Financial Support

At the time of final student admission, the department will send a financial offer letter outlining the method of funding which could be a combination of TA appointments, GSR appointments and fellowship) and period of time it will cover.

Financial support for Master’s students on departmental funds (e.g., Teaching Assistantships, Fellowships) beyond four quarters is contingent upon progress and performance. For any student enrolled in the Geography M.A. or PhD program, a GPA of less than 3.3 or a grade of C+ or less in geography may cause departmental financial support to be withdrawn.

Need-Based Financial Aid

Graduate students may apply for need-based loans and work-study awards through the Financial Aid Office. Students must file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year by the March 2nd deadline and provide the Financial Aid Office with supplemental information as it requests it. Only U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens may apply for funds administered by Financial Aid. If you are an international student go to the financial aid website to see if you are eligible.

Establishing California Residency
Information about establishing California residency can be found at the Office of the Registrar’s website under the “Residency” heading.

Current student fees

Teaching Assistantships (TA) Appointments

Teaching Assistantship (TA) appointments for the following academic year are made in March-April (only those who receive TA support will be notified). Most TA appointments are 50% (equivalent to fulltime employment as a student). The following rates are from October 1, 2014 and subject to change:

Percent Time Monthly Quarterly
25% $1,217.31 $3,651.93
33% $1,606.84 $4,820.52
50% $2,434.61 $7,303.83

Employment as a 25%-time or more TA includes partial fee remission (tuition, fees and Gaucho Health Insurance (GHI)). It does not cover non-resident tuition. Read your award letter carefully and call the Graduate Program Assistant of the department if you have any questions.

Teaching Assistantships entail duties related to upper division course laboratory sections and discussion sections of lower division Physical Geography and Human Geography. The department believes that teaching experience is a valuable part of graduate education and strives to allow each student some TA service. TA appointments may be renewed after careful review of actual teaching performance. At least one quarter as a TA or equivalent experience, is required of all Ph.D. students.

Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) Appointments

Generally, GSR appointments are given to students after one year in residence, but occasionally may be provided on initial enrollment. GSRs are arranged on an individual basis between the student and a faculty member who is a Principal Investigator on a grant, and generally cannot be “applied” for like one would a Teaching Assistantship or Fellowship.

The department expects that students about to embark on thesis/dissertation research will work with their faculty advisor on research proposals in order to secure this form of support if it is not already available. GSR appointments provide financial support as follows:

  Monthly Dept. Policy
Step V $4,760 Students not advanced to candidacy
Step VI $4,981 Students advanced to Ph.D. candidacy

GSR Benefits Eligibility are as follows:

Title Code 3276 – Gaucho Health Insurance (GHI) and Partial Fee Remission: single or multiple GSR appointments that when combined total 100-139 hours (25% – 34%).

Title Code 3284 – Gaucho Health Insurance (GHI), Full Fee Remission and Full Non-Resident Tuition (if applicable): single or multiple GSR appointments that when combined total 140 hours or more (35% or higher).

Title Code 3266 – No Remission: Appointments during the summer.

Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (IGERT)

Geography doctoral students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are invited to apply for fellowships for research in Interactive Digital Media. More information.