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Department of Physics

Financial Support

Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA)

Most students will have a GTA their first academic year here and a GRA for the remainder of their studies.  The precise financial details will be spelled out in our offer letter, but generally they will include a tuition waiver and a nine-month salary to carry you through the first academic year.  To earn this salary, you will be required to teach lab and/or recitation (problem-solving) courses and to grade papers and exams.  We strive to keep the load fair and manageable since you will have your own coursework to complete and a research group to locate.  The salary is competitive, especially considering that the cost-of-living in Manhattan, Kansas, is about 25% below the U.S. national average.  You can directly compare the cost-of-living in many U.S. cities using http://www.homefair.com/homefair/calc/salcalc.html.

Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA)

Beginning the summer after the first academic year, most students join the research group they will complete their Ph.D. with.  A research group provides a GRA for you to work on research that will eventually lead to your degree.  A GRA provides a year-round salary that is comparable to or higher than a GTA, and most GRAs also cover at least part of the tuition.  Students here live relatively comfortably on a GRA — many even support families.

Timothy R. Donoghue Scholarships

There are a limited number of University-sponsored Donoghue Scholarships available to incoming graduates of U.S. colleges or universities.  These Scholarships provide a substantial financial supplement to either a GTA or a GRA and can be held up to two years.  You do not apply directly for these Scholarships, rather the Selection Committee will select the best candidates from among the application pool.  Awardees will be notified with their offer letter.  Note that only U.S. citizens are eligible.


Graduate students with either a GTA or a GRA are eligible for reduced rate health insurance through the University.  Details can be found at http://www.k-state.edu/hcs/benefits/health/gradhealth.html.