Funding and Assistantships

Tuition Costs

When a graduate student is hired on an assistantship, their tuition is assessed at the resident tuition rate. Any enrolled student will be charged tuition and fees. Students on assistantship are responsible for paying their fees and any remaining tuition not covered from the assistantship. Find the total cost of attendance here.


All qualified applicants will be considered for these funding options. We use the admission application for assistantships, so a separate application is not required for assistantships. Master of Engineering students are not eligible for assistantships.

The majority of our graduate students are supported through research assistantships and/or fellowships. Most offers of admission include an offer of financial assistance. Teaching assistantships are determined by the Graduate Committee. If a faculty member has funding and space in their research group, they may make offers for research assistantships from the group of applicants deemed eligible by the Graduate Committee.

  • A research assistantship is provided to students from a faculty member (major professor) from his or her research grant or contract. Students on research assistantships are expected to perform research and other related activities as directed by their major professor towards the fulfillment of the grant requirements.
  • A teaching assistantship is given to the student from the department to assist in teaching responsibilities. This can include grading or running the lab portion of a course. Some advanced students are given the responsibility of teaching a course.
  • All assistantships are contingent on satisfactory performance of assigned duties and progression towards degree as well as availability of funds.
  • Master’s applicants will be considered for 1/2 time research or teaching assistantship with a stipend of $2350 per month, 50% tuition scholarship, and graduate assistant tuition rate (in-state tuition rate) for remaining tuition.
  • Doctoral applicants will be considered for 1/2 research or teaching assistantship with a stipend ranging from $2350 to $2450 per month and 100% tuition scholarship.

To learn more about the benefits of assistantships, please visit the Graduate College website.

Scholarships and Fellowships

The Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, and Iowa State University provide fellowships and scholarships to outstanding applicants, including outstanding underrepresented minority and women applicants. Many of these fellowships provide financial supplements to a research or teaching assistantship.