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Auburn University

Graduate Program


Our Department currently has +120 graduate students in residence (46% Masters, 54% Ph.D).  Many students are supported on graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs), which provide 4 semesters of support for Master's students and 10 semesters of support for Ph.D. students. Students also may receive graduate research assistantships (GRAs). GTAs holding at least a 25%-time assistantship also receive tuition waivers from the Graduate School, as do the majority of students on GRAs, in the form of Graduate Research Fellowships. All GTAs and GRAs are competitive and support is subject to economic conditions.

Applicants may choose 1 of the following 2 options regarding faculty "sponsorship" of their graduate program:

1) “Laboratory Rotations” Option (especially for Microbiology/Molecular Biology/Cell Biology Applicants), in which the student engages in research activity under the supervision of at least 2 consenting faculty ("rotational professors") during the student's first semester. At the end of the first semester the student matriculates into 1 of the rotational professors' laboratories, a time when that rotational professor officially becomes the Graduate Advisor (Major Professor). It is not necessary for the applicant to contact faculty if they choose laboratory rotations, as prospective rotational professors will be contacted by the Graduate Program Officer. However, the applicant is invited to suggest names of professors with whom they wish to do lab rotations.


2) “Primary Sponsorship” Option (especially for Ecology/Evolution/Physiology/ Organismal Biology Applicants), in which the student immediately joins a professor's laboratory and begins his/her research program, and the professor agrees to sponsor the student and serve as Graduate Advisor (Major Professor). In this case, the student typically contacts a prospective Graduate Advisor directly (usually by email) prior to formal admission, and inquires about the possibility of sponsorship. Applicants should consult the departmental website for more information about potential Graduate Advisors. Please note that a consenting Graduate Advisor must be identified before the applicant is considered for admission.

To ensure adequate time for financial aid consideration (GTA or GRA) applications are due at least 6 months prior to the first semester of enrollment (e.g., by Feb 1 for Fall enrollment ). If possible, we recommend an on campus interview. There are normally many applications for available positions, and interviews are helpful in making final decisions. Interviews also allow the applicant to meet with prospective advisors, graduate students, and to see our facilities. Funding is available on a competitive basis to prospective students, for travel from within the continental U.S. to visit the department for interviews. Arrangements for interviews can be scheduled either through the faculty contact person, through the departmental Graduate Program Officer (Dr. Mary Mendonca,