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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. 

General Requirements

  • Satisfactory academic performance is required (≥ 3.0 GPA in degree plan and cumulative GPAs), for all funding types. 
  • Students in non-degree status or probationary status are NOT eligible for funding.

Ph.D. Protocol 

All doctoral students are to be paid $25,000 per year (12-month assistantship position) for a minimum of four years. This funding is dependent on satisfactory academic progress, good academic standing, availability of funds, and the selection of a faculty member to serve as the advisory committee chairperson. A chair must be identified by no later than the end of the student’s first semester in the department. Students may start communicating with faculty regarding positions in their labs at any point after receiving notice of admission. Students are encouraged to formalize their advisor selection as early as possible, as faculty lab openings may fill up. 

Master’s Protocol 

Departmental funding is not available to master’s students. M.S. students may or may not be awarded RA positions by their faculty chair at a minimum pay rate of $24,000 per year. All master’s students are welcome to seek employment for advertised departmental positions or from other departments on campus. Unfunded students may be eligible for departmental scholarships as well as the College of Engineering Lechner Fellowship. Information about these will be sent to students when available. 

External Research Assistantships/Teaching Assistantships

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. 

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. GAT positions are offered on a semester-by-semester basis.

The minimum stipend for Ph.D. students funded in the Department of Biomedical Engineering is $25,000 per year and also receive tuition reimbursement and health insurance benefits.

The minimum stipend for master's students funded in the College of Engineering is $24,000 per year and includes an out-of-state tuition waiver and health insurance benefits, but does not pay for tuition expenses.

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. Residents 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 advice from associate professor, Dr. Kristen Maitland, for more tips on finding an advisor.

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 Ph.D. 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.

Out-of-State Tuition Waivers

See the departmental Business Coordinator if you receive an assistantship position, fellowship, or scholarship which entitles you to in-state tuition to ensure that the required forms are completed. 

Late Fees

Tuition and fees must be paid before the first day of classes. A $100 late fee is assessed, and your courses are dropped if tuition and fees are not paid. If you register on the 12th day of class or after, you will be assessed a late fee. Students on assistantships and/or fellowships are responsible each semester for registering for the appropriate number of hours required by the assistantship/fellowship. Students should check before the end of the 3rd class day to ensure that all expected departmental/ fellowship payment of their tuition and fees (if applicable) were properly posted to their student account. This will ensure that registration is not affected by errors by the department or external funding agency. Students should contact the departmental business office if any expected payment is not posted to their account so that corrective action can be taken.

Other Financial Aid

If you need an emergency tuition loan, you must process this at least a week before classes. Please visit the Student Business Service website for more information.