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AcademicsGraduate Programs

Graduate Funding Opportunities

Opportunities and Eligibility


Assistantships are the primary means of support for our graduate students. Appointments that are one-third time (33.3%) or higher include a monthly stipend, full tuition remission, and other benefits. There are three types of appointments:

  1. Teaching Assistantships (TA) have teaching and related responsibilities under the supervision of a faculty member or instructor. TAs are awarded by the department. Students should contact their advisor and their department’s Graduate Program Chair to indicate their interest.
  2. Project Assistantships (PA) or program assistants are assigned to conduct research, training, administrative responsibilities or other academic projects under the supervision of faculty or academic staff. Most PAs are hired by faculty who have funded projects. Students should contact their advisor and their department’s Graduate Program Chair to indicate their interest.
  3. Research Assistantships (RA) is a full-time graduate student engaged in research, which is primarily for the benefit of the student’s course of study or research. A student holding an RA performs research that is directly applicable to the individual’s thesis or dissertation. RAs may be awarded by faculty or academic staff with funded projects. (Please note, if a student is conducting the professor’s research, a PA is the appropriate appointment.)


The UW Graduate School offers several fellowship opportunities for graduate students, including the following:

  • University Fellowships are offered to incoming graduate students on a competitive basis. These fellowships may be for nine or twelve months, and include full tuition remission, segregated fees, fringe benefits, a Vilas Welcome Week Award, and a monthly stipend. Graduate applicants are nominated by their departments – students do not apply directly.
  • Advanced Opportunity Fellowships are for incoming graduate students. Advanced Opportunity Fellowships (AOFs) include full tuition remission, segregated fees, eligibility for health insurance, a Vilas Welcome Week Award, and a monthly stipend. School of Human Ecology AOF students participate in the SoHE Graduate Research Scholars (SoHE GRS) community, which strives to provide AOF graduate students with ample opportunities and support to meet their challenging and inspiring goals. Graduate applicants are nominated for AOFs by their departments – students do not apply directly. AOFs are available to students who are United States citizens or permanent residents, and to whom the following criteria apply:
  • Targeted under-represented students:
    • African American or Black
    • American Indian or Alaskan Native
    • Hispanic/Latino
    • Cambodian, Vietnamese, Laotian, or Hmong
    • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
    • OR Economically disadvantaged students
      • First-generation college-bound Wisconsin residents who participated in one of the following TRIO programs: Upward Bound, Talent Search, Educational Opportunities Centers, Student Support Services
      • First generation college-bound Wisconsin residents who graduated from the PEOPLE Program
      • UW-Madison Bachelor’s degree recipients who were in the FASTrack or BANNER program
      • McNair students: students who participated in a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program.


Scholarships are awards for current students that are applied directly to the student’s financial account and do not typically include tuition remission or other benefits.

Departmental Scholarships for Academic Excellence are SoHE department-awarded scholarships to incoming or continuing graduate students each year on a competitive basis. The departments select scholarship recipients, unless students are otherwise notified to apply

Enrollment policy for funding eligibility

The School of Human Ecology is subject to the UW Graduate School policy on full-time status requirements for enrollment and receipt of support awards. However, the individual Human Ecology graduate programs may impose additional credit requirements on individual students to receive support through the School of Human Ecology or to be in compliance with program satisfactory progress criteria. Full-time enrollment may also be required for receiving scholarships or other forms of support that are not described in this section.

It is the responsibility of the individual graduate student to make sure s/he meets enrollment requirements of the graduate program and for support receipt. If the graduate student elects not to enroll as a full-time student, s/he is responsible for knowing about possible obligations and consequences of that decision. Such obligations may include visa eligibility, financial aid payback, eligibility for fellowships or assistantships, requirements of external funding agencies, and department satisfactory progress requirements.

To be eligible for funding through the School of Human Ecology, the Curriculum Committee considers full-time enrollment to be a minimum of 8 graduate-level credits during an academic semester. Dissertators are considered full-time with three graduate-level credits during an academic semester.

Graduate-level credits are credits in courses numbered 300 and above; no audits or pass/fail are allowed to count toward the minimum. Credits that do not conform to this criterion do not count towards meeting the full-time enrollment requirements.

Full-time enrollment is required in any fall or spring semester a graduate student holds an appointment as a Project Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, Fellow, or Trainee through the School of Human Ecology.

Note: While non-dissertator teaching and project assistants who hold a semester appointment of at least 33.33% and are enrolled for six graduate credits, or who hold an appointment of at least 50% and are enrolled for four graduate credits, are considered full-time by the registrar for loan deferment and for certification of student immigration status, these reduced loads do not meet full-time enrollment requirements for other purposes, including eligibility for funding through Human Ecology.

Summer Enrollment: Non-dissertators who hold summer appointments as Research Assistants, Trainees, or Fellows must enroll in the eight-week general session for at least two graduate-level credits. Dissertators who hold these appointments must enroll for three graduate-level credits. Graduate students who hold summer appointments as Teaching or Project Assistants are not required to enroll in the summer if they do not also fall into one of the categories for which summer enrollment is required.

International Students: It is the responsibility of International students to be aware of and comply with any additional enrollment requirements for immigration and visa receipt. Both the F-1 and J-1 student visa regulations require students to be full-time each fall and spring semester. Summer enrollment is not required by the US federal government regulations for F-1/J-1 visa holders. Failure to maintain full-time status can result in the loss of F-1/J-1 student benefits, including on-campus employment and practical/academic training options. Any exceptions to full-time enrollment must be authorized by International Student Services, 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, 262-2044,

All graduate students are encouraged to refer to the UW Graduate School’s enrollment requirements. Because individual graduate programs may have additional credit requirements, students are responsible for checking with their graduate program advisor on enrollment policies.