The UAB campus at night. Financial aid is available in the form of Teaching Assistantships (TAs), Research Assistantships (RAs), Minimum Duties Assistantships (MDAs), and Fellowships. There are no forms to fill out to request financial aid from the department. All accepted students are automatically considered for financial aid if they meet the application deadline (January 15 for Fall, October 1 for Spring).

The vast majority of our master's students are successful in obtaining on-campus employment to pay for their studies during their first year in the program. Some are also supported by department funds. It is worthy to note that Birmingham’s cost of living is lower than other comparable cities.

Tuition and fees information can be found on the UAB Students webpage. To learn more about on-campus living options, please visit the UAB Students Housing and Residence Life website.

Department Resources

Students applying for the PhD program by January 15 each year will be considered for the UAB Graduate Fellow in the Arts and Sciences award. This prestigious fellowship offers an annual stipend of $32,000 per year, plus tuition and fees. It honors applicants to PhD programs in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences who show exceptional promise in research and scholarship. Awardees will be notified by March 1 each year. Fellowships typically are granted for two years, contingent on satisfactory progress and department recommendation. Students will be expected to shift to GAs or RAs after two years.

Information about fellowships offered through the university and other external sources may be found on the UAB Graduate School website.
Teaching Assistantships are full financial aid positions for MS and PhD students, and are primarily for instruction in undergraduate laboratories. The workload is 20 hours per week. These awards are for a calendar year (3 academic terms). Assistants who perform exceptionally well in research may be awarded an assignment of research only (i.e., no instructional assignment) for one semester each year. Some other GAs are available for work sponsored by local companies and for work in the CIS computer laboratories

A GA is the typical award to a student entering the PhD program. Exceptional MS students pursuing the thesis option (Plan I) may also be considered for a GA; we have found that all MS students have been able to find employment on campus.
Research Assistantships are full financial aid positions for PhD students. They support faculty research grant and contract activities. The workload does not exceed 20 hours per week. These awards are for a calendar year (3 academic terms). An RA position is rarely available to entering students who have not begun research with a specific faculty member. The number of RA positions varies from year to year.
Stipends for students holding GAs and RAs are:
  • MS and PhD Level 1 (for students who have not yet passed the Level 1 Qualifying Exam): $23,000/year, plus full tuition and health insurance.
  • PhD Level 2 (for students who have passed the Level 1 Qualifying Exam but have not yet passed the Level 2 Exam): $24,000/year, plus full tuition and health insurance.
  • PhD Level 3 (for students who have been admitted into candidacy): $25,000/year, plus full tuition and health insurance.
A Minimum Duties Assistantship is for miscellaneous support of the CIS department as needed. The MDA includes a stipend of $1,500/year, but the most important benefit is the eligibility of an MDA for in-state tuition rates, which is a substantial savings per semester. The MDA is restricted to incoming MS and PhD students.

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