Student Funding

US Citizens Only

External Funding

International Students Only

External Funding

US Citizens & International Students

External Funding
microEP Based Funding

The microEP Graduate Program is a full participant in the Walton Fellowship Program at the University of Arkansas. The funding for this program was provided by the Walton Family Charitable Trust, and is used to fund two types of Fellowships in support of students planning to complete a PhD at the University of Arkansas. The first type is a Walton Doctoral Academy Fellowship (DAF) and the second type is a Doctoral Distinguished Fellows (DDF).

These Fellowships provide supplemental funding to a base financial position (Teaching Assistantship, Research Assistantship). Walton Fellows are provided a stipend and all tuition costs, but must pay miscellaneous fees from their private funds.

Students applying for either of the Doctoral Fellowships are expected to have a record of high academic performance, prior demonstrated excellence in the pursuit of research opportunities, demonstrated leadership ability, and the ability to thrive in the type of non-structured environment that enables rapid progress in the high tech arena.

The following table shows both the selection criteria and the financial benefits of the two types of Fellowships.

  Doctoral Academy Fellowship Distinguished Doctoral Fellowship
Base Position Stipend No less than $12k/12 months No less than $12k/12 months
Out-of-state tuition Paid by Grad School Paid by Grad School
In-State Tuition Paid by base position Paid by base position
Fellowship Amount $10k/yr for max of 4 years $22k/yr for max of 4 years
Miscellaneous fees Paid by student (note 1) Paid by student (note 1)
Minimum GPA BS 3.50, MS 3.65 (note 2) BS 3.65, MS 3.8 (note 2)
Minimum GRE V+Q 302 307
Minimum GRE Writing 4.0 4.5

Note 1: Some NSF Fellowships used as base funding allow payment of student fees
Note 2: MS GPA will be used if candidate is currently enrolled in a MS graduate program

In addition, the microEP program will qualitatively assess all evidence brought forth by candidates when considering applicants. Exceptional performance outside of the numerically measured academic areas above may be used as justification for forwarding an application that does not meet all of the numerical minimum values to the Graduate School for consideration.

Walton Fellowships will be used to help attract new students to the microEP graduate program whose skills, interests, and background are strongly aligned with the needs of the varied research efforts associated with the microEP program. The process is designed to allow some flexibility when considering students with high potential but limited access to research opportunities at their prior institution.

Applicants with completed MS degrees will receive higher consideration than applicants just completing a BS degree because of their higher level of research training, but no microEP applicant will be arbitrarily excluded due to lack of a completed MS degree.

These Fellowships are not restricted to US citizens, although US citizens will be given preference when selecting Fellowship recipients.

Graduate Assistantships:

There are two types of Graduate Assistantships, Teaching and Research. If you are on a 50% appointment (requiring 20 hours per week of work), the fund that pays your stipend will also pay your in-state tuition and the Graduate School will directly pay any out-of-state tuition that is assessed. If you are on 25% appointment (10 hours per week of work), the Graduate School will pay any out-of-state tuition but you must pay your own in-state tuition.

Regardless of the type of Graduate Assistantship that you may receive, the student must pay all supplemental fees themselves.

Teaching Assistantships require that a student be competent in both written and spoken English. Students who graduate from an undergraduate institution where English was not the language of instruction must take the Test of Spoken English before they can be considered for positions requiring live instruction (such as a being an undergraduate lab class instructor). TAs that have not passed the TSE or equivalent can only qualify for grading assignments, which are both few in number and usually have heavier workloads than TAs leading laboratory sections. Applicants from these non-English instruction institutions that are requesting TA funding are strongly encouraged to take the TSE as soon as possible in their current location and to submit their TSE scores as part of their application materials.

Generally, departments make their primary selection of Teaching Assistants in late March or early April. The earlier a student applies for consideration for a Teaching Assistant, the higher the likelihood that they will be funded as a TA. MicroEP graduate students have worked as TAs for Physics, Chemistry, EE, ChE, and microEP, depending on the background of the individual student. TAs are generally paid about $1000 -$1800 per month, depending on the department in which the TA is located.

Individual professors, through research grants that they win in the highly competitive marketplace, directly fund Research Assistantships. Students are selected directly by these professors to work on the specific research projects supported by these funded grants. Students hired by a professor in a RA position are expected to align their own research (in support of their theses or dissertations) with the research of their hiring Professor. In a typical workweek, the student would do 20 hours of work directed by his or her major professor and then do additional research in the professor’s laboratory in support of their thesis/dissertation. In this way, both the professor and the student make progress toward their common research goal in a shorter calendar period than would otherwise be possible.

Research Assistantships generally pay about the same as a TA in that professor's department, although individual researchers may budget higher stipends in their proposals in an attempt to attract top graduate students.

The microEP Graduate Program acts as an agent for microEP students to match their talents and interests with RA and TA positions as they become available. TA positions most abundant during the fall semester, although some TA positions may become available in the spring and summer semesters as students move into RA positions. RA positions may become available at any time due to graduation of current students  or new research grants being approved for funding.

As an agent for both microEP students and faculty, the microEP director uses knowledge of both the open positions’ requirements and microEP students’ skills to quickly arrange job interviews that seem likely to produce strong partnerships. It must be noted that these interviews are very similar to job interviews after graduation – they are only opportunities to compete, not guarantees of being given the new funded position. For a microEP student to win an appointment, the student must convince the hiring supervisor that they can together form an effective partnership that will result in the goals of both parties being attained.

Students can obtain funded TA or RA positions before arriving on campus on the basis of such things as their academic record, their GRE scores, their record of prior research, and strong recommendations from faculty. However, the chances of a new student competing successfully for new positions are much higher if the new student is already on our campus, taking UA graduate classes and volunteering in a research laboratory under a professor whose research matches their own interests. The fact that UA professors can directly observe the work ethic and academic capabilities of an on-campus student gives that student a distinct advantage over off-campus students who are represented only by paperwork.