Funding Overview

Students who receive funding for graduate school generally receive one or more types of financial assistance: fellowshipsresearch assistantships, and competitive scholarships. When an applicant applies to the graduate program, they are simultaneously evaluated for available funding opportunities. All offers of admission and funding require that students identify a research supervisor

To receive full consideration for funding, the complete application must be received by December 1 the year before you plan to begin your program. For example, students interested in starting their graduate program in fall 2018 must apply by December 1, 2017 to be eligible for funding.  Funding may be available to those who apply later, but priority will be given to those who meet the early submission deadline.

Offers of Admission With Funding

Most admitted PhD students receive funding with their admission. A funding offer may be made when the admission letter is sent or separately as additional funding becomes available. Continuation/renewal of any funding offer is conteingent on satisfactory academic progress, affiliation with a research advisor and lab within one semester of joining the program, and research performance.


The majority of students in the Department of Biomedical Engineering are supported by Graduate Assistant—Research (GARs), which are appointments to work on specific research projects with particular faculty members. A full-time GAR provides a full tuition scholarship (i.e. covers tuition for the minimum full-time hour enrollment each term, but not necessarily fees; see cost of attending page) and health benefits in addition to a stipend.

The minimum stipend for PhD students funded in the Department of Biomedical Engineering is $25,000 per year.

The department also supports Graduate Assistant—Teaching (GATs). These are few in number, and they are usually offered to students who are already at Texas A&M and known to the departmental faculty. Those with a GAT appointment usually assist a faculty member in teaching, often supervising undergraduate laboratory courses. Students who are offered a GAT position will receive tuition (that is, tuition for the minimum full-time hour enrollment each term, but not fees), health benefits, and a monthly salary. The GAT appointment usually does not extend through the summer.

How to get a Graduate Research Assistantship

As students begin the process of applying to the graduate program, we suggest that they carefully read the research areas listed on the BMEN website. From these areas, students can identify the faculty members with whom they would like to work and should feel free to contact them. Students should not be shy about making the faculty aware of any special qualifications that they might possess (previous research experience, etc.) that would contribute to the research conducted in that particular lab.

Students do not directly apply for Graduate Research Assistantships. As applications are being reviewed, faculty identify candidates to assist in their research on the student's research interest, experience, previous university affiliation, grade point average, etc.


A fellowship provides students with a direct stipend that leaves them open to select their research project and supervisor. A number of students in the department are supported by fellowships from outside agencies (NSF, NIH, etc.), and others are supported by fellowships from the university. See the resources at the bottom of the page for more information on finding external fellowships.

Graduate Fellowships

Merit and diversity-based fellowships are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents whose complete application is received before December 1. Students must be seeking fall admission in order to be eligible for these fellowships. (Once a student has begun graduate studies at Texas A&M University, they are no longer eligible for this award.) The department will evaluate applications in mid-December to select and nominate the top applicants. No additional documentation is required from the student.  Decisions on these fellowships are usually made by early March.

Competitive Scholarships

Competitive scholarships provide partial support for students at $1,000 per year with an out-of-state tuition waiver. If a student receives a competitive scholarship from the university or a combination of competitive scholarships equal to $1,000 or more, the student is eligible for the out-of-state tuition waiver. There are very few departmental scholarships, which admitted students are considered for every June prior to the fall semester. Information about university-level scholarship is available at

Finding a Research Supervisor

Students who have external fellowships or are privately funded need to associate themselves with a faculty member who will supervise their thesis research. They should choose a supervisor by identifying prospective faculty members who have research areas which match the student’s interests and by checking whether the faculty member has a project on which the student can work. It is usually a good idea to associate with a supervisor as soon as possible after arrival. Read the advise of Associate Department Head, Dr. Kristen Maitland, for more tips on finding an adviser.

BME National Excellence Fellows

The Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University is pleased to announce the establishment of a new National Excellence Fellow position for graduate students.  Applications will be accepted from highly-qualified undergraduate and MS students planning to pursue a PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering.  Candidates eligible for national fellowships from organizations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Hertz Foundation, and others will be most competitive for this position.  Applicants should intend to pursue translational research that impacts the biomedical engineering industry.