University of Vermont

Department of Psychological Science

The Graduate Program in Psychological Science

Graduate Student Support


The Department attempts to fund all of its eligible full-time graduate students for at least five years, and has been successful in doing so since the inception of the Ph.D. program in 1965. Sources of funding include:

  • Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA): from the department/university
  • Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA): from federal and state grants and contracts
  • Clinical Placements: from local, state, and private agencies
  • Traineeships: federally funded

Funding sources typically require that the student work 20 hours each week on the activity generating the funds.

Because the funding originates from a variety of sources and through several different sorts of internal accounts, payments vary somewhat from one placement to another. There are variations among placement terms (9, 11, or 12 months), tuition charges, and basic stipends. We do not consider the amount in making assignments, and we hope, but cannot guarantee, that over five years of funding some of these disparities will average out for individual students. Each spring, students receive a list of all funding placements and rank their top three choices to help guide our placement decisions.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

GTAs are a common source of funding: GTAs are assigned to one or more large undergraduate courses, or to a clinical graduate course in child and adult assessment, or to research methods and laboratory courses.

Duties performed by GTAs include planning (helping design syllabi, selecting textbooks, other reading materials, etc.), administration (e.g., maintenance of student records, maintenance and sometimes design of computer systems to maintain student data, posting grades, production of course materials and exams), teaching (lab sections or lectures), grading (exams, lab reports, writing assignments), and tutoring and advising (holding office hours, explaining class material, helping students improve test-taking skills, etc.).

Formally, a full GTA is expected to devote 20 hours a week to course duties. In practice, the load varies considerably over the course of any semester. Full GTAs receive tuition remission for 24 academic credits per year.


There are three types of 20-hour “placements” that graduate students usually have. Your stipend depends on which placement you have. The Department of Psychological Science does its best to provide funding for students for at least their first five years of graduate school. This has been done successfully since the program started in 1965. Other than your first year, where you will be assigned either a research or teaching assistant placement (depending on whether your laboratory has funding), you and your advisor choose your placement.

Research Placements: $26,000 - $30,000 per 12 months; tuition not paid (you must pay from your stipend)

Teaching Assistantships: $17,250 per 9 months; tuition paid.

Clinical Placements (restricted to clinical students): $20,000-$22,000 per year; tuition not paid (you must pay from your stipend)

Health Care Coverage

All GTA, GRA, and predoctoral training students supported by UVM (including grants and contracts to the University) receive support for health-care coverage from the Graduate College. In Fall 2012, for students who have a full-time assistantship, the University pays 3/4 of the health care coverage, leaving 1/4 for students to cover.

Tuition Scholarship

Graduate students fully funded as GTAs, and GRAs on research grants and contracts awarded to and administered by UVM, will be eligible for a tuition scholarship (pdf) for thesis and dissertation credits. Students not fully funded but receiving stipends at least 50% of the base Graduate College stipend level will be eligible for one-half of the tuition scholarship for those fully funded.

University of Vermont Opportunity Fellowships

The Graduate Dean's Office administers several fellowships to increase campus diversity in graduate programs. Opportunity Fellowships, which are generally funded at a level equivalent to Graduate Teaching Fellowships, are available to students in all UVM graduate programs. Please indicate interest in these fellowships on the University application form.

Last modified September 08 2014 12:44 PM