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ESF Graduate Funding Sources

Assistantships and fellowships are awarded to students who have demonstrated scholarship and academic experience, and whose education enables them to assist in the teaching and research missions of the college.

Applicants must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the subject to be taught or studied, good communication skills, and the ability to work constructively with students, faculty, and professional staff. Students who receive graduate assistantships, research project assistantships, or fellowship will be notified of the appointments via letters on ESF or Research Foundation letterhead. The appointment is conditional upon state and federal employment eligibility standards.

Students who accept initial appointments to Graduate Assistantships (GA) are required to participate in a two-day Colloquium on Teaching and Learning held in late August each year. Students who receive appointments to Research Project Assistantships (RPA) may be required to participate in sessions of the graduate teaching colloquium. All graduate student employees receive office space, parking privileges, and employee benefits. Specific information about benefits is provided during sessions of the graduate colloquium.

Graduate Assistanships (GA, A.K.A. “TA”)

  • Requires full-time matriculation in a graduate degree program
  • May be awarded for single semester or academic year
  • Is offered for a maximum of 20 hours per week
  • Is available only for academic year appointments - no summer appointments
  • The master's level student stipend is $18,000 (based on 20 hours per week per academic year). Doctoral stipends are typically $20,000 (based on 20 hours per week per academic year), however, some departments fund at a higher rate.
  • Award includes a tuition scholarship
  • Requires one-time participation in the Colloquium on Teaching & Learning
  • Paychecks are received approximately four weeks after start date

Details by Department

Criteria for the award are established by each Department or Unit:

Chemical Engineering

  • The department considers all graduate students for funding as long as they are not supported by external sources such as: external governmental agencies, Fulbright and similar awards and external industrial support.
  • Graduate students must indicate their interest in funding to their major professor, department chair, or graduate coordinator to be considered.
  • Work obligations may include assisting in classes or laboratories, tutoring students, or grading student papers.
  • Some fellowships are available from foundations supporting the graduate program. Such awards are made by a selection committee and graduate students apply for them during the academic year as they are announced.


  • Work obligations support delivery of courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, polymer chemistry, environmental chemistry, and biochemistry
  • In addition to demonstrated knowledge of chemistry, applicants must demonstrate thorough knowledge and practice of chemical laboratory safety
  • All newly admitted chemistry graduate students are considered for graduate assistant funding.

Environmental Biology

  • Graduate assistants provide support for all courses with the EFB prefix and work obligations may involve providing classroom or recitation instruction, preparing laboratories, supervising field trips, or grading papers.

Environmental Resources Engineering

  • Specific areas of service vary by semester.
  • Work obligations typically support the delivery of courses throughout the Environmental Resources Engineering curriculum, including those in Ecological, Geospatial, and Water Resources Engineering.
  • All newly admitted and current Environmental Resources Engineering graduate students are considered for graduate assistant funding.

Environmental Studies

  • Contact Department of Environmental Studies, 209 Baker Laboratory. For AY 2022-23, the preferred application deadline is February 15, 2022.
  • Work obligations may include working as a teaching assistant in an Environmental Studies course. Courses include but are not limited to: EST 133, EST 201, EST 220, EST 221, EST 231, EST 245, EST 255, EST 321, EST 361, EST 366, EST 370/570, EST 390, EST 415, EST 426, EST 427/627, EST 471/671, EST 494, and EST 550.

Sustainable Resources Management

  • Submit an application
  • Evaluations of graduate assistant performances are completed by the course instructors.
  • Work responsibilities may include attending class and/or laboratories, tutoring students, maintaining office hours for individual student assistance, or grading papers.
  • Topics that require assistantship support typically include: economics, ecology and silviculture, management, natural resources policy, recreation, soils, statistics & measurements, and water resources.

Environmental Science

  • Submit an application (Excel) to Ms. Cariann Linehan,
  • Work obligations will include assisting in college-wide environmental science courses
  • Awards are offered on a full-time (20 hours/week) basis each semester
  • Applications for the next academic year will be reviewed beginning in early February

Landscape Architecture

  • Contact Department of Landscape Architecture,
  • Work obligations support courses associated with undergraduate and graduate programs in landscape architecture research programs, and the Center for Community Design Research, the Center for Cultural Landscape Preservation and the Center for Urban Environments.  
  • Deadline for 2020-2021 AY applications: Electronic applications are due to Department of Landscape Architecture ( by April 15th, 2020.

Research Project Assistanships (RPA)

  • Requires full-time matriculation in a graduate degree program
  • May be awarded for as short as a single pay period or as long as multi-year obligations
  • Maximum of 20 hours per week obligation while classes are in session
  • Tuition scholarships may be awarded
  • Includes one-time participation in portions of the Colloquium on Teaching & Learning
  • Paychecks are received at the end of the payroll period worked
  • Awarded by individual faculty members who serve as Principal Investigators for sponsored research contracts with the SUNY Research Foundation

Graduate Fellowships

  • Total awards vary by fellowship sponsors
  • Funds are awarded according to individual fellowship guidelines
  • Fellowships include some of the following:

Non-ESF Sources Of Funding

ESF Graduate students are eligible to apply for funding supported by sources other than graduate assistantships or fellowships.