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The major source of support for graduate students in mathematics is the teaching assistantship.  There are also awards such as Chancellor Fellowships, Dryzer Awards, PEER and research assistantships available through the department to a few students. Mathematics students may also compete for J. Wallace & Katie Dean, National Alumni Association, and minority fellowships which are administered directly by the Graduate School and which may be combined with a graduate teaching position. There are 74 graduate students in mathematics being supported by assistantships or fellowships in the Fall Semester of 2016.  Faculty grants and contracts from NIH, NSF, and Oak Ridge National Laboratories also support several graduate students in the Department of Mathematics.


There are two levels of graduate teaching positions in the Department of Mathematics. The Graduate Teaching Assistantship is awarded to graduate students who have completed fewer than 18 semester hours of graduate mathematics courses. The Graduate Teaching Associateship is awarded to graduate students who have completed 18 or more semester hours of graduate mathematics courses and who have one year's experience as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (or the equivalent). Teachers in both categories are referred to as GTA's. The normal teaching load for a GTA is 10 semester hours per academic year (this requires an average of 5 classroom contact hours per week). All students receiving a minimum of 25% time GTA award, will also receive student insurance as part of their assistantship.

Students with advanced knowledge of computer systems and software may be awarded a temporary (1 or 2 semester) position with our Mathematics Computer Lab.  These positions will carry the same privileges as the standard assistantship award, and will convert to a regular teaching assistantship,  provided sufficient academic progress is made within the program.

The value of the GTA award varies with experience, academic level, and some other factors. The 2016-2017 stipend for a Graduate Teaching Assistant is $16,000; the stipend for a Graduate Teaching Associate is $17,268. In addition to the stipend, tuition and maintenance fees are paid for the academic year and the following summer term. The value of the tuition and fee remissions is (approximately) $5522 per semester for Tennessee residents and $14616 per semester for students from outside of the state. The remitted tuition and maintenance fees are nontaxable. The only fees which must be paid by the GTA at registration is the Facilities, Technology, University Programs and Services Fee of $895 - $1212 per semester (based on in-state or out-of-state and fulltime or partime status). GTA stipends are usually increased each year by a cost of living raise. There is an additional increase for students who have passed the comprehensive examination for the Ph.D. degree. Stipends are often augmented by fellowship or grant money for exceptionally well qualified students. Senior PhD students are provided a summer departmental fellowship to support research towards finishing their dissertation. Other summer University funding opportunities are also available.

Students who are awarded a GTA position can expect to receive continued support as long as academic progress is maintained and teaching or other assigned responsibilities are met (typically 5-6 years for the PhD). Students who require a reduced teaching load with less compensation in order to maintain good academic progress will be accommodated.

Applications received before February 1st will receive primary consideration on a competitive basis for new GTA positions for the following academic year. Awards may be made as early as February 1 for outstanding applicants. Applications received after February 1st will be considered for GTA positions remaining after the initial awards have been made.


As an applicant for an assistantship, you are automatically considered for fellowships that are available from the Science Alliance or Dryzer Teaching Fellowship Awards. These fellowships are awarded to outstanding students each year by the Department of Mathematics


These fellowships are administered directly by Graduate Student Services, and may be awarded either alone or in conjunction with departmental awards above. For further information, write directly to Graduate School, 111 Student Services Bldg., University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 or view their web site at


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Graduate School is accepting applications for a graduate fellowship designed to promote the educational and related benefits of a diverse graduate student body. This fellowship will provide financial support to first-time enrolled graduate students demonstrating significant potential to contribute to the educational mission of the Graduate School by presenting one or more of a wide range of diverse attributes. The Graduate School seeks to recruit, enroll, and retain qualified students who will benefit from educational and social interactions with peers who come from different backgrounds and who have different life experiences, perspectives, and goals. The Fellowship Application priority deadline is available on The Graduate School web site.


The Program for Excellence & Equity in Research (PEER) is an initiative to increase the number of exceptional underrepresented students in pursuit of PhD.s in STEM disciplines at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. PEER seeks to advance a Ph.D student’s competitiveness and interest in their chosen career field by offering professional development, ambitious research and impactful mentoring opportunities.

PEER supports incoming PhD students for the first two years by offering students a 25,000/year stipend plus tuition, professional/personal development opportunities and an inclusive and encouraging atmosphere. After PEER scholars advance past their first two years, they’ll have leadership training, advanced research skills, a plan to completing their PhD in a timely fashion and much more. More information may be found on their web site.



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last updated: October 2016

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