Funding Opportunities

Graduate School admission does not automatically assure the availability of financial support, although the Director(s) of Graduate Study and by the Graduate Advisory Committee try to ensure that students admitted will receive financial support for a majority of their standard-length graduate program.

Financial assistance is most frequently in the form of research or teaching assistantships that are awarded to the best qualified applicants. Because research assistantships are generally funded through external research grants, their availability is difficult to predict and will vary with time. Duration of assistantships should be established at the time of the appointment.

Graduate students not on a regular assistantship may be supported by fellowships administered by the Graduate School or by non-University agencies, and some may be self-supporting. The same standards of performance and the same obligations to assist in teaching activities pertain to all LAAS graduate students irrespective of status of financial support.


  • An assistantship provides financial assistance through part-time academic employment. Assistants are paid a stipend and/or receive tuition remission (free tuition) in exchange for tasks they perform for a faculty member, the department or the college. Teaching assistantships provide financial aid in exchange for teaching activities, such as helping a professor by conducting lab or study groups, preparing lectures and grading. Research assistantships pay you to assist a professor with his or her research.
  • Most assistantships are driven by faculty research or teaching needs, so it is best to contact your advisor to find out what opportunities are available in your department. You can find out about assistantships in other University colleges and departments by visiting the Graduate Assistant Employment Office.


  • Unlike assistantships, fellowships generally do not require you to work in exchange for aid. Fellowships are based on academic merit and usually cover educational and living expenses. Currently enrolled graduate students may apply for University-wide fellowships and/or external funding opportunities.

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Soil, Water, and Climate Department Funds

Raymond Allmaras Graduate Fund: Provides support for a graduate student studying in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate. The Department Head, in consultation with the Scholarship Committee, will select the recipient in keeping with the academic standards and recruiting goals of the Department. Each award shall be for a period of one year, though a student may be awarded one-or multi-year support. Funds are available on a periodic basis. Contact the Director(s) of Graduate Studies for current information. 

Dr. C. William Zanner Fellowship: Provides payments to full-time graduate students enrolled in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate working toward a graduate degree and interested in participating in field-based educational experiences. Selection preference is given to older, returning students in good academic standing with exceptional potential in their field. Students are encouraged to share their learning and experience with peers and faculty of the department. Funds are available on a periodic basis. Contact the Director(s) of Graduate Studies for current information.

George Rehm Nutrient Management Fellowship: Two fellowships of $5,000 each are available to a graduate student in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate studying soils and soil fertility. Your advisor will need to apply for this funding on your behalf; talk to your advisor. Applications are due the first Monday in August. 

Philip C. Hamm Memorial Scholarship: A nonrenewable scholarship of up to $2,000 is available to qualified, currently-registered graduate students in the plant sciences and related disciplines from the Philip C. Hamm Memorial Scholarship Program. This is the most prestigious award in the plant sciences at the University of Minnesota. The award is highly competitive and the recipient is usually in the advanced stages of a PhD program, often with multiple refereed publications.

Howe Graduate Fund: Provides supplemental support for graduate student study in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate. 

CFANS Funding

CFANS Graduate Student Board Grants: all CFANS graduate students are eligible to apply.

  • Research Grant
  • Travel & Conference Grant
  • Community Events & Projects Grant

Other CFANS Funding Opportunities

Hueg-Harrison Fellowship: Awarded to recognize the student/mentor relationship that evolves during the pursuit of an MS or PhD in production (applied) agriculture. The recipients are called Hueg-Harrison Fellows. Eligible students shall be pursuing research in production/applied agriculture, broadly defined. One student may be nominated by each department. A committee of Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) will select the recipients. The amount of the awards varies yearly.

University Funding