The University of Arizona

Graduate Student Funding Policy

The funding policy is designed to enable the Department to accept and retain a sufficient number of students to maintain the viability of the Program. Because of the intense nature of the graduate study, students receiving funding from the department are strongly discouraged from seeking additional employment.

The funds utilized by the Department to support graduate stipends are derived from State Research Assistantships, Recruiting Fellowships, Teaching Assistantships, Cowden Scholarships and faculty contributions. In general, the total of these funds dictate the number of students supported and is viewed as the core budget of the Program. Because of the diversity of these funding sources and requirements for accountability, a general fund cannot be established. Funds which have stipulations regarding the type of research training to be supported will be dispersed to students in qualifying disciplines at the discretion of the graduate committee.

The Racetrack Industry Program (RTIP) is now offering graduate student assistanceships. Funding sources and policies differ from Departmental requirements Click Here for details.

Departmental financial support for graduate students shall be no more than two years (four semesters) for M.S. candidates and four years (eight semesters) for Ph.D. candidates entering the program with an M.S. from another institution. Departmental financial support for students obtaining both a M.S. and Ph.D. from Animal Sciences in succession shall be no more than five years total. Support for longer periods may be provided by major professors from grant monies but not from departmental or Cowden Fellowship funds. Departmental support will be provided for all qualified graduate students during their first year of study except in cases where a mentor wishes to fully fund the student in the first year, deferring the one year of full departmental support.

Funding for students beginning their second year of study will become the partial responsibility of the major professor. The portion of funding to be provided by the major professor in the second and subsequent years shall not exceed 50% of the total stipend to be received by the student. Major professors should develop budgets with the expectation of contributing 50% of the total stipend. This amount shall be established by the graduate committee in the Spring semester when the number of incoming students has been established.

In the event that a student's advisor suffers a loss of funding, an alternative source of funding from within the department should be sought. In the event that alternative funding cannot be secured, the graduate committee will attempt, but not guarantee, to provide support on an interim basis for that student.

The current funding procedures and policy of the Program are outlined below:

Stipend Levels:

A stipend level request is submitted to the Dean of the Graduate College in the Fall semester. Once stipend levels are established, regular funding sources are examined and applications are submitted to the Graduate College for recruiting and other fellowships.

Pre-doctoral Fellowships:

The Department also has a system to reward those students who personally enter into competitions for support (e.g., individual fellowships from outside agencies). In the event that a student is awarded at least 50% of funding from outside agencies, the department and/or mentor will continue to provide 50% of the student's funding. Any funds awarded to the student by the outside agency, above the 50% of departmental support levels are to remain with the student as a “bonus,” upon approval from the Graduate College.

Graduate Stipend Requirements

The graduate stipend provided by the Department of Animal Sciences, the State of Arizona or the Cowden Fellowship is intended as a 12-month stipend. The responsibility of the student in accepting this stipend is to carry out their studies and research over the full 12-month calendar year. If the student accepts the full Department/State stipend he/she cannot supplement that stipend in a fashion that detracts from the full commitment to the department. If the student receives only partial support from the Department/State that stipend can be supplemented (by the advisor) to the level of full support but not from receiving any payment of any kind (lump sum, hourly wages, etc.) from their advisor or other University faculty members in excess of the stipend level set by the department each year, unless the student has personally entered into the competitions outlined above.

Students on departmental stipends are expected to devote a minimum of 20 hours per week to research/teaching/extension activities assigned by the student's advisor or the Department. This does not include the time in class and may not include time involved on thesis or dissertation research. Note: students are expected to work during times between academic sessions. The times between sessions are not holidays or vacation days. All requests for leave must be approved by the student's advisor at least two weeks prior to the absence. Normally leave is accumulated at the rate of one day per month of employment. The policy does not apply to students who do not receive Department/State funds.


Because funding sources for graduate stipends are not constant, no guarantee can be made for out of state tuition waivers. As such, students should attempt to establish residency immediately after arriving in the state and continue to seek/maintain residency until the degree is obtained.

Funding for Students Enrolled in Interdisciplinary Programs (IDP)

Given the need to maintain a viable, quality Animal Sciences Graduate Program, the Department of Animal Sciences will only consider funding graduate studies for a student enrolled in IDPs for a single year. In those cases, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The student has exceptional qualities
  2. The student carries out his/her research in the laboratory of a member of the Animal Sciences Department (this would include adjunct faculty)
  3. The research topic can be considered as an important contribution to “Animal Sciences” as determined by the graduate committee. Ultimately the credit for research contributions (publications, presentations at national meetings, etc.) will go to the Animal Sciences Department

After one year of departmental funding, the advisor/mentor and/or IDP become responsible for funding the student. Students that are enrolled in Animal Sciences and want to transfer to another department must notify the graduate committee prior to initiation of the transfer. Upon transfer, funding becomes the responsibility of the other department and/or advisor.

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