Financial support is available for graduate students in LSC. Historically, nearly all of our graduate students have been funded through assistantships — either in our department, working under the direction of one of our faculty members, or in one of numerous other departments and programs that regularly look to LSC to provide them with students with strong communication skills.


Most graduate students who receive support serve as teaching, research, or project assistants. Assistantships are typically part-time positions that pay a monthly stipend. Additionally, positions that are 33.33% or more (based on a 40-hour work week) provide tuition remission for the student and make the student eligible for comprehensive health insurance coverage (a benefit worth approximately $4,200 annually).

Graduate students in the Department of Life Sciences Communication will be eligible for full consideration for LSC teaching assistant positions if they are in good academic standing (two years for M.S. students, three years for Ph.D. students). Preference is given to students who have not exceeded those limits, but all students in good standing are welcome to apply. Students pursuing double degrees will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


The department nominates its most competitive grad applicants for fellowship awards. University Fellowships are awarded through the Graduate School. The Social Science division offers a Two-Year Recruitment Fellowship, which provides a stipend, tuition remission, fees, and eligibility for health insurance. The fellowship is awarded during the student’s first year in the program and during the student’s first year as a dissertator.

The department also nominates competitive graduate applicants for the Advanced Opportunity Fellowships (AOFs), which provide full tuition and funding to qualified minority applicants.

The department also nominates current students for Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowships (WDGF), which are awarded by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Financial Aid

Students who are U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents can apply for Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) and for Federal Work-Study through the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA). Eligibility is based on financial need. OSFA also offers information on the cost of attendance.

Short-term loans are available on a limited basis. They are given only to assist in unanticipated emergency situations and must be repaid within the semester in which they are borrowed.

Hourly Employment

Other employment opportunities are available both on campus and in the community. Openings for full and part-time jobs for students and spouses are listed on the Student Job Center website.

Travel and Professional Development Grants

Every student is encouraged to apply for the Graduate School’s Student Research Grants Competition (formerly known as the Vilas Travel Grants) each year. These grants are intended to support both Conference Presentation Funds and Research Travel Awards. It’s critical that students plan to apply early and follow campus travel policies for transportation and travel.

Also, graduate students in LSC can apply for financial support from the department for travel to academic conferences. Students can apply for up to $1,000 for international travel and up to $500 for domestic travel. In order to be eligible for these awards, students need to fulfill all of the criteria. For more information and a list of the criteria see this guide.