Support and Assistantships
Applications for GA appointments must be received before the deadlines of January 31 (for Fall applications) or September 15th (for Spring applications). Applications are only considered if they reach the CS Graduate Office by that date and the student has been admitted into the graduate program by that date (i.e., the paperwork for admission must have already been processed). Since it may take 4-6 weeks for admission materials to reach our office, perhaps even longer for international applicants, and then it requires time for our office to processes those applications, students should apply for aid well in advance of the deadlines listed above. Applications for admission and aid sent in the last few weeks before a deadline will probably not be processed in time to be considered for aid.
Applying for Aid
To apply for a departmental GA, get the "Application for Graduate Appointment" form from the appropriate office or online (see Applying to our Program for details on the application process) or from the CS Graduate Office in our department, and send it back to the CS Graduate Office.
Students who receive awards will be notified by early March, or late October, respectively. Unfortunately, due to the large number of requests, we can only notify applicants who will be awarded an assistantship.
If you were admitted to our program but did not receive aid, you may want or need to defer your admission. In this case, you can ask us to reconsider your financial aid application for a later semester by sending email to the CS Graduate Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org). We should receive this request before the deadlines listed above. Also, when making this request, please send your current address, a revised resume, and any additional letters of recommendation or other materials that may make your case stronger.
RAs from individual faculty members who have received a research grant from some extramural source are awarded at the discretion of those faculty members. Most of those awards are given to students personally known to the professor. Please do not send email to every member of the department asking if they have an RA available!
Types of Departmental Support
There are several types of financial aid (graduate appointments) for which a student can apply (see Graduate Support Regulations for further details). Note that aid is granted only to students with a full admission into the graduate program, not Post-Undergraduate students or graduate students with a Conditional Admission.
- Graduate Assistantships: Sometimes informally referred to as a Teaching Assistantship (TA), GAs are our primary form of support, especially for incoming students. Available to both Master's and Doctoral students, a GA appointment caries a monthly stipend, and a fee waiver that covers up to 9 credits of graduate CS courses per semester (plus additional credits for any courses required by the university, such as College Teaching of Computer Science). GAs usually perform duties such as teaching or grading, although some GAs have specialized duties such as computer or library support.
- Research Assistantships: RA's are another primary form of support. Available to both Master's and Doctoral students, most RA appointments are made by an individual faculty member who has received a research grant from some extramural source (government or industry). An RA's duties consist of assisting in the research of faculty member who is the principal investigator of the grant. The stipend and fee waiver for an RA are the same as that of a GA.
Graduate appointees in computer science are sometimes supported during the summer session with a stipend equal to 1/3 of their academic year stipend. Such support is not guaranteed, and is contingent on the student making satisfactory progress toward a degree, on satisfactory evaluations associated with previous financial support, and on available funds. Applications for summer support will be reviewed by CS Graduate Studies Committee.
For graduate appointees who hold a RA appointment from an individual faculty member (who has received a research grant from some extramural source) during the spring semester, RA summer appointments are dependent on the principal investigator's research funding.
If you have passed your Candidacy Exam, you might want to apply for the University Fellowship. Graduate Studies sponsors this award. Since our department can only nominate one applicant, the Graduate Studies Committee will select our applicant. The graduate coordinator will guide the completion of the flowship forms for the doctoral students to be nominated.
Currently, 9-month GA and RA stipends are as follows:
- $13,000 -- Master's students
- $13,500 -- PhD students who have not yet passed the Preliminary Examinations
- $15,000 -- PhD students who have passed the Preliminary Examinations, but have not yet passed the Candidacy Examination
- $18,000 -- PhD students who have passed the Candidacy Examinatio
Advice for Current Students
If you did not receive financial aid when you originally applied to our program, you may want to reapply for aid once you are here (note that you must reapply each semester you want to be considered -- an application does not remain active forever). To make your case stronger, provide the CS Graduate Office with updated transcripts and letters of recommendation from local faculty. Good grades here at Kent State and a start on your thesis / dissertation work are particularly desirable.
If you reapply once you are here, and you still do not receive aid, work on improving your case and then try again the next semester. Also, note that we typically have more new GAs to hand out for the Fall semester than for the Spring semester.