All our PhD students receive teaching or research assistantships that fully cover tuition and additionally provide a stipend for living expenses. This support is guaranteed for a minimum of four years, given good academic standing. In recent years, many of our MCS students have also been funded through teaching or research assistantships.
Most of the financial support provided for graduate students in the Computer Science Department comes in the form of Teaching Assistantships or Research Assistantships. To learn about Teaching Assistantship opportunities, students are encouraged to contact Sheryl Semler. Research assistantship opportunities are typically made available by individual faculty. Please contact faculty you are interested in working with for more information about the availability of Research Assistant positions.
Several scholarships and fellowships are also available for graduate students of the Computer Science Department. Please check with your faculty advisor and monitor listings to learn of these opportunities.
Teaching assistants at The University of Iowa and in the Department of Computer Science play two roles: to help educate other students while also educating yourselves. It is our departmental philosophy that one of the best ways to learn a subject is to teach it. We hope that you discover students who help you explore different questions, arrive at new solutions, and develop interpersonal skills. We also hope that being a TA will help you throughout the rest of your life, particularly when searching for a career in the academic world.
You may expect conflict between the two roles as part of your teaching experience. It is like the conflict many faculty members experience between their teaching and their research. Balance and organization are important keys in dealing with this issue. It is best to develop a plan of action in which neither being a teacher nor being a student is slighted. Being professional and doing both roles with energy will keep your work at a higher level of quality and will help prevent your grades from suffering.
There are several publications that can serve as valuable resources. They include:
- The Handbook for Teaching Excellence, published by the Center for Teaching in the ITS Office of Teaching, Learning and Technology;
- The Department of Computer Science Graduate Handbook (including this TA Handbook), revised yearly; and
- The UI General Catalog, updated yearly and available on the web.
The first two handbooks especially contain information that will be crucial to your teaching and are available online.
Student Travel Support
The Computer Science Department does its best to supplement funding for PhD student conference travel. Each academic year, CS and IGPI PhD students are eligible to receive reimbursement for up to $400 (domestic travel) or $600 (international travel), funding permitting, to present their peer-reviewed work at a well-regarded conference (typically, ACM or IEEE sponsored conferences).
To apply for funding: Complete the CS Travel Approval form and select “Yes” for the Departmental Travel Grant question. All fields on the form are required; your request should include:
- An attachment with proof of acceptance of the peer-reviewed research to be presented
- The website, location, meeting dates, and acceptance rate of the venue where you will be presenting
- Your anticipated travel budget (registration fee, transportation, lodgings, meals)
- The amount being covered by your advisor or other funding sources
⚠ A trip setup is required ahead of departure for any travel being paid for or reimbursed by the University. Complete the CS Travel Approval form as soon as possible after your travel plans are decided. Information on post-trip expense reimbursement can be found here.
International Programs reminds you that all students (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) must be enrolled in the UI mandatory international health insurance program prior to any international travel.
The Graduate College
The Graduate College offers a wealth of information about funding for graduate students. For more information, visit Funding your UI Education in the Graduate College at the University of Iowa.