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Postby John » Fri Oct 22, 2004 3:38 pm

Hi, I am thinking of applying to grad school and wondering how do most grad students afford their tuition and living expenses? Do most students get to be TAs?


Postby Shawn Baker » Sat Oct 23, 2004 2:08 pm

I think the answer to your question will depend heavily on the program and field you enter, but I can speak to getting a Ph.D. in biology. I don't know of anyone who didn't get their graduate education paid for in some manner or another. TAs and RAs are probably the most common route, but training grants and fellowships are great if you can get them.
TAs are probably the most work. Your education is paid for, but you have to teach classes and that takes a lot of time and effort. If you want to be a professor, I would strongly encourage you to TA (at least for a few semesters) because the experience would be invaluable.
RAs are usually a step up on the "cushy" ladder. You're often getting paid to do the research you would have been doing anyway for your thesis, but that probably depends on the lab you end up working in. Some PIs may expect some non-project lab work out of their RAs.
Training grants and fellowships are the "best" in the sense that there are often no strings attached (at least as far as non-thesis work is concerned). You're basically being given money to advance your graduate career.
I hope that helps.

Shawn Baker
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm


Postby Meredith » Fri Oct 29, 2004 4:59 pm


One more note... If you apply to a medical school's graduate program, you may not have to TA (or become a RA). This was the case for me. You may want to consider this option, as you may be able to focus more on your work.

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