Funding Opportunities

Aside from the fellowships described below, there are no formal graduate stipends or scholarships available to graduate students by the Department of Biological Science. The Department does hire some qualified students to work as Teaching Associates (TAs) and Graduate Assistants (GAs). In addition, some students are hired as Research Assistants by faculty members with grant funds. The number of TAs and GAs varies each semester depending on departmental needs, as does the number of students being supported by grant funds. Upon admission into the program, an application for a TA/GA position will be sent to applicants who request to be considered for these positions on their Departmental applications.

Many graduate students are eligible for financial aid ( IMPORTANT: For federal financial aid, such as grants and loans, the deadline for priority consideration is 1 March. If you are even considering applying to our graduate program, you should submit your federal financial aid application (FAFSA) by this date.

Teaching & Graduate Assistantships

Teaching Associates are hired to teach laboratory sections for certain departmental courses. These include non-major's biology (BIOL101 Elements of Biology), undergraduate biology core courses (BIOL151 Cellular and Molecular Biology, BIOL152 Evolution and Organismal Biology, BIOL253L Cellular and Molecular Biology Skills Laboratory, BIOL254L Research Skills for Ecology and Organismal Biology), and some upper-division courses. Semester salaries for TAs depend on qualifications and experience as well as workload. Graduate Assistants and Instructional Student Assistants help in the preparation of laboratories, grading and other activities and can work up to 20 hours per week during the semester, although most assignments are 5-10 hours per week. Semester salaries of GAs vary depending on the assignment, student qualifications and experience.

Research Assistantships

Inquiries about Research Assistantships should be made directly to prospective faculty advisers. Salaries for Research Assistants vary widely depending on funding source, qualifications and the nature of the work.

University & College Scholarships

In addition to financial aid, several merit- and need-based scholarships are available from the University. Others are available to historically underrepresented groups in the sciences and higher education. Information on scholarships is available from the Financial Aid Office and the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS). Note that the deadline for applying for most College and University scholarships is early in the spring semester.

Highly qualified international students and students from outside of California may be eligible for a Non-Resident Tuition Fee Waiver from the OGS. Nominations are usually made at the time of application to the program. 

Violet Horn Graduate Research Fellowship in Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation Biology

Violet HornThe Violet Horn Graduate Research Fellowship in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology was established in 2015 by a generous gift from Dr. Mike Horn, a long-time faculty member in the Department of Biological Science.  The fellowship honors the memory of Violet Horn (pictured at right), who was an award-winning K-12 teacher, a devoted supporter of her family's learning aspirations (including her nephew Mike), and a tireless advocate for educational opportunities in the Cherokee community.  

Each year one outstanding MS Biology applicant will be selected to receive the fellowship based on information in his/her application (academic record, relevant research experience, letters of recommendation) and potential for success as a research student at CSUF.  

Murray Fellowship in Coastal Marine Science

This fellowship was created in 2021 by Dr. Steven Murray, Professor Emeritus and former Dean of College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The goal is to support student research with preference for graduate students committed to pursuing advanced degrees and careers in Coastal Marine Science. Support of research-active students is intended to eliminate (for a single term) the need for outside employment or defray the costs of specialized research training or field work. The fellowship may be used during the academic year or during winter/summer session. Faculty advisers in Marine Biology nominate students who are working in their research labs.