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 master’s students. When available, these opportunities go to research based Master's students. Professional MS students are not hired at TAs/RAs. Houring graduate student staff positions are available to master’s students (both research and professional) on a semester-by-semester basis.


Assistantships provide TWO levels of stipends:

  • Level 1 - For all PhD students who are in their pre-comprehensive (proposal defense) status. Also, for all research based MS students, if they end up getting hired as a TA. 
  • Level 2 - For all PhD students who are in post-comprehensive status.

Tuition Waivers

Both teaching assistants and research assistants will receive resident tuition waivers upto 15 credit hours. However, the total number of credit hours depends 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 must be full-time students as defined by the Graduate School in terms of degree status and good standing. They are expected to be making adequate progress in research and academics.

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.

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 Departmental Conference Support Scholarships

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 $300 - $1,000, depending on the quality of the conference. 

The Committee will consider requests for conference support scholarships on a rolling basis throughout the year and will fund future events only. Once you have you paper accepted to any event(s), you need to fill out the Departmental Conference Support Scholarship 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 academic year. Once we are done with the funds, students will be notified.

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

  • Graduate School Student Travel Grants
  • 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 Baille 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-$1,000 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.

Early Career Professional 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, this is best accomplished by attending a top-tier research conference to understand the research standards, processes and current topics of interest to that research community. In order to support the development of new PhD students, the Department of Computer Science will make awards to support travel, attendance to a top-tier research conference, research support expenses etc. for beginning doctoral graduate students. This award is only available to first-year PhD students.