M.S. Financial Support

CSUN has many opportunities to help support you financially during your studies at CSUN.

  1. Teaching Associates/Graduate Assistants are available in the Department of Biology each Semester. A Teaching Associate is the instructor of writ for undergraduate laboratory classes, i.e., the TA is the person who is actually teaching the lab. TAs are supervised by a faculty member, and the faculty and staff work to prepare the TAs in a course. This part-time instructor position is usually for one, two or three laboratory sections, and is given one semester at a time. Graduate Assistants help prepare and clean up, and in some cases, GAs participate in laboratory activities under the supervision of a faculty member. Assignments of five, ten, fifteen, or twenty hours per week are offered depending on the requirements of each course. TA and GA assignments are awarded based on GPA, recommendations, experience in various subjects, and graduate status (Conditionally Classified versus Classified status). Students who are in Classified Status will receive priority over Conditionally Classified students. Students holding assistantships for 6 semesters will have the lowest priority in assignment of future positions. The number of positions available varies each semester. The application can be completed here. Positions are usually filled about 4 to 5 weeks before the start of each semester.
  2. Financial Aid: Students requiring personal financial support to help offset the cost of their education should consult the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department (Tel. 818-677-4085). This office can provide you with information on sources of aid from grants, work study opportunities, scholarships, and loans. Students applying and receiving financial aid should review the Policies on Satisfactory Academic Progress. In particular note that students that exceed 125% of the program unit requirements are no longer eligible for financial aid. Therefore, in the Biology MS program, graduate students are not eligible for financial aid beyond 40 units.
  3. The Office of Graduate Studies maintains a list of financial opportunities.
    1. Graduate Equity Fellowship Program: $4500 per year (up to 2 years) for students aspiring to pursue a doctorate degree for entry into a teaching and research career.
    2. Thesis/Project/Performance Support Program: $1000 support for costs associated with research such as travel, supplies, minor equipment, and library searches.
    3. Graduate Student Travel Awards: Up to $400 is available for student travel to conferences to present their research.
    4. California Pre-Doctoral Program: Provides funds to help CSU students with economic and educational disadvantages to enter doctoral programs at University of California campuses.
    5. Other students awards such as the Association of Retired Faculty Memorial Award and the Nathan O. Freedman Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduate Student are given every spring.
  4. The Department of Biology has a number of Competitive Scholarships and Awards up to about $1500 available for graduate student. Many of these awards are nominated by faculty. Other awards require students to submit applications near the end of each spring semester. Consult the department website at Scholarships/Awards for information and deadlines for these awards. Amounts and availability of some of these awards depends on availability of funding.
  5. The College of Science and Mathematics offers Graduate Fellowships for Outstanding Promise in Research in Science and Mathematics. The award is $5000 with applications due each spring.
  6. The Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) program is a special training program funded by the National Institute of Health. The program offers funding to cover tuition and fees, research expenses and hourly wages for research in the lab. Information on applying to this program is available at
  7. CSUN-UCLA Bridges to Stem Cell Research Program offers 6 internship positions each year for students to interested in stem cell research. The program covers tuition (up to $5000) and a stipend ($2500 per month) during the period of the internship.
  8. National funding agencies, professional societies and some foundations often provide prestigious fellowships and awards for graduate study. For example the National Funding Agency (NSF) offers fellowships of $30,000 stipend per year, with $10,500 cost of education allowance, and another $1000 for one time travel expenses. Professional societies often have small research grants and awards to help support graduate research. Consult with your advisor on which research agencies, societies, or foundations may be able to help support your graduate studies.
  9. Some faculty provide Research Assistantships funded through external grants for their research program. Consult with your advisor about possibilities of a Research Assistantship.