate.

Students are responsible for mandatory student fees each fall and spring semester and summer term.  Student fees cover student activities and other services, like public transportation, recreation, health facility, and technology services.

Health Insurance

A graduate student on a research or teaching assistantship receives single student health coverage free of charge.  More information about the various plan options for medical, dental, and prescription drug benefit insurance can be found at the Student and Scholars Health Insurance Program website.