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Students admitted to the Ph.D. program will be offered a full funding package for their studies. Typically, the offer entails 5 years of funding that includes a stipend, tuition, as well as health and dental benefits. Support is usually offered in the form of a Graduate Student Instructorship (GSI). Offers often contain a stipend for the first 3 summers. After that, Ph.D. students are expected to find external funding through a GSRA appointment, summer GSI teaching, external internships, or jobs on campus.
Students admitted to the Master's program are expected to secure their own financial support. A student may fund his/her education through personal funds, loans, financial aid, fellowships, or through employment at the University. The University of Michigan establishes standard student budgets each year to help students plan how they will pay for their graduate program. Master's students are encouraged to seek employment opportunities in other academic departments and around campus.
Types of Funding
GRADUATE STUDENT INSTRUCTORSHIP (GSI)
GSIs have an extremely important role in teaching undergraduate students at the University of Michigan. GSIs are generally in charge of teaching a small section connected to larger introductory Mathematics course, tutoring in the Math lab, grading, and holding office hours which can include one-to-one teaching.
Mathematics Graduate Student Instructor Teacher Training Program
All new GSIs in the Department of Mathematics are required to attend a week-long training hosted by the Introductory Coordinators and the Center for Research Learning and Training. The Teacher Training Program is held the week prior to the start of the term.
Additional Language (English) Proficiency Requirements
Prospective GSIs whose undergraduate education was at an institution in which the language of instruction was not English are required to attend a 3 week intensive teacher training (ELI 994) in the summer prior to starting their program. The final evaluation is a performance test that consists of four tasks that assess a candidate's competence and effectiveness in the type of communication typically used by GSIs at the University of Michigan. The test evaluates proficiency at the high intermediate to advanced level. The tasks and evaluation criteria of the Graduate Student Instructor Oral English Test (GSI OET) also serve as diagnostic tools to identify linguistic strengths and weaknesses so that additional training can be given.
GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH ASSISTANTSHIP (GSRA)
GSRA positions are funded by faculty through their research grants. Students secure GSRA appointments on their own, usually through their research advisor. The duties of a GSRA will vary based on the faculty member who is supporting the position. It is the students' responsibility to ensure research work is progressing steadily. Other information regarding GSRA appointments may be found here: https://hr.umich.edu/working-u-m/my-employment/academic-human-resources/graduate-student
There are many fellowship opportunities for graduate students and doing your homework regarding deadlines and requirements is key. Most fellowship opportunities are available only to PhD students however, master's students are also eligible for certain fellowships. There are two categories of fellowships: internal, those from within the University, and external, those that originate from organizations or individuals that are not directly associated with the University.
Internal/U of M Fellowships
The source for internal fellowships can originate from the department or the Rackham Graduate School. Some of these fellowships require a nomination from the department while others have a self nomination process. Other available internal fellowships can be found on our funding resources webpage here. Email notifications and instructions are also sent to eligible students as award deadlines approach.
Students in the Mathematics department regularly receive external fellowships, such as the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Students apply for external fellowships on their own and the department is not involved in the process. The selection for these awards is handled through an external organization and students interested in applying must take the initiative to do so. Students may have secured an external fellowship at time of application, at admission, or even after admission. Other available internal fellowships can be found on our funding resources webpage here.
Payment, Insurance, and Tax Information
When a student gets paid depends on three things:
- completion of employment paperwork (including background checks)
- enrollment in the appropriate number of credits
- type of position
GSRAs and GSIs must be enrolled in at least 6 credits to be considered full time and receive pay. Fellowship students must be enrolled in at least 8 credits to be considered full time and receive pay. Each time a student changes position, it is likely there will be a change in the payment schedule and how income taxes are handled. Students are responsible for understanding the pay schedule and taxation rules. GSRAs and GSIs are paid on the last full business day of the month. Students on Rackham fellowships are paid on the fourth Monday of each month.
International students are not required to pay income taxes if their home country maintains a Tax Treaty with the United States and the student submits the proper form to claim an exemption. International students should consult the International Center website to understand their rights and responsibilities for U.S. Taxes. Please note if taxes are paid when it is not required students will not be given a refund.
GSIs must fill out employment paperwork before beginning work. Domestic students can complete their hiring paperwork online. International students will complete their paperwork with the math-grad-office. All new hires must have their identification verified for their I9 form.
The pay rate for GSRAs and GSIs is dependent on the percentage of the appointment and the academic year. Most appointments in the Mathematics department are a 50% appointment. The current year's payrate can be found on this Academice Human Resources webpage. Please note that the rates for the upcoming academic year are usually not determined until late July or early August.
GSIs, GSRAs, and Rackham fellowship students are provided with GradCare health insurance and the UM dental plan Dental Option I at no cost. However, benefits eligibility and enrollment must be reinstated each time a change in funding occurs; therefore, it is important for students to check their benefits elections on Wolverine Access each time their funding mechanism changes. Please visit the Benefits Office website for additional information on health benefit options, procedures, and deadlines. Students who elect additional benefits (e.g., Dental Option II or the Vision Plan) are responsible for paying the monthly co-pay associated with those additional benefits. For students who are funded as a GSRA or GSI status, those co-pays are automatically deducted from stipend payments. For fellows, the co-pay is charged to the student via the student account and the student receives an e-bill.
UNIVERSITY HEALTH SERVICE
Currently enrolled U-M students have few expenses at UHS, because they are charged a health service fee as part of tuition. This fee covers most services at UHS. "Currently enrolled UM student" means a student who is currently taking regular classes on the Ann Arbor campus.For additional information visit the University Health Services website.