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Graduate Financial Assistance

Graduate school can be expensive. Take advantage of the financial aid opportunities provided for you by Illinois State University. These opportunities can be found Illinois State Graduate website. They include Graduate Assistantships, tuition waivers, scholarships and fellowships, on-campus and off-campus employment, and loans. Additional information concerning financial aid can be found on the ISU Financial Aid website.

Several awards that are specific to the Mathematics department are the following:

Also search through these external links for scholarships, fellowships, and loans for graduate students through Michigan State University and Cornell University.

For more information, contact:

Graduate Assistantships for Master's and Ph.D. students

Graduate and Doctoral students may receive an assistantship, which includes a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend, in return for work in teaching, research, or other duties. Every student in good standing is eligible to apply for a Graduate Assistantship. You may apply for any assistantship in any department at ISU, but you will likely have the greatest chance for success by applying for a mathematics assistantship. In the semester when you hold a Graduate Assistantship you receive the following:

You’ll also earn important practical experience and can create lifelong professional bonds with faculty members and industry professionals.

Applications for Graduate Assistantships begin at ISU Jobs website. Mathematics GA opportunities will be under the Mathematics department. Information about closing dates for these positions are listed on this website. The application for GA positions open in January for Fall semesters and August for Spring semesters. There may be more GA positions open throughout different times of the year and we ask that you check regularly. Ph.D students will apply for the "Doctoral Graduate Teaching Assistant" and master’s students will apply for the "Master’s Graduate Teaching Assistant."

In order to apply for a position, you will have to create an application account through Human Resources at Illinois State University. This is all located on the same website. Materials that you will need when applying are your resume, cover letter, reference list, and letters of recommendations. No standard recommendation form is used, but letters should address academic ability and ability to communicate mathematics.

If you are an international student the rules/laws for your visa status may place limits on your employment eligibility. Students are responsible for knowing and following all applicable visa status rules/laws. If you are not certain whether your visa status allows you to accept an assistantship or additional work hours, contact the Office of International Studies and Programs immediately for clarification at (309) 438-5276. The University cannot grant exceptions to visa status rules/laws.

Please find information on student health insurance through ISU here.

  • a tuition waiver covering 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
  • a stipend during the Fall and Spring semesters of approximately
  • For Master's Students:
    • fixed amount of $1300 per month for .50FTE assistantship (20 hours per week for 9 months)
    • fixed amount of $650 per month for .25FTE assistantship (10 hours per week for 9 months)
  • For Ph.D. Students:
    • starting at $1480 per month for a 9 months
  • partial coverage under the University's health plan
  • (if your assistantship is for a fall or spring semester) a tuition waiver for up to 12 credit hours for the summer after the semester in which you hold an assistantship.
  • key access to a office, math student lounge, and Stevenson Hall
  • a shared office with a desk for each GA and one desktop computer
  • access to office materials from the mathematics storage room
  • access to free printing in math student lounge up to 500 sheets per semester


Graduate Tuition Waiver

The Mathematics Department is allocated a limited amount of tuition waiver dollars to award to students who are fully admitted into one of the Department's graduate program. To be eligible, a student must be:

  • Fully admitted into a Masters or the Doctoral program in the Mathematics Department as a degree seeking student.
  • Taking classes that lead to a Mathematics graduate degree. (Only these courses can be covered by a tuition waiver.)
  • Students with an established ISU GPA must maintaing a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Students without a graduate ISU GPA must have a minimum of 3.0 for the last 60 hrs. of undergraduate GPA.

See the Graduate Student Aid website for an application form and more information about a tuition waiver.


Mathematics Master's Award

  • Academic promise
  • Leadership promise
  • Strong character.
  • Anticipated Award: $ 2,000

This award was established in honor of the ISU Mathematics Department faculty who supported the masters students during the late 1960s through the early 1970s. The Master’s Award will be given to a student enrolled in the M.S. or M.A. program in pure or applied mathematics, statistics, or secondary mathematics education in the Department of Mathematics at ISU.


Criteria for Selection:

  • Awardees must be full time students in a master’s program in the Department of Mathematics at ISU.
  • Awardees must be enrolled in either pure or applied mathematics, statistics, or secondary mathematics education at ISU.


Bonnie Litwiller Scholarship

(awarded at the ISU department level) This award was established by Dr. Bonnie H. Litwiller,who earned her bachelor's degree from ISU in 1959 and her masters in 1960, then earned her Ed.D. from Indiana University in 1968. As a professor at Northern Iowa University, Dr. Litwiller had a distinguished career as a mathematics educator, co-authoring over 900 journal articles and editing 26 books for NCTM.

Dr. Litwiller's devotion and dedication to improving mathematics teaching is perpetuated through this scholarship to benefit students with at least 60 credit hours pursuing an undergraduate degree in Secondary Mathematics Education. This scholarship is to be used for educational expenses. This award is typically made at the $2,000 level.


Mathematics Department Ph.D. Bursary Award

Eligibility: Applicants must be admitted to the Ph.D. Program in Mathematics Education, must have a minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.85, and must be able to demonstrate financial need during the summer of the award.
Terms: This is a one-time award of an amount to be determined by the Department (typically $1,000), to be used during the summer of the award period.
Submission Instructions: Carefully complete all items on this application. Submit the completed application by May 15 of the current year to The Department Chair, Mathematics Department, Campus Box 4520, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4520.

Mathematics Department Ph.D. Bursary Award .


Phares O'Daffer Graduate Fellowship in Mathematics

The Phares O'Daffer Graduate Fellowship in Mathematics was established in 2003 by Phares and Harriet O'Daffer. Phares is a retired mathematics faculty member, and Harriet is a homemaker. Both are alumni of Illinois State, and they have three children. The fellowship is awarded to a student enrolled in the Ph.D. Mathematics Education Program.

Learn more about the fellowship