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Students who are admitted to the PhD program receive five years of financial support throughout the academic year (fall and spring). Financial support is contingent upon satisfactory progress toward a degree in statistics, as judged by the graduate faculty of the School of Statistics. MS students are not guaranteed any financial support.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching assistants (TAs) are employees of the university who receive pay (stipend) and benefits (tuition and subsidized health insurance). A half-time teaching assistantship provides a full tuition benefit, subsidized health insurance (for the academic year and the following summer), as well as a stipend. A half-time assistantship obligates you to a maximum of 20 hours of duties per week. TAs work with an instructor to lead discussion sessions, grade homework assignments, prepare solutions, and hold office hours to answer student questions. Please follow this link for more information regarding statistics teaching assistantships.

Research Assistantships

Research assistantships (RAs) carry the same stipend and benefits as a TA and are funded by granting agencies such as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the University of Minnesota Extension Service. Research assistants are expected to conduct and assist in the research or consulting associated with the funding project. Most research assistantships are awarded to advanced students.


Fellowships provide a stipend and benefits without the requirement of specific duties. There are 3 types of fellowships, all of which are highly competitive.

  • The Graduate School has a limited number of endowed fellowships for narrow classes of recipients, as well as some special purpose fellowships, such as those for disadvantaged students.
  • The Alumni Fellowship carries the same stipend as a half-time TA and is funded by donations from school of statistics alumni. This fellowship is given each year to an outstanding second- or third-year student.
  • The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship is funded by the Graduate School for PhD students in their last year of study. This is a very competitive fellowship.

None of the assistantships or fellowships cover the various fees charged by the University of Minnesota. Additional fellowships may be offered by national agencies or professional societies. PhD students who meet eligibility criteria are responsible for applying to these fellowships. Faculty support is provided to aid in the preparation of these applications.

Additional Support

There are two additional types of support available to PhD students. The First-Year Scholarship is a one-time stipend that may be awarded to incoming PhD students. The Summer Research Fellowship is a stipend that may be awarded to first- and second-year PhD students to support summer research opportunities. More advanced students often work as RAs, TAs, or at internships over the summer. 

Lindgren Award

The Bernard W. Lindgren Award was set up by his daughters and friends to honor his memory and in recognition of his commitment both to teaching and to development of graduate students. This annual award recognizes two graduate students who have demonstrated excellence in teaching undergraduate students.

Course Load

Statistics graduate students who receive financial aid from the school are required to carry a full time course load (6 credits) or equivalency each semester at the 5xxx- or 8xxx-level (unless the requirement is waived by the director of graduate studies) until the course requirements for the student's degree program are fulfilled. 

Policies and Guidelines

Graduate assistantships are contingent upon satisfactory job performance, current registration as a graduate student, and satisfactory progress in your degree program. You are responsible for knowing the policies and guidelines applicable to your appointment as a graduate assistant. Terms and conditions for appointments are described in detail on the graduate assistant employment website, or you may contact the graduate student employment program at 612-624-7070.