Students who apply for financial assistance at the time of their first admission to the Department's graduate program are evaluated by the Graduate Studies Committee for admission and assistantships. Students whom the Committee considers suitable for appointment as assistants are recommended to the Head. A student who is in residence and applies for an assistantship for subsequent years is evaluated by the Graduate Studies Committee, whose recommendation is presented to the faculty for acceptance or rejection. With good academic and assistantship duty performance, aid is normally available for subsequent years of study according to the following guidelines.

The Department normally expects students on one-third or four-ninths time assistantship appointments to complete their Ph.D. degree requirements in four years. Therefore, students are eligible for up to four years (8 semesters excluding summers) of assistantship support during their first four years of residence. Continuation of assistantships is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress toward degree objectives as discussed in Section N below. Note that continuation of funding for the 4th year (7th and 8th semester) normally will be restricted to those students who have successfully been Admitted to Candidacy by the end of their 5th semester in the doctoral program. Exceptions to these guidelines may be considered on an individual basis.

The Graduate Studies Committee selects those students it considers most qualified for Graduate School Awards and, in consultation with those students, prepares and submits their applications to enter the competition.