Financial Support for New StudentsFinancial Support for Current Students

*Note: Financial support may only be provided for MA and PhD students

Deadlines and Types of Support for NEW Students 

Departmental financial aid for new students typically takes the form of either a fellowship or a graduate assistantship. Assistantships come with a salary of about $17,500 for 9.5 months for first year masters students, 10 credits of tuition remission for each of the fall and spring semesters (with summer/winter credits available for continuing TAs), and health insurance. Second-year masters students and new doctoral students receive about $18,000 for 9.5 months with the same benefits, and doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy receive around $19,000 for 9.5 months plus the tuition and insurance benefits. There are two types of graduate assistantships (GA): research assistantships (RA/Fellowships) and teaching assistantships (TA). Fellowship/RA stipends vary depending on the fellowship or grant funds, but are at least equal to the teaching assistantship stipends. All fellowships are awarded to begin in the fall semester only. Most teaching assistantships are awarded in the fall semester; research assistantships may be awarded any time that the faculty receive external funding. For best consideration for all types of financial support, an applicant must submit all Graduate School application materials (including GRE scores and transcripts) by the "recommended" deadline of January 1 for fall consideration(see Graduate School deadlines Applicants become eligible for financial aid consideration only after a positive admission decision has been made. Applicants who apply at a later date may be admitted to our graduate program but may be too late for fellowship or assistantship consideration. Students who would like an assistantship should apply by January 1st for best consideration.


Fellowships are available for select new students including various Graduate School and School of Public Health Fellowships. These fellowships provide a stipend and tuition remission and are merit-based awards in which the department nominates its most exceptional new students. The number of years of support differs for different fellowships. There is no separate application process, and the student may not apply directly for consideration.

Research Assistantships:

Research assistantships (RA) are available through faculty who have external grant funding. They typically require 20 hours of work per week, and may be extended to cover 12-months and/or hourly wages in the summer. Grant awards can be made to the faculty at any point during the year, so there is always some uncertainty about the availability of Research Assistantships. Students should check with their potential advisor concerning RA possibilities before or after being admitted. Depending on the availability of funds, Master's students are supported for up to 2 years and doctoral students are supported for up to 4 years pending satisfactory academic and work performance in their assistantship.

Teaching Assistantships:

Teaching assistants (TA) work 20 hours per week, which includes both in-class time as well as preparation and office hours. The department hires TAs to teach discussion or laboratory sections in a variety of undergraduate courses and to assist the lecture professor. These are usually students who have previously demonstrated aptitude in the subject matter or in the technical laboratory skills. Teaching Assistants also are hired to teach in the Physical Activity Program. Program offerings are extensive and range from tennis and volleyball to weight training and jogging. In-service training is offered to help develop teaching skills. A new TA typically teaches 4-5 activity classes per semester. Experienced TAs usually have a slightly higher workload. Students who are awarded Teaching Assistantships are eligible for yearly renewals pending satisfactory academic and work performance in their assistantship. Master's students are supported for up to 2 years and doctoral students are supported for up to 4 years.

Teaching Assistantship Application:

The TA application is available from your potential advisor (please request via email) and should be submitted with other application materials. Unless your advisor is certain of an available RA position a TA application should be completed. Any student interested in an assistantship should complete a TA application. Students should indicate any sport activities that they feel qualified to teach and also indicate any specific background, certification, coaching or playing experiences. Students interested in assisting as a discussion leader or lab instructor should indicate which classes they feel particularly qualified to teach. The TA application should be viewed as a job application, and therefore experiences should be clearly defined.

International students are considered for a teaching assistantship if they present outstanding TOEFL scores (100 or higher). Documentation of previous teaching experience in English is also helpful. In addition, an English test prepared by the Maryland English Institute (MEI) is required upon arrival, as is evidence of the ability to be employed (e.g., visa, etc.).

Current graduate students who are unfunded may also submit a TA application if they are interested in employment. For those not currently on a teaching assistantship, a new application must be submitted each semester.

Selection and Notification:

The basis for awarding teaching assistantships is the overall ranking of the admitted student and their teaching qualifications. TA decisions are made as quickly as possible, but notifications may come as late as April or May for fall employment. Most assistantships are awarded by April 15, although it is not unusual for one or two openings to occur in the summer after the budget has been finalized. Newly admitted students can inquire about their TA application status by contacting the Graduate Coordinator, Polly Sebastian-Schurer. This is particularly important if an offer from another school has been made.

Financial Support for Current Students 

Both the University and the Department of Kinesiology have substantially increased the financial support available to currently enrolled graduate students. In most cases, the awards are directly related to the quality of the student's scholarship. For awards from the Graduate School, check the Graduate School Fellowship website for current information.

Support of Dissertation Research

The Graduate School and the Department of Kinesiology both provide fellowships for students’ dissertation research.  The Graduate School offers the Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowships which are one-semester awards intended to support outstanding doctoral students who are in the final stages of their dissertation.

The Department of Kinesiology offers the Sally J. Phillips Dissertation Fellowship particularly for those outstanding graduate students who have been teaching assistants for most of their graduate studies.

University Awards for Current Students:

There are several awards and competitions for current doctoral students. Check the Graduate School Fellowship website for current information dealing with Travel Grants and Dissertation Fellowships.

Students who participate in the annual spring Graduate School Research Interaction Day (GRID) are eligible to win monetary awards for their research presentation.

Departmental Support and Awards for Current Students:

Research funds - The Department of Kinesiology’s graduate student grant program – Graduate Research Initiative Project (GRIP) is intended to assist graduate students in Kinesiology with funding for their research.  More details and the funding announcement can be found here.

Travel funds - Departmental policy provides some financial coverage for scholarly conference travel and registration to conferences in the United States if the student is first author on a refereed paper or poster presentation at a scientific conference. Masters students receive a travel fund of $500 and doctoral students receive a travel fund of $2500 at the time of admission. Both masters and doctoral students should submit the required paperwork in a timely fashion and must return original receipts. Students are also encouraged to apply for travel awards through the Graduate School, which in some cases will require matching funds from the student's travel fund.

James H. Humphrey Graduate Student Published Paper Award - Graduate students who have written a first-authored, published paper in a peer-reviewed journal may submit their paper for consideration for the James H. Humphrey Graduate Student Published Paper Award given every spring to the best paper by a graduate student in the previous year. This award also comes with a financial stipend.

F. Daniel Wagner Teaching Award - Each year the Department of Kinesiology honors its best teaching assistant in the Physical Activity Program with the F. Daniel Wagner Teaching Award.  This award is supported financially by the children of F. Daniel Wagner, in memory of their father who was a dedicated and excellent physical education teacher. This award also comes with a financial stipend.

Kinesiology Teaching Assistant of the Year - Each year the Department of Kinesiology honors its best teaching assistant who works as a discussion or laboratory TA.  This award comes with a financial stipend.

Open Access Publishing Fund

The UMD Libraries is now accepting applications for the Open Access Publishing Fund for 2019-2020. Established as a recommendation of the 2013 Report of the Joint Provost/Senate Open Access Task Force, the fund helps UMD researchers cover article-processing charges levied by peer-reviewed open access journals.

Eligibility requirements and guidelines, along with a link to the online application form, are available at Please note that for 2019-2020, the Libraries will fund 50% of the fee for a single article.

Please contact Terry Owen ( if you have any questions about the fund.