Graduate School Graduate School

Financing Your Education

Washington State University is dedicated to providing financial support to current graduate students. As a matter of fact, the majority of full-time Ph.D. students at WSU receive financial support to pursue their academic studies. Explore the financial opportunities below and contact your department or graduate program for more information. There are also opportunities for graduate students to receive federal financial aid should they qualify.

What is a Graduate Student Assistantship?


One of the most common sources of funding is the graduate assistantship. Assistantship appointments provide financial support to a graduate student who engages in teaching, research, and/or service.  Departments and programs generally make assistantship offers during the admissions process; however, current students may be eligible for an assistantship in their program if funding is available. Students should contact their department chair and/or program director for more information.

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA)

The GTA may assist faculty in teaching undergraduate courses and labs, grading examinations, problem sets, or lab assignments, setting up displays for lectures and labs, or preparing or maintaining laboratory equipment.

  • Graduate Research Assistant (GRA)

The GRA conducts academically significant research under the direction of a faculty member who is generally a principal investigator on a grant or contract.

  • Graduate Staff Assistant (GSA)

The GSA provides academic and administrative program support such as academic advising, program planning, and assisting with the administration of student services offices.

Fellowships, Grants and Contracts       


Fellowships and traineeships vary considerably, each with its own set of guidelines and restrictions set by the funding agency. WSU offers fellowships and traineeships through the Graduate School and academic departments as well as other external agencies. Graduate fellows who meet all eligibility criteria outlined here will be appointed through their respective academic departments.

Fellowships and grants are also available from a number of outside agencies, including private foundations, nonprofits, and state and federal sources. A variety of support is offered, from one-time awards to multi-year support for living expenses, educational fees, conference travel and/or research for beginning to advanced graduate student and postdoctoral levels. Aside from the obvious financial benefit, receipt of external funding exemplifies excellence in research, writing and scholarship. Applying for external fellowships and grants is an excellent professional development experience for many of you who will be seeking academic career placement where grant funding is a necessity. The Office of Grant & Research Development provides lists of awards, research news, and workshops for graduate students. Their Informer website is a rich resource for funding opportunities.

The GPSA supports the Registration Grants program, designed to assist graduate and professional students with the registration costs association with attending conferences and meetings.


Internship experiences can enhance your future employment opportunities by providing you with relevant skills, workplace experience, and a network of business professionals in your career field. Hands-on experience provides you the opportunity to apply the knowledge you have acquired in your education to real-life settings, preparing you to succeed when entering your career field.

You should work with your faculty advisor to identify potential internship opportunities that fit within your program of study. Students who wish to participate in a fall or spring internship are required to meet the University’s continuous enrollment policy by either enrolling in a minimum of two graduate credits, be in continuous doctoral status, or be approved for official internship leave. Please see the complete Internship policy.

Deposit and Tax Information      


Payments are issued on the 5th of each month. We recommend students use direct deposit to ensure fast arrival of funds. You may sign up for direct deposit through Payroll Services.

WSU does not withhold federal income taxes on fellowships and traineeships, and will not report it on an annual 1099 IRS Form. Graduate fellows who are US citizens and resident aliens are responsible for paying all income taxes that may become due as a consequence of receiving graduate fellowship stipend payments. It is the student’s responsibility to understand the federal and state income tax implications of receiving a fellowship.

The IRS provides general information to assist students in determining tax liability and reporting obligations. Tax liability depends on a student’s particular circumstances, and students are advised to contact a personal tax advisor or the IRS with any questions or concerns. IRS Live Telephone Assistance is Toll-free: 1-800-829-1040. Instructions for 1099-MISC Form: Instructions for the Form 1099-MISC. To find your Local IRS Office, visit:

International students can find more information regarding their tax liability within the Office of International Students and Scholar Information website.

Current Opportunities

The Wiley Research Expo

  • Call for Abstracts
  • $23,600 in student scholarships available
  • Email:, or
  • Phone: 509-335-9545
  • Website

PhD Gates Foundation Fellowship at WSU

  • Program for enhancing the health and productivity of livestock
  • Study in Pullman, WA; Arusha, and Tanzania
  • Deadline to apply: January 30, 2015
  • Find out details here

For Financial Support in Graduate School:

For NASA-supported internships, fellowships and scholarships:  

For tips on applying and associated resources:

For opportunities specifically in the Ocean Sciences:

For opportunities specifically in Engineering:

LGBTQ Scholarships

$730,000 available in scholarships for LGBTQ and straight ally student leaders

Grants, Fellowships, and Postdocs

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Postdoctoral Program in Environmental Engineering
To find out about more grant funding opportunities and helpful workshops, visit