Funding Opportunities for Graduate Students

Research and Teaching Assistantships

Financial aid is available to PhD students in the form of teaching and research assistantships. These allow students to provide support for faculty either in teaching a class or in conducting research, while receiving a stipend and tuition waiver in return. Aid is only rarely available for Masters students. Grading positions are sometimes available to Masters students on a semester-by-semester basis.


Assistantships provide three levels of stipends:

Level 1 - For all students working towards their Masters or who have an MS in another subject.

Level 2 - For all students with an MS in Computer Science and for PhD students who have completed 30 or more credit hours of graduate work.

Level 3 - For all students who are post-comprehensive PhD.

Tuition Waivers

Both teaching assistants and research assistants will receive resident tuition waivers of 3, 6, or 10 hours depending upon the percent of time they are appointed.

Students offered assistantships who are U.S. citizens but not residents of Colorado are urged to apply for resident status as soon as possible. Non-resident tuition waivers are not normally available to such students after their first year.


Holders of assistantships are expected to complete at least 15 hours of graduate course work, or be engaged in appropriate research, during each academic year and must be full-time students as defined by the Graduate School in terms of degree status and good standing.

Such support is contingent upon satisfactory performance and the availability of funds.


Fellowships are sometimes available to PhD students. Fellowships usually provide both a stipend and tuition waivers. A PhD student's application for financial support should be included with the application for admission

Travel Awards

There are several sources of financial support for travel for students presenting a technical paper at a computer science conference. These include the Computer Science Department itself, as well as programs sponsored by the Graduate School. In addition, students can volunteer for full support to attend a Usenix or IETF conference.

Computer Science Department Travel Support

Each year the Department allocates money to be awarded to support graduate student presentations at technical conferences. The Graduate Committee makes the awards. In recent years most awards were $600 - $1,000, depending on the quality of the conference. You should first apply for travel support through the Graduate School. See Graduate School Student Travel Grant below.

The Committee will consider requests for travel support on a rolling basis throughout the year and will fund future events only. Once students have their papers accepted to any event(s), they need to fill out the Department Travel Application and submit it to the Graduate Advisor. These awards are made as long as funds are available and aren't awarded more than once to the same student within the same AY. Once we are done with the funds, students will be notified. Also, it is important for Graduate Students to keep in mind that they need a Travel Authorization issued for any university related trips, regardless of whether they are using University funds or not. Therefore, students need to make sure to inform either Stephanie Morris or Bobbie Atkinson whenever the student has an approved trip.

If you receive travel funds from the Department, you might consider applying for additional travel funds from the Dean's Office by filling out the FORM and following the instructions/deadline on the form.

If you are not awarded any support from the department, other awards may be available:

  • The United Government of Graduate Students (UGGS) also offers student travel grants to attend conferences, whether or not you are presenting. Everyone is invited to apply; however, preference will be given to those attending conferences for the first time. Also, grad student-sponsored events promoting university-wide community building are eligible to receive grants to aid in their event. See UGGS Sponsored Funding and Awards for more information and forms.                  

Clive Fraser Baillie Memorial Travel Award

Clive Baillie was a Postdoc and Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department from 1990-1996. After his untimely death, a Travel Fund was established in his honor. Each semester the Computer Science Department will award $500-$1000 from the fund to help a student attend a conference or workshop in High Performance Computing or related areas. The award winner will be chosen from the students who applied for Departmental travel support (see above).

Graduate School Student Travel Grant

The Graduate School offers partial funding for graduate students to present findings at meetings or conferences. The Graduate School provides a travel grant of $200 for domestic conferences and $300 for international conferences. Funds will be applied directly to the student's tuition account. If the account balance is zero, a refund check will be disbursed by the Bursar's office. The grant is treated like a fellowship and reported to the Office of Financial Aid.

Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grants

Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grants are competitive awards sponsored by the Graduate School that support the research, scholarship and creative work of graduate students from all departments. All funding is provided by alumni donations. Grants range from $100 to a maximum of $1,000. The Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grants competition is held once each year in the spring semester.

Research Community Development Award

One of the first steps a young researcher should take is to know the research community in their research area. For many sub-disciplines, attending a top-tier research conference to understand the research standards, processes and current topics of interest to that research community best does this.  In order to support the development of new Ph.D. students, The Department of Computer Science will make awards to support travel and attendance to a top-tier research conference for beginning doctoral graduate students.  This award is only available to 1st PhD students.