Financial Aid

Financial aid decisions are made subsequent to the admissions process, in much the same manner (file review by the Graduate Committee and recommendation to the Director of Graduate Studies). We begin evaluating applications for financial aid after January 15 and applicants wishing to be competitive and wanting to be considered for the full range of aid possibilities listed below should have their applications in by that date. A very high proportion of students in our graduate program are supported by Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, or Fellowships of various kinds. The major types of financial aid available are described below.

Teaching Assistantships (TAs). These are awarded on a competitive basis by the Department's Graduate Committee faculty. TAs typically work 20 hours each week during the academic year. TAs in the M.A. and Ph.D. programs may assist professors in introductory courses, gaining practical experience in instruction, student advising, grading, and exam preparation. TAs may work as a member of an instructional team with responsibilities for leading discussion or recitation sections of an introductory course. Advanced P.D. students may be given the opportunity to teach their own introductory course for which they assume full responsibility. The Chair of the Department, in consultation with the DGS and TAs, makes decisions on TA assignments. Summer teaching is available on a very limited basis. First year TAs are required to attend a University TA orientation prior to the first day of classes. The University also requires that international TAs (ITAs) from non- English speaking countries participate in an ITA orientation. In addition, the Department offers a one credit-hour teaching practicum course each Fall semester for all TAs. This course is required of all new TAs, but all incoming first year students are encouraged to take the course and it is open to all graduate students in Geography interested in teaching. In addition, TAs can use the support services and resources of the University of Kentucky Teaching and Academic Support Center. 
Research Assistantships (RAs) may be obtained through a variety of sources, including faculty research grants, research positions affiliated with other units on campus, and special projects within the department. RAs generally assist faculty members with several aspects of a research program thereby gaining valuable research experience. 
Transportation Fellowships are available for students combining a one year program in Advanced Transport Systems Management with their M.A. or Ph.D. Degree. Interested students should write directly to the Director of Graduate Studies (, for further details. 
Fellowships. Exceptionally strong applicants may be nominated by the department for one of a number of fellowships offered through the Graduate School, which are allocated on the basis of campus-wide competition. There are several types of fellowship, including several dedicated to minority students. For details see the Graduate School Fellowships page.
Teaching Assistantships and most other forms of financial aid include tuition scholarships. In addition, most of these forms of financial aid include health insurance.
Fellows and TAs are normally supported for the following time periods: incoming M.A. students, two years; incoming Ph.D. students, four years; successful M.A. students who continue in our program receive a further three years support for the Ph.D., that is, five years in total. These award periods are contingent upon the student's satisfactory progress in the degree program, and upon the maintenance of the department's current levels of support. 
Research Support:  The department is able to provide limited amounts of funding for research projects and conference participation to graduate students through its Barnhart and Withington endowments.  Graduate students enrolled in our programs are able to apply for these funds on an annual and competitive basis.  Applications are reviewed by the Graduate Committee.
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