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Prospective Student Funding

Teaching or Research Assistantships are available for our research track Geology Graduate Students.

Applicants to the Geology Graduate Program who indicate that they are interested in applying for an assistantship will be considered for available Teaching or Research Assistantships, the details of which can be found below. Assistantships are open to both M.S. Research track and Ph.D. students – M.S. Professional Studies track students are not eligible for these assistantships.

Teaching Assistantships

The Geology Program offers competitive graduate teaching assistantships to M.S. and Ph.D. students. TAs are employed to work in support of undergraduate courses. Applicants who wish to be considered for a TA position should make that request known in their application.

A TA is a nine-month appointment paying $15,750 per year (M.S.) or $18,000 (Ph.D.), and a waiver of full-time university tuition (up to 12 credit hours per semester). The value of the stipend plus university tuition waiver is more than $29,000. In return, the student works about 20 hours per week (half time) teaching and/or assisting in undergraduate labs and classes. Summer university tuition is waived for students who held a TA or RA during the preceding two semesters. Health insurance coverage is required of all students as are library, computer use, and recreation fees, and these are not waived. A few TA positions are available in summer. TA awards are highly competitive, and normally only tendered to strong applicants.

The TA review process starts in February, with first offers issued in early March. Positions are normally filled by April 15. While most TA’s start in Fall, there is from time to time a TA vacancy for Spring semester start. Approximately 10 TAs are awarded to new entering graduate students each year.

Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships support graduate students under supervision of a faculty members with funded research grants. RA’s commonly provide up a twelve months of support and pay approximately $17,000-$23,000 per 12 months, plus a full waiver of university tuition. It is not uncommon for students to switch between RAs and TAs on a semester basis. The research performed is frequently for a student’s thesis or project. Students interested in obtaining RA support should contact faculty working in their field.

University Fellowships

WVU offers several fellowships to exceptional incoming Ph.D. students. Potential candidates are nominated by WVU Geology faculty after application to the Program is complete. For more information, visit the Graduate Education and Life website.

Stipends from Research Units

The Morgantown National Energy Technology Center, the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey and the National Research Center for Coal and Energy sponsor research assistant positions that provide hourly wage fellowship positions for some students. These positions may include university tuition waivers.

Departmental Funding Packages

Funded Ph.D. students are guaranteed 4 years of funding through TA, RA, or Fellowship positions (contingent upon progress within the program), and are eligible for continued funding in years 5, based upon performance. Funded M.S. students are guaranteed 2 years of funding through TA or RA positions (contingent upon progress within the program). All funded positions include a stipend, a tuition waiver, and health insurance. 

Meritorious Tuition and Fees

Meritorious Tuition Waivers are regularly granted to students on Fellowships whose stipend does not cover university tuition. Furthermore, students that have surpassed their TA or RA support may apply for waivers of university tuition.

WVU Tuition and Fees

Explore current graduate student costs and other WVU resources at

To Apply

To apply for admission, submit transcripts, GRE test scores, letters of recommendation, and statements of interest through the WVU application portal (

Program and University Information

WVU has R1 Carnegie Ranking, with a ‘very high research’ classification. We are located in Morgantown, a vibrant town located near excellent recreational opportunities and just 75 miles south of Pittsburgh. The Geology Program is housed in a state-of-the-art research facility. WVU is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer dedicated to building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty, staff and students committed to working in a multicultural environment. The university welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, including minorities, females, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.