Master of Science &
Doctor of Philosophy
Graduate Student Information
Quick links to Graduate Student Resources:
Welcome to the Graduate Student Section of the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University. This department places a high priority on graduate education and offers a wide array of research topics.
Our graduate students come from many states and many countries around the world. You are encouraged to communicate with your fellow graduate students in order to benefit from their experiences. Graduate students are a vital component of our department. You, as a graduate student, will become junior colleagues who gain experience in both the classroom and laboratory, increase the department's research capability, and most importantly, bring new dimensions to its work. The real strength of our graduate program is the close interaction between graduate students and faculty members. The faculty are dedicated to the students' professional development and lifetime friendships that span social and national boundaries. We invite you to join our team.
This web site will provide you with some essential information to help you get your graduate student career at WSU off to a successful start. Refer to this site throughout your academic studies in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences. It is noted, however, that this information is not all inclusive and students must refer to other publications from the Office of the Graduate School and Washington State University for additional information.
Use the buttons at the top of this page or the menu to the left to learn more about the Natural Resource Sciences Graduate program.
Graduate Student Information
Financial support for graduate students is most commonly available in the form of either a teaching assistantship or research assistantship. If you have arrived at WSU without funding and wish to be considered for future funding opportunities, you should submit a written request to the Graduate Coordinator.
Teaching Assistantships. If you have been awarded a TA position, you will have already received a letter stating the terms of that appointment. Teaching assistantships are state-supported half time, nine-month positions available to students with strong academic records. Graduate students on teaching assistantships work approximately 20 hours per week in teaching laboratory sections, grading homework, or answering questions during office hours. Teaching assistants may aid in courses that are in their sub-discipline areas.
Teaching assistantships normally cover only the nine-month academic year; graduate students on teaching assistantships should work closely with their mentor to identify a research project and to move toward a research assistantship which releases departmental funding so that new incoming graduate students can be supported.
Research Assistantships. Stipends are also available for graduate research assistantships, in which the work conducted is on an externally funded research project. Research assistantships have been funded by external agencies such as the National Science Foundation or the Environmental Protection Agency to name a few. If you have been awarded an RA position upon admission, you will have already received a letter with information regarding the terms of that appointment and the faculty member who has agreed to provide funding. Graduate research assistantships are half-time appointments, and may, but not always, cover the summer months in addition to the academic year. In many cases, the results of the work are applied to the research assistant's thesis.
Hourly Wage Positions
The selection process for awarding graduate teaching and research assistantships is highly competitive. For students who are not awarded research or teaching assistantships, hourly wage positions may be available to provide partial financial support through the Department of Natural Resource Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Home Economics. Work closely with both the graduate coordinator and your academic mentor to keep abreast of future funding opportunities.
The department maintains a scholarship file and also posts information regarding job opportunities on the department bulletin boards and in room 130. Talk with Rod if you wish to pursue scholarships.
For highly qualified applicants, graduate fellowships are available from such agencies as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Graduate fellowships are highly competitive, but provide graduate students with a high degree of freedom to pursue creative research while in graduate school. Graduate applicants should work with the faculty to apply for such fellowships.
Registration Requirements Based Upon Level of Financial Support
Level of Financial Support Registration Requirements
Half-time employment (including all Teaching and Research Assistants, plus any half-time hourly wage students) Minimum of 10 credits. Students using departmental facilities during the summer are required to enroll for at least three graduate credits.
International Student Concerns
International graduate students in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences often have special concerns which may affect their course of study, finances, and length of stay in the United States. International students will find the Office of International Students and Scholars (108 Bryan Hall; 335-4508) a valuable resource in answering questions of concern. Some typical concerns of international graduate students are related to financial issues and these are described below.
Tuition. International students on research and teaching assistantships follow the same rules for payment of tuition as U.S. students. In other words, they can obtain a tuition waiver for up to one year, after which they must apply for a tuition waiver for the following year, although it is not guaranteed. If an international student is not supported on a teaching or research assistantship, they are required to pay out-of-state tuition.
Employment. Washington State University stresses that international students who are not funded on research and teaching assistantships should have sufficient funds available on entering the graduate program to complete their course of study. International graduate students should not plan on part-time employment as a means of support through graduate school.
If, however, a research or teaching assistantship becomes unavailable for an international student during their course of study and supplementary employment is necessary, the Student and Hourly Employment Office (141 French Administration; 335-1969) can aid in finding part-time work. Employment is limited to 20 hours or less for students enrolled in the graduate program.
Social Security Number. Any international student employed by WSU or a private business must obtain a social security number. Contact the Social Security Administration in Lewiston, Idaho (800-772-1213).
Taxes. International students who are employed in the United States are taxed the same as residents but file using different forms. Taxes are due on April 15. Most graduate students will find filing fairly simple; information and forms are available at the U.S. Post Office in the CUB.
Practical Training. Upon graduation, international students may remain in the United States for 12 months to obtain practical training. To apply for this status, a letter written by the student's advisor to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service is required. The International Students and Scholars Office can provide aid in applying for practical training.
NRS Graduate Student Directory
The Department of Natural Resource Sciences is dedicated to a positive learning and working environment. We value and are sensitive to human diversity to the broadest sense, and promote a learning/working climate that fosters understanding and respect for such diversity.