student at library
Our department provides a wide range of financial support for graduate students working toward their MA, MS, and PhD degrees,  including teaching and research assistantships and fellowships. Submitting a completed application places you in the pool for funding consideration.



  • Teaching (TA)

    • Between 5 and 10 half-time assistantships are available each year on a competitive basis. Duties involve grading and conducting discussion or lab sessions associated with our introductory courses.

  • Teaching Associate (TA)

    • Available only to senior graduate students; the student is assigned to teach an introductory GGIS course and supervise teaching assistants.

  • Research (RA)

    • Each year, many of the faculty receive support from the Graduate College Research Board, the National Science Foundation, other federal and state agencies and private foundations. These faculty members admit and/or hire qualified graduate students to assist with their research projects. The number of RA positions available and prior training required vary each year. We recommend that graduate applicants contact their prospective faculty advisor(s) directly to inquire about available research funding and opportunities.

Tuition and Fee Waivers

Students with teaching or research assistantships of 25-67% or fellowships of at least $5,000 per semester are eligible to receive a full waiver of tuition and most fees.

Graduate College Fellowships

The UIUC Graduate College offers a variety of competitive fellowships for incoming and continuing students each year, including the Illinois Distinguished Fellowship, Graduate College Fellowships for underrepresented students, and the ASPIRE fellowship for underrepresented students, and the Block Grant Fellowship.

Geography & GIS Graduate Fellowships

George Beatty Fellowship

Created by the George Beatty trust to honor geography graduate students.

Charles S. Alexander Graduate Fellowship in Geography

Created by the late Professor Charles S. Alexander, who taught in the department from 1953 until his retirement in 1986, to help promote the completion of doctoral dissertations. Funds provided by a bequest from the estate of Professor Alexander and additional contributions from alumni and friends.

Joseph and Marion Russell Fellowship

Created in 1989 to honor the contributions of the Russell's to the department over four decades. Professor Joseph Russell was the first Head of the newly-established Department of Geography in 1945.

Marion G. Russell Fellowship in Geography

Established in 1991 by Joseph A. Russell to honor the memory of his late wife, Marion. Normally given to a continuing student to allow full concentration on coursework and thesis/dissertation completion.

Fred W. and Demetra Foster Fellowships

Up to four fellowships awarded competitively. Created in honor of Emeritus Professor Fred W. Foster and his late wife. Professor Foster taught at Illinois from 1949 to 1977.