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Graduate Assistantships

Dr. Geraci and Reserach Assistants

Graduate students seeking teaching and research assistantships can find more information on the Graduate School website.  For more information on the physics degrees offered, please see the degrees page.

Any further questions regarding assistantships can be directed to Elizabeth (Liz) Carl through her email or at (775)-784-1258.

Program at a Glance

Program Details

Physics Graduate Program Director:  

Jonathan Weinstein
Email: gradphys@unr.edu
Phone: (775) 784-6821
Mailing Address:
Department of Physics MS 0220
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89557-0220

Campus Location:

Leifson Physics Building (074), Room 225
Phone: (775)-784-6792
Fax: (775)-784-1398

Graduate Degrees Offered:

Master of Science (M.S.)
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)

Application Deadline(s):

Fall Admission: February 1
Spring Admission: November 1

Required Tests:

General GRE

Recommended Tests:

Physics GRE

Related Programs:

Atmospheric Sciences: Mark Green, Program Director
Email: Mark.Green@dri.edu
Phone: (775) 674-7118
Chemical Physics: David Leitner, Program Director
Email: director@chemphys.unr.edu
Phone:(775) 784-1968

Physics Assistantship Deadlines

Fall Semester: The application deadline is February 1. Decisions on admissions and assistantships will be made by April 1. Students are required to accept the position by April 15.

Spring Semester: The application deadline is November 1. Decisions on admissions and assistantships will be made by December 1. Students are required to accept the position by December 31. 

Applications that are completed after the deadlines will be considered as positions become available in the department.

Application for Admission to Graduate Standing

  1. Complete the online UNR Graduate School application for admission, found at the Graduate Admissions Page. Note that there are two types of application form: one for U.S. citizens and resident aliens, and another for international applicants. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for admission to the graduate physics program (it is recommended to take the physics subject exam). Order a report to be sent directly to the UNR Graduate School (institutional code 4844).

  2. Pay the application fee electronically ($60 for U.S. citizens and resident aliens; $40 for returning students and UNR alumni; $95 for international applicants). Your application cannot be considered until the fee is paid. Fee waivers are not offered.

  3. Order transcripts from every college or university attended. The issuing institution must send the transcripts directly to the UNR Graduate School. A grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 in all physics and mathematics courses, and an overall GPA of at least 3.0 in all undergraduate courses are required for admission to graduate standing in the Physics Department.

  4. International applicants: Order a report of your Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. The Educational Testing Service must send your score directly to the UNR Graduate School (institutional code 4844). A TOEFL score of at least 500 (paper version) or 61 (internet-based version) is required for admission.

Tuition Costs

Tuition per credit: $ 264.00
Out of state tuition per semester (7 or more credits): $ 6,797.50

Annual value of a Full-Time Graduate Assistantship (20 hours per week)

  Minimum stipend (Aug 1, 2013 - May 31, 2014):


  Waiver of out of state tuition (Fall and Spring semesters):


  Tuition waiver (7 credits Fall semester*@ $187.04/credit):
   (including required 1 credit GRAD 701 course):


  Tuition waiver (6 credits Spring semester @ $187.04/credit):


  Health insurance coverage (full year):


  Total Annual Value of Assistantship:


* NOTE: Upon completion of GRAD 701 in the initial semester, Graduate Teaching Assistants are limited to 6 credits each semester.

Required Fees (What you need to pay for your first semester)

  Tuition (7 credits each semester* @ $60.96/credit)


  Health Center ($90.00/semester):


  Counseling Services ($35.00/semester):


  Graduate Student Union Fee ($97.00/semester):


  New Graduate Student Orientation Fee (One time Fee): 


  Academic Success Fee:


  Performing Art Fee:


  Total required fees (Initial Semester):


  International Student Registration


  Total required fees (International Students, Initial Semester):   


* NOTE: Upon completion of GRAD 701 in the initial semester, Graduate Teaching Assistants are limited to 6 credits each semester.

Graduate Assistantship FAQs

  • Who is eligible?
    • Any Graduate Student admitted to a graduate program, enrolled in at least six graduate level credits, and who holds at least a 3.0 GPA is eligible and will be considered for an assistantship. Typically, admitted student are offered financial support as teaching assistants.
  • Who is not eligible?
    • Graduate Specials
    • Students on probation or suspension
    • Students who fail to enroll in at least six credits each semester.
  • What are Graduate Assistant duties?
    • Duties vary. Teaching assistants typically teach undergraduate laboratory sections or grade assignments and exams. Research assistants work in specific research programs.
  • What are the hours?
    • A full-time graduate assistantship is based on a 20-hour work week (50% full-time employment or FTE). Student and employer agree upon the specific hours.
  • How much does a Graduate Assistant earn?
    • The minimum full time graduate assistantship is $16,500 per academic year (ten months @ $1,650 per month). Most graduate research assistants are paid on a twelve month basis. The maximum full time graduate assistantship is $2,364 per month. The amount depends on the student's experience and responsibilities.
  • What benefits accompany a graduate assistantship?
    • All graduate assistants are entitled to a grant-in-aid, which pays the majority of per-credit fees. The grant-in-aid is a fee waiver that pays $187.04 of each $264.00 credit. The student pays $60.96 per credit.
    • Any graduate student holding an assistantship is considered a Nevada resident for tuition purposes. Non-resident tuition is waived as long as the student holds the assistantship (worth from $1,584.00 (6 credits) to $6,955.00 (7 or more credits) per fall or spring semester.)
    • All graduate assistants are entitled to health insurance coverage (valued at $2,442.00 (est.) per year) and are covered by Workers' Compensation. The student may also choose health insurance coverage for immediate family members at extra cost to the student.   See the University Health Insurance Website.
    • In addition to these financial benefits, assistantships allow students to work closely with faculty members, enabling them to develop a network of colleagues.
  • Once I have an assistantship, what do I have to do to keep it?
    • First semester teaching assistants must register for GRAD 701: Preparing Future Faculty: College Teaching I. This course provides preparation and practice for teaching across disciplines at the college level. Note: this is a full-term course and is a requirement to be satisfactorily completed, in order to maintain qualifications. For availability of the GRAD 701 course, check the course catalog.
    • Good academic standing in the chosen graduate program must be maintained. The minimum requirement is a grade point average of 3.0 or better (see the Academic Standing Requirements at the Graduate Academic Standing Page).
    • Job duties must be performed satisfactorily.
    • International students must pass TOEFL requirement as detailed on the Graduate Assistantship Page
  • What happens if my GPA falls below a 3.0?
    • Probation: If the graduate grade-point total is one to six grade points below the requisite 3.0 GPA, the student is placed on probation. The student must then raise his/her cumulative graduate GPA to 3.0 by the end of the following semester or the student will be dismissed from graduate standing.
    • Dismissal: If the graduate grade-point total is seven or more grade points below the requisite 3.0 GPA, the student is dismissed from graduate standing, or if the graduate GPA remains below 3.0 for two (2) consecutive semesters, the student is dismissed from graduate standing.