Unlike many of our peer programs, the Polymer Program supports incoming students for the first academic year on the program funds, allowing them to focus on core courses before taking on challenging research.
Nearly all full-time Ph.D. students in the program receive financial aid in the form of fellowships and graduate assistantships supported by the state, industry and the federal government. These stipends are, on average, higher than those of similar programs at other universities and are based on the applicant’s prior academic experience and credentials. The 9-month stipend for the 2019-2020 academic year is $23,368.61 for students with a bachelor’s degree and $24,589.50 for students with a master’s degree. Most students receive additional support for the summer period as well. In addition to the stipend, graduate assistantships include a full tuition waiver and highly-subsidized health insurance. The amount of the stipend normally increases on completion of the course requirements for the M.S. degree and again on passing the general examination for the Ph.D. Several special fellowships are also available for exceptional students. These include the Julian Johnson Named Fellowship, the James P. Bell Fellowship, the Stephanie H. Shaw Fellowship, and the Andrew Garton Fellowship. Awards are made upon the recommendation of the Polymer faculty.
In general, all applicants are automatically considered for an assistantship by the program.