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Financing Your Graduate Education

Several sources of financial aid originating from the University, Colleges, Departments and Graduate Group are available to new and continuing graduate students.  They include general University fellowships and scholarships, work-study awards, loan and grant funds, departmental teaching assistantships, and faculty-sponsored graduate research assistantships.  Smaller thesis-writing and research awards such as the Henry A. Jastro Graduate Research Scholarship Award are available annually.  Most student funding comes in the form of research assistantships.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Annually, all graduate students who are US citizens, permanent residents, or immigrants are required to file a FAFSA, preferably by the priority filing date of March 2.  This form is submitted directly to the US Department of Education and determines your financial need.  It is used for consideration of fellowships, block grants, stipends, loans, and Work Study funds that pay some GSR salaries. FAFSA is available at the UC Davis Office Financial Aid in Dutton Hall or online at Include UC Davis School Code 001313 on the FAFSA.


International Student Requirements

International students are advised to consult Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) at regarding immigration status and employment.


University Aid (Deadline: January 15)

University Fellowships and Scholarship awards are based on scholarship and promise of outstanding achievement.  Specific information concerning these awards is contained in the application form sent to U.S. citizens or may be obtained from Graduate Studies  For additional information on loan funds, grant funds, and work-study programs, contact the Financial Aid Office, Voorhies Hall, University of California, Davis 95616, (530) 752-9246. The Office of Graduate Studies has a web site ( with additional information.


College Aid

Each College associated with faculty of the Group (e.g. College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CA&ES), College of Engineering, and College of Letters & Science) offers a variety of thesis and small research awards that stem from foundation and benefactor support funds.  These awards often have particular requirements.  Announcements will be made by HSGG to alert students about specific opportunities in advance of proposal submission deadlines.  The student is also encouraged to contact the Student Affair Officer or the Chair of the Scholarship Committee for more information.


Departmental Aid (Teaching Assistantships, Readerships, Administrative Work)

Departments use student support primarily for teaching assistance and secondarily for administrative work.  Teaching related student support for qualified students is on a one-quarter basis and comes in the form of either Teaching Assistantships that pay a stipend and cover in-state fees or part-time Course Reader positions that pay a stipend and can also cover in-state fees. HSGG students receive e-mail notification from of TA and Reader positions each quarter with instructions on application.


Faculty Research Grants

Faculty garner grants from Federal, state, non-governmental, and other sponsors to conduct their research.  Student support on research grants comes in the form of a Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) position.  HSGG has a uniform compensation plan for all graduate students, so everyone conducting research is paid the same amount.  Grants that pay GSRs are expected to pay the non-resident tuition for non-resident students, but sometimes faculty write budgets assuming that the student will be from California, creating a deficit if a non-resident student eventually takes the position.  Usually faculty seek to fill their GSR positions with HSGG applicants, but they may also hire and mentor continuing students. Compensation of GSRs is uniform for all GSRs in the Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group. Information can be found in the approved Compensation Plan and corresponding current salary amounts.


Graduate Group Aid

HSGG administers funds to help incoming and continuing graduate students using two primary sources.  First, Graduate Studies provides an annual allocation known as Graduate Program Fellowships (formerly “Block Grant”) on the basis of a formula that considers the number of students in the graduate group, among other factors.  Second, CA&ES annually provides Jastro Research Endowment Award funds to HSGG, which in turn can provide students whose faculty are in CA&ES with either Henry A. Jastro Graduate Research Awards (up to $3000 towards supplies and/or travel for a maximum of 3 times per student) or Henry A. Jastro Student Support Awards that can cover student stipends, in-state fees, and non-resident tuition (except when a student has a GSR position).  HSGG-administered funds for incoming students are allocated during the admissions process  -- no special application is required.  For continuing students, a call is made each fall or winter for competitive proposals that are ranked by the Scholarship Committee.  The Group Chair receives the rankings and then funds as many as possible within the budget.  Other than these two sources of funding, HSGG may periodically have student support funding from donations made to the group.  Any one may donate to the graduate group.  For more information about making donation, contact the Group Chair.


Work Study

The federal government pays for a percentage of the costs of research employment, including wages and fee remission.  You must complete the application for various types of financial aid, available on the Financial Aid Web site at You must also have submitted a FAFSA, HSGG determines recipients of Work Study awards.



Information available at Financial Aid,


Travel Grants

Graduate Studies offers a limited number of travel awards twice per year for travel to professional meetings. You will be notified of application due dates throughout the year.  The amount of the award varies depending on how far you are traveling.  You are only eligible to receive this award once.  For more information, visit


Travel Grants through the Graduate Student Association (GSA)

The GSA also offers a limited number of travel awards twice per year. (You cannot receive a GSA travel award if you have received an award from Graduate Studies for the same instance of travel.) Visit the GSA Web site,


Other Employment

The graduate group coordinator will distribute employment information to students as positions are advertised.  For more information about employment opportunities or professional development services, you can meet with a coordinator in the Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Career Services program area of the Internship and Career Center, located in South Hall, or call 530-752-7841 to schedule an appointment.  Online resources and a calendar of workshops and events for graduate students are also available at Also, as part of Financial Aid, the Student Employment Center coordinates employment opportunities, including community service jobs. Visit, or call 530-752-0502.


Online Funding Resources

Online Grant Writing Resources

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