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The Mathematics Department provides five years—ten Fall or Spring semesters—of financial support to all Ph.D. students who are making satisfactory progress towards their degrees. 

If you are accepted for admission to our Ph.D. program, you will automatically be considered for financial assistance; a separate application for financial assistance is not required.

(Contractually, there is a clause allowing for an exception to this rule in case of severe financial crisis.  At time of writing, there is no expectation that this clause will be invoked in the foreseeable future.)

We also provide financial support to some Actuarial Master's degree students, when sufficient funds are available.


 1.    Timeline

As a Ph.D. student, you are expected to plan for a five-year path to graduation.  There is no guarantee of support for a sixth year.  However, in certain circumstances, and providing that the departmental budget permits, you may be allowed a sixth year, with financial support.

To be considered for a sixth year you will need to contact the Graduate Advisor early in Year 5. It is expected that you will have made substantial progress on your research and to have a clear path to completion of the degree within the next year.  You also need either strong academic reasons, or compelling non-academic reasons, to ask for more time.  You will be expected to graduate in year 6.

In this section, Fall/Spring support will be explained; an explanation of Summer support is provided below. 


 2.   Forms of financial support

Your financial support in a given Fall or Spring semester, will generally take one of the following forms:

  • a Teaching Assistantship;
  • a Graduate Research Assistantships; or
  • a Fellowship.

All support is contingent upon meeting the scholastic requirements for eligibility established by the Graduate School, (see https://gradschool.utexas.edu/academics/policies/grades-and-credit); providing satisfactory service to the Department; and complying with all applicable University policies.  Additionally, please note that final decisions regarding reappointment take into account the availability of resources.


 3.   Teaching Assistantships

The most common form of financial support is appointment as a Teaching Assistant (TA).   It is also the default form of support:  if you do not have access to a Graduate Research Assistantship or Fellowship in a given Fall/Spring semester, you will be employed as a TA. 

See the section on Teaching Assistantships for more information, and contact the Graduate Coordinator if you have questions about TA appointments.

Learn more about Student employment.


 4.   Graduate Research Assistantships

A Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) is an appointment to work on a research project, or to train for such work.  They are usually appointments of 20 hours per week.

GRAs are most often funded by external grants.

Many of our faculty are Principal Investigators (PIs) for individual grants awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and these often provide funds for GRA support for one or more students working on the project supported by the grant for Summer or, less commonly, for long semesters.  International students are eligible for such support. Certain faculty, especially those working in applied or interdisciplinary areas, are PIs for grants from other agencies, such as the Department of Energy or the National Institutes of Health; these may also provide for GRA funding.

Additionally, some faculty have access to internal UT funds—such as start-up funds for recently-arrived faculty, or discretionary funds attached to endowed chairs—and may choose to use these funds for GRA support.

The NSF also funds Research Training Grants (RTGs) which support a wide range of activities in a specific research group for five-year period. These grants are highly competitive; at the time of writing, the Mathematics Department of UT is one of a select few US mathematics departments with two active RTGs. These are in Analysis and PDE and in Groups and Dynamics.  Both provide GRA support for students working in the area supported by the grant. Only US citizens and permanent residents are eligible.

Note that GRA support is offered at the discretion of the relevant faculty member(s)—not the department—and only when applicable funds are available. Use of grant funds must be compatible with the rules of the funding agency and the parameters of the particular grant. 

If you have questions about GRA appointments, contact the Graduate Coordinator. Learn more about Student employment.


 5.   Fellowships

The third source of financial support is through Fellowships.  These are funded by the university, or through an award to an individual student by an external agency, as in the case of the NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program.  Fellowships are designed to allow for concentrated work on coursework and research. 

According to Graduate School rules, students supported by a fellowship are not allowed to take on additional employment.  Exemptions may be granted by the Graduate School, following a petition by the Graduate Advisor/Graduate Coordinator, in cases where the employment is directly related to the student’s training.

During the admissions process, especially competitive recruits may be offered fellowship packages supported by the Graduate School or the College of Natural Sciences.  All admitted students are considered carefully for such fellowships, but only a small number are available.

The department nominates two students each year for a University Continuing Fellowship which provides 12-month support for the subsequent academic year.  These are awarded competitively across the university.  All Ph.D. students who have established an advisor and do not already have fellowship support are considered for nomination; no application is required.  To be competitive, students should be in year 1-5 at the time of nomination (years 1-4 are preferred); should already have completed a research project while in the Ph.D. program—it is strongly recommended that there should be a completed paper; should be in candidacy or planning to enter candidacy in the near future; and should have enthusiastic support from their advisor. 

The most noteworthy external fellowship available to Ph.D. students who are US citizens or permanent residents is the NSF’s prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Advanced undergraduates may apply, concurrently with their graduate program applications.  Ph.D. students may also apply during their first or second year, but not both.  All US students are advised to seriously consider applying; the Graduate Advisor can provide advice and support.

Fellowship bequests and endowments:

  • Edward Louis and Alice Laidman Dodd Fellowship
  • Arthur LeFevre, Sr., Scholarship in Mathematics
  • Regents Endowed Graduate Fellowships in Mathematics
  • David Bruton, Jr. Graduate Fellowships in Mathematics
  • Professor and Mrs. Hubert S. Wall Endowed Presidential Fellowship
  • Charles Rubert Scholarship
  • John L. and Anne Crawford Endowed Presidential Scholarship


 6.   Summer support

Students may receive summer financial support in the form of GRA appointments, fellowships or TA appointments.

Admitted students are usually offered a first-year Summer Fellowship (note that the program begins in the Fall, so the Summer Fellowship is at the end of the first year).

In subsequent years, many students are supported as GRAs, funded by grants, such as NSF grants to individual faculty and RTGs, or by applicable internal UT funds.  As noted in the section on GRA support above, such support is contingent on the availability of funds and on the discretion of the PIs of the relevant grants.

A number of fellowships are available each summer, including Graduate School Summer-Only Fellowships and, when funds are available, departmental fellowships.  All students who do not have other fellowship/GRA support are considered for nomination for these fellowships, which are awarded competitively.  Occasionally, the department is able to fund summer Fellowships for academically-deserving students without GRA or other Fellowship support.

The department can appoint a small number of TAs each Summer.  In a given Summer, around 10% of students are appointed as a TA.  The appointment may require intense work during one of the two 6-week Summer sessions, or less intense work in both.