Funding & Financial Aid

Graduate students are eligible for a range of financial support, including teaching assistantships, research assistantships and graduate fellowships. Many students admitted to the traditional MS/PhD track are offered a funding guarantee of four years through the department, typically in the form of teaching assistantships. We also nominate our top applicants for fellowships. Funding consists of a tuition waiver and a stipend.

Most graduate assistantships, and fellowships for the first year, are awarded at the time of admission.

Assistantships & Fellowships

Minimum Requirements

  • TAs are expected to enroll in a minimum of 6 credits. Credit requirement must be satisfied by graded courses taken at 300 or above; courses numbered below 300, audit, and pass/fail do not satisfy enrollment requirements. Graduate research courses (799, 899, and 990) are graded S/U and can be used to meet enrollment requirement.
  • TAs are expected to be making satisfactory academic progress
  • International students are expected to adhere to the University’s policies related to spoken English proficiency.

Appointment and Workload Expectations

  • TAs are typically 50% appointments, requiring 360 hours of work per semester
  • TAs should discuss TA duties, responsibilities, and expectations with the course instructor
  • TAs and instructors should jointly complete and submit a TA workload form
  • International students are limited to 50% appointments and domestic students are limited to 75% appointments for all on-campus employment during the academic year

How to Apply

  • The Computer Sciences TA application link is emailed out to all students in the traditional Computer Sciences MS/PhD graduate program three to four months before the start of fall, spring, and summer terms
  • If you are not a Computer Sciences student but would like to be added to our mailing list to receive a TA application, please email with this request
  • Computer Sciences students with guaranteed support are given TA placement priority.

Annually, the Department of Computer Sciences awards up to four graduate fellowships providing nine months of support to outstanding students pursuing the doctoral degree. Each graduate fellowship provides tuition plus a stipend. The principal criteria for fellowship selection are academic merit, creativity, research accomplishments and commitment to research.


Student must be a full time computer sciences graduate student in dissertator status who is conducting research within the department and is supervised by a computer sciences faculty member.


Computer sciences graduate fellowships are a reality because of the generosity of our alumni and friends who have endowed them. The fellowships we award are:

  • Anthony Klug NCR Fellowship in Database Systems
  • Cisco Systems Distinguished Graduate Fellowships (2), preference given to U.S. Citizens
  • Lawrence H. Landweber NCR Fellowship in Distributed Systems


Students must be nominated by a computer sciences faculty member. Nominations deadline vary by year. Each nomination includes:

  • A nomination letter from the nominator detailing the reasons for the nomination (maximum of two pages)
  • Two additional supporting letters from faculty
  • Nominee’s CV
  • Up to 3 publications authored or co-authored by the nominee

Nominations to renew an existing fellowship may also be submitted.

Annually, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Computer Sciences awards several summer research assistantships (RAships). These awards provide two months of summer support to outstanding students who are undergraduates or were first-year graduate students during the preceding academic year.

The principal criteria for RA selection are academic excellence and the quality of the expected outcomes of the proposed research project. Students who receive the award are advised by the nominating faculty member during the summer and give a 30-minute presentation on their results in a special seminar during the fall semester. Students are encouraged to discuss potential topics with computer sciences professors with whom they might want to work. For graduate students, it is expected that the nominating professor will contribute one half of the funding for the two-month assistantship.


Students are nominated by a computer sciences faculty member in April. Each nomination includes:

  • Description of the proposed research (three pages, 12-point font)
  • Student resume (one or two pages)
  • Letter of nomination and recommendation from the nominating faculty member (two pages)

Graduate Scholarships

NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship in STEM
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, is pleased to announce the release of the FY2018 solicitation, Graduate Research Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This program provides awards to accredited academic institutions to support graduate research leading to doctoral degrees in topic areas that are relevant to preventing and controlling crime, and ensuring the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice in the United States. Through the GRF-STEM program, NIJ supports research by promising doctoral students as they train to become the creators of future innovation. Each fellowship provides up to three years of support usable within a five-year period. For each year of support, NIJ provides the degree-granting institution a stipend of $35,000 usable toward the student’s salary and related costs, and up to $15,000 to cover the student’s tuition and fees, research expenses and related costs. Download the solicitation (PDF) for a full description. Find information on applying for these and other NIJ awards online.

Hertz Fellowships
For PhD students or those intending to pursue the PhD; open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Providing unique financial and fellowship support to the nation’s most remarkable PhD students in the applied physical and biological sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

IBM PhD Fellowship Nominations
Students must be nominated by a doctoral faculty member and must be a full-time student in a PhD program over the two consecutive academic years of the award or forfeit their fellowship. Nominations for the annual PhD Fellowship program begin the third week of September and are accepted for 5 weeks. This internship is for U.S. citizens only.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships
For U.S. citizens or permanent residents, NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports individuals early in their graduate training in STEM (Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics) fields.

Winston Churchill Foundation Scholarships
This award provides graduate study at Cambridge University, for U.S. citizens only.

National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship
For U.S. citizens and nationals.

National Physical Science Consortium
Graduate fellowships for U.S. citizens only.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Summer Internship Program


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