Graduate Student Funding


The WWU Financial Aid office determines graduate student aid eligibility, including work-study, via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Western's priority deadline is February 15 for eligibility starting the following Fall. For more information, please visit the Graduate School's financial aid & work-study page.  

You must indicate your interest in work-study on your FAFSA. If you qualify for work-study, you will serve as a graduate research assistant to faculty involved in research projects or as a departmental Lab Manager. The typical award amount for work-study is equivalent to approximately 8-15 hours of work per week during the academic year. We recommend contacting financial aid after you apply to request the maximum work-study possible. Please note that students may work on campus a maximum of 20 hours per week, regardless of role.

Teaching Assistantships (TA)
Teaching Assistantships are available in limited numbers. Assistantships are not available for off-campus programs. To be eligible for a TA position, you must have full admit status to the Graduate School (not provisional status) or, if a current student, be making satisfactory progress toward the degree. Teaching Assistants receive a stipend, a full or partial tuition waiver from the Graduate School, and health coverage.

Research Assistantships (RA)
Students should speak directly with a faculty member if they are interested in becoming a Research Assistant. Research Assistants receive a stipend paid from the Professor's research grants and may include Tuition reimbursement and/or health coverage.

WWU Scholarship Center
WWU offers a variety of scholarships at the Scholarship Center. Scholarship application materials are usually available beginning in January at Western's Scholarship Center.


The grants are usually governed by specific rules. All funds received through these sources must be spent according to Washington State regulations and requirements. Documentation must be approved in advance. Please see your academic department manager for guidance about the required paperwork. For a listing of WWU funding available for Graduate Students, visit the Graduate School website.

Department of Anthropology Research Funds
Contact the department chair for information regarding department funds.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers a variety of scholarships. Most applications require nomination by faculty in early April. Please visit the College website for current opportunities.

WWU Fund for the Enhancement of Graduate Research (via WWU RSP)
Designed to assist students in accomplishing their thesis/field project work. Awards may be made for equipment, computer software, consumable items, travel, etc. Requests should be confined to activities or equipment that are central to the student's thesis work and which are not available to the applicant through the Department. Any permanent equipment acquired using award funds remains University property. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs announces deadlines for applications.

Ross Travel Grant
Deadlines are Oct 1, Dec 15, March 15, and May 15. The funds are available to support travel for graduate students to present papers at professional meetings and conferences, to exhibit works of art at national and international showings, and to perform, direct or produce within professional performing arts venues.

Student Enhancement Fund
Seeks to give all WWU students access to funding to attend conferences, workshops, and other unique opportunities that enhance their educational experience and professional/personal development in ways that can contribute to positive change in our campus communities.


Many organizations offer grants to assist with your research. You must apply/meet the deadline requirements of each of their programs. Some of the grants listed are available to Graduate Students.
National Science Foundation Research Fellowships
•    NSF specialized information for graduate students
•    NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

Charitable Foundations, Professional/Community Organizations, and other scholarships
Many of the programs below provide grants only for nonprofit organizations, not individual students, so you would have to apply via WWU and with your Advisor/Thesis Chair. If one is of interest, review it with your Advisor/Thesis Chair. 
•    American Indian Graduate Center
•    Association on American Indian Affairs
•    Hispanic Scholarship Fund
•    Ruggles-Gates Fund for Biological Anthropology
•    American Association of Geographers - Student Travel Grant
•    Bullitt Environmental Fellowship
•    Seattle City Light Wildlife Research Grants Program
•    Washington Sea Grant