Earning a graduate degree from Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAEE) is not an inexpensive endeavor. We know costs and financial aid are major issues for graduate students, and so three forms of support are available through the department: Research Assistantships, Teaching Assistantships, and Fellowships. All eligible admitted graduate students are automatically considered for any available funding – there is not a separate application for aid consideration.
Cost of Attending
Your total cost of attending (COA) UT as a graduate student for one year—including such things as tuition and fees, books, room and board, transportation, and other expenses—will vary on a number of factors (such as Texas residency and whether you live on or off campus). Estimates of the COA are available from the Office of Student Financial Services. Cost of living comparison information is available on the Graduate School website.
Research and Teaching Assistantships not only provide financial support but also are important educational opportunities for graduate students, by giving them openings to interact with faculty members and other students, as well as by providing invaluable experience in research or teaching.
Graduate Research Assistant (GRA)
Research Assistantships are the most common form of graduate student support in CAEE. A GRA position typically involves a half-time appointment (20 hours per week) to a specific research project conducted under faculty supervision. GRAs are provided a monthly stipend, which is usually sufficient for financial independence and a reasonable student lifestyle.
GRA appointments also generally include payment of all tuition and required fees, though how the money is handled varies by technical area.
Teaching Assistant (TA)
A limited number of graduate students may receive Teaching Assistantships to assist faculty in preparing and conducting laboratory and/or design sessions. All duties performed by TAs are under the supervision and direction of the faculty instructor of record for the course.
TAs may or may not qualify to have all tuition and fees paid, depending on their individual financial aid package, but all 10-20 hr/wk TAs receive a flat amount per semester from the University (in addition to their regular salary) to help offset at least some of their tuition and fees expenses. More information on TA tuition assistance is available from the Office of Graduate Studies.
Other GRA/TA Benefits
In addition to the tuition payment/reimbursement noted above, there are other benefits available to GRAs and TAs. All GRA/TA appointees qualify for health insurance (medical and dental) commensurate with the percent-time of the appointment. (Students have to have a 20-hour appointment for at least one long semester to be eligible for health insurance.)
Since international students are automatically charged for Student Health Insurance, international student employees with a 20-hour a week appointment may apply for a waiver of the Student Health Insurance through UT Direct. The waiver must be obtained before the 12th class day of each long semester, or the 4th class day of the summer session.
Non-resident graduate students with half-time GRA/TA appointments can further qualify for in-state tuition during the terms for which they are registered and employed. Students must make a formal Resident Tuition Request each semester of employment.
Eligibility for GRA/TA Appointment
To be eligible for a GRA or TA position, a student must be unconditionally admitted to a UT graduate program. For any GRA or TA appointment in Fall or Spring semesters, regardless of hours-per-week appointed, the student must be registered for at least nine semester hours; a minimum registration of 3 semester hours is required in any summer session. The student must also have a minimum of 3.0 GPA, with no more than two incomplete grades or one incomplete grade and one permanent incomplete on record.
To qualify for a TA appointment with student contact, international students must pass and complete the Oral English Assessment and attend the International Teaching Assistant Orientation prior to appointment. There is no TA language assessment required for U.S. students.
Fellowships are financial awards that do not require any research or teaching work. Applications for fellowships are not accepted directly from students, but the CAEE Graduate Fellowship Committee, comprised of faculty from the six specialty areas, nominates students for a variety of graduate fellowships provided by the Graduate School, the Cockrell School of Engineering, and the department. Different fellowships may have different eligibility requirements, and awards are made to both incoming and continuing students on a competitive basis. One-year fellowships awarded range from $1,000 to more than $20,000. Students offered fellowships are notified of the offer by the administrative entity for the particular fellowships.
Graduate students in CAEE may also apply for federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs administered by the Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS) by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).