College of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental EngineeringAcademicsGraduateFinancial Support

Financial Support

Most graduate students in our program receive financial support. Merit-based, competitive financial support is available year-round. Even there are no deadlines and no separate application for financial support, it is better to have direct and early contact with the professor(s) who are teaching and working in your areas of interest. Candidates with excellent academic records and a strong desire to pursue an advanced degree are encouraged to contact a Faculty member for more information.

Graduate fellowships and assistantships

Graduate fellowships are essentially scholarships provided to graduate students so that they can complete the coursework required for their graduate degree and conduct research under the guidance of a professor.  The funding for external fellowships typically includes tuition, books, and a stipend that will cover cost-of-living expenses.  Graduate fellowships are always excellent opportunities, however, they are competitive.

Each year, several graduate fellowships are available through the College of Engineering (typically $4,000–$6,000 per year for two to three years) and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (typically $2,500 for one year for new graduate students), and prospective graduates are encouraged to contact the professor(s) and inquire about opportunities.  Also, there are many federal and industry-sponsored fellowships that are administered independently of the University.  These opportunities often offer a very high level of support, and civil and environmental engineering professors are always willing to help prospective graduate students put together an application package.

Similar to fellowships, graduate research assistantships and graduate teaching assistantships provide a monthly stipend intended to support graduate students through their coursework and research.  The funding for research assistantships comes from research grants or contracts from a specific professor and therefore typically entails specific research responsibilities.  The awarding of a research/teaching assistantship is primarily at the discretion of the professor in charge of the research/teaching in which the student would be involved.  Graduate teaching assistantships involve assisting with the teaching of a course or laboratory.  The responsibilities and funding for assistantships vary.  There are many research assistantships available through the department and prospective graduate students are strongly encouraged to inquire about availability.  The level of funding associated with graduate assistantships is typically sufficient to pay for cost-of-living expenses, and tuition fellowship is typically awarded when the assistantship offer meets the Graduate School criteria (see more information from the link below: graduate tuition fellowships).  Students supported through full-tuition fellowships, GTA positions, and GRA positions can typically complete their graduate education degrees without borrowing money or depending on their families for financial support. Master degree students that are supported through GRA and/or GTA positions and tuition fellowships must work with a faculty member on either Master of Science thesis research or Master of Civil Engineering project.

Finally, one of the best ways to explore fellowship and assistantship opportunities is to directly contact the professor(s) who are teaching and working in your areas of interest.

If a student has an assistantship (GRA/GTA) provided by a professor and is nominated by the professor for college or university fellowship, the student must apply for graduate admission before January 15 to be considered.  

International Students

We get many inquiries from students abroad who wish to study here at Auburn University.  We welcome such inquiries and have many international students working/studying within our programs.  Before financial assistance can be offered, the student must apply and be accepted to the program through the Graduate School website. We welcome inquiries from prospective international students about research programs and availability of fellowships and assistantships, but professors rarely offer stipends from research projects without knowing the student’s academic background and research experience; we encourage students to directly contact the professor(s) who are teaching and working in your areas of interest.  Sometimes government agencies in student’s country may offer full scholarships or fellowships to support student’s study abroad, for example, the Chinese Scholarship Council and professors are typically willing to provide letters in support of those applications after the student has applied to the graduate program.

International Graduate Teaching Assistants 

All international graduate teaching assistants are required to submit evidence of satisfactory speaking skills. This can be demonstrated with a score of 23 or higher on the speaking section of the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT), or a score of 7 on the speaking section of the IELTS, or an iTEP grade of at least 4.4  on the speaking section, which is administered at Auburn University prior to the start of classes. A student may be asked to retake/pass the iTEP test or enroll in a course (INTL 1820) designed to improve the oral communication skills of international teaching assistants.  The CEE department is responsible for making sure that international Graduate Teaching Assistants meet the minimum requirements for employment, including but not limited to a satisfactory background check and proficiency in English. For each international Graduate Teaching Assistant, hiring units are required to submit the International Graduate Teaching Assistant Certification of Eligibility for Employment form and supporting documentation. International students who have had a degree from an accredited college/university in the United States can select option C on the form and be certified as GTA. If a student gets a grade of less than 4.4 on the iTEP speaking section, the student needs to enroll and pass the course INTL 1820 before he/she can be hired as GTA. The rule does not apply to Graduate Assistants (GAs) who do not involve direct instruction, e.g., grading, preparing labs, etc.

Auburn University graduate tuition fellowships (from Graduate School)

  1. An assistantship is qualified for a full graduate tuition fellowship regardless of the type (teaching, research or other) under the following conditions:
    1. The fellow has a minimum appointment of .33 FTE (i.e., at least 13.2 hours per week).
    2. The fellow is in the assistantship for the full semester (no later than the 8th class day [5th class day in summer semester], through the last day of classes).
    3. The fellow receives an assistantship stipend greater than or equal to the minimum set by the provost ($808/month for the academic year 2016-17).

    4. The fellow is a degree-seeking student (although provisionally accepted students are eligible for their first semester).

    5. The fellow is in good academic standing (cumulative graduate GPA of at least 3.0). Students on academic probation lose the benefit of the full tuition waiver.  Non-resident students on probation retain the out-of-state waiver, but both non-resident and resident students on probation lose the resident tuition waiver and must pay tuition at the in-state rate.  When the student is again in good academic standing, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, the full tuition waiver will again be awarded.

    6. The fellow is registered for at least one hour (including enrolled in any part of the summer), but not more than 15 hours, of coursework. 

  2. Attempted hours are defined as any hours for which the university charges tuition or fees, regardless of level (undergraduate versus graduate) or grade type (graded, pass/fail, or ungraded). The fellowship, however, does NOT pay for distance education courses or any of their related fees.
  3. The graduate assistant enrollment fee is $563 per semester for the 2017-18  academic year.
  4. All graduate assistants (GRA/GTA/GA) have to complete a satisfactory background check and see Debbie Tidwell before they can begin working.

Related Links:

Auburn University Guidelines for Graduate Assistantships 

Auburn University Graduate Tuition Fellowships

Information of External Graduate Fellowships

College of Engineering Fellowships or Woltosz Fellowships 

Information on Graduate Enrollment Fee

 Estimated Cost of Attendance