Skip to Content

Financial Support

The primary source of financial support for our graduate students is a Graduate Employee appointment(“GE”) in teaching or research. GE appointments provide a salary and a full tuition waiver plus a contribution towards the non-instructional fees. These fees cover various miscellaneous things, including a free Lane Transit District bus pass.

An added benefit of the GE is individual health insurance during the academic year. Family members can be added for a subsidized rate. During the summer, GE’s with summer appointments continue to receive health insurance. If you do not have a summer appointment, you must pay for your own coverage during the summer. There is some additional information about health insurance for international students on the University Health Center page.

Teaching GE Appointments

Most students receive GE appointments with teaching-related responsibilities. Here are descriptions of the five types.

Sole instructor

GEs employed as sole instructors have all the typical responsibilities of a sole instructor in an undergraduate course, including writing a syllabus, conducting class, authoring and administering exams, holding office hours, and assigning course grades.

Discussion leader (TA)

GEs employed as discussion leaders assist with one- or two-hour discussion sections, as well as holding office hours, for students in a large-enrollment course. Their additional responsibilities may include shared quiz and/or exam grading, meeting with the lead instructor, and coordinating with undergraduate paper markers.

Lead TA

GEs employed as lead TAs have reduced contact hours with students in a large-enrollment course, and additional time spent assisting the lead instructor in administering the course. Responsibilities may include assisting with quiz, exam, or worksheet authoring, managing the online homework assignments, and coordinating the other discussion leaders for the course.

Grading/Course Assisting

GEs employed as grading/course assistants have a dual role: (1) grade for an introductory graduate course in mathematics and (2) assist students in a foundational undergraduate math course by providing scheduled office hours and homework help.

Advanced Grading

GEs employed as advanced graders will assist a faculty member in grading homework assignments for 600-level courses in mathematics. Additional responsibilities may include coordinating with the faculty member and providing solutions to exercises.

Research GE Appointments and the Vitulli Scholars Program

Research appointments are less common but some students receive in them in the summer or for a regular academic-year term later in the program. One exception is for students recruited into the Vitulli Scholar Program (more below), who receive Research appointments for their entire first year in the program.


GEs employed for research have no teaching or grading responsibilities, but are expected to work actively toward research goals as identified by an advisor, where appropriate.

The Vitulli Scholars Program, named after Professor Emerita Marie Vitulli, is aimed at recruiting and retaining a more diverse graduate student body. Students in the program will have Research GE appointments in their first year.

If you are not planning to be supported by a GE, you can work out the tuition and fees you will have to pay by following links from here. Base your calculation on 12 to 16 graduate credits per term.

If you are very well prepared, you might also consider applying for an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. There are some other awards and prizes available to graduate students in subsequent years. There are also funds available to help with travel expenses if you are attending a conference related to your research.