Most PhD students are supported throughout the year (including summer) by teaching and research assistantships. TAs and RAs receive a competitive salary, a full tuition waiver, and a comprehensive medical/dental/vision plan (free to the student; 50% premium for dependents). A modest student activities fee is paid by the student each quarter.
New graduate students are awarded teaching assistantships. These offer the student an opportunity to gain teaching experience at the college level, to sharpen understanding of fundamental chemical concepts, and to practice presenting technical material to a group. Graduate students often find teaching to be among the most meaningful experiences of their education.
Funds for research assistantships come from grants, which provide support for research in defined areas. Graduate students are often appointed to a research assistantship after formal acceptance into a research group.
Students who have demonstrated outstanding teaching ability may be offered the opportunity to have complete responsibility for an undergraduate course, with a concomitant increase in salary. This may be of special interest to students considering an academic career.