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Financial Aid and Graduate Stipends


SoMAS offers full tuition scholarships and stipends to virtually all entering students in the research based M.S. and Ph.D. programs. Students are generally brought in on teaching assistantships and after their first year, transferred to research assistantships. The table below lists the recommended salary levels for the 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 academic years for entering M.S. students, entering Ph.D. students, Ph.D. students who have passed their comprehensive exams, and Ph.D. students who have advanced to candidacy. Actual stipend levels for individual students depends on availability of funds on grants. Students can earn up to $30,000 on specific fellowships. All SoMAS M.S. and Ph.D. students in good standing can expect full tuition support.


Recommended RA pay rates
Annual Rates 2015-2016 2013-2014
Incoming M.S. Student 25,000 23,500
Incoming Ph.D. Student 27,000 26,000
After comprehensive exam 27,500 27,000
Advanced to candidacy 28,500 28,000


Information for M.A. in Marine Conservation & Policy students, and non-supported M.S. students, about financial aid available from Stony Brook University is found here.


SoMAS has a variety of special awards available to graduate students. In addition to being eligible for a variety of programmatic awards, SoMAS students may also compete for the following awards:

  • The Pikitch Family Endowed Student Research Award
    The Pikitch Family Endowed Student Research Award is granted to MS students whose research proposal has been approved by their committee and PhD students who have passed their qualifying exam to support research projects.
  • The Evan R. Liblit Award
    The Evan R. Liblit Award is granted to a student at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. This is awarded to students conducting research on contaminants, waste management, or environmental issues.
  • Graduate Council Fellowships
    Graduate Council Fellowships are awarded to exceptional entering graduate students who are U.S. citizens. They provide five years of stipend support.
  • The Jerry R. Schubel Graduate Fellowship
    The Jerry R. Schubel Graduate Fellowship is awarded to outstanding SoMAS graduate students whose research theses and public outreach proposals best exemplify the principals embodied in Jerry Schubel’s vision of a marine scientist in contemporary society.
  • Turner Fellowships
    W. Burghart Turner Fellowships are awarded to outstanding incoming graduate students who have made a significant contribution to increasing inclusion of students of Hispanic, African American, or Native American descent into the professoriate. They provide a stipend for up to five years.
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