The department attempts to provide financial assistance to graduate students in good standing through teaching and research assistantships. Teaching assistantships typically require half-time service (~20 hours per week including teaching, preparation, office hours, and grading). Research assistantships are offered by individual faculty members from supported research. Students with teaching or research assistantships have their tuition paid by the University. Departmental financial assistance is generally not available for students in the Pro-MS in GIS/Remote Sensing degree program.
Several graduate fellowships and scholarships are also available at the University level. Additional information on these and other programs may be found on The Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences page.
These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowships
These fellowships are awarded to students of exceptional promise and ability either when they first enroll in the PhD program or when they have advanced to the dissertation stage. They carry a stipend plus payment of tuition. No service is required.
- K. Leroy Irvis Fellowships
These multi-year fellowships are designed to enhance the diversity of the University of Pittsburgh's graduate student population and, eventually, the professorate. They generally include a stipend and tuition coverage. K. Leroy Irvis Fellowships are used primarily to recruit new graduate students to Pitt.
- Provost's Development Fellowships
These University fellowships are awarded to U.S. citizens on the basis of need and merit to provide development opportunities for women, minorities, and disadvantaged students pursuing doctoral degrees. They generally carry a stipend and full tuition for two terms. Both incoming and continuing students are eligible to apply.
- Dean's Tuition Scholarships
A limited number of tuition scholarships are available for students who are not funded by teaching assistantships or fellowships. Priority is given to students who have completed all course requirements, are working on their dissertations, have exhausted all departmental support, and need to be minimally registered in order to use University facilities.
In addition, funding for graduate degree programs is available through a number of federal sources:
- EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowships
- NASA Earth Systems Science Graduate Fellowships
- NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
The Department of Geology and Planetary Science also provides small awards for graduate research and field work from the Leighton Fund. These awards are based on a combination of merit and need. The deadline for applications is March 15 annually.