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Graduate Support


Investing in the Success of our Future

We value the importance of high-impact, hands-on education and want to help graduate students achieve their goals through assistantships, fellowships, grants and financial aid. Because of generous support from our alumni, friends and industry partners, we are able to offer qualified students options to support their education. 

Full-time graduate students appointed to any assistantship of at least $8,000 per year are also placed into the Graduate Student Support Plan, which covers all tuition and health insurance premiums on behalf of the student. However, under this plan, out-of-state tuition is only paid the first year of study.  

The best place to start looking for financial support is through the NC State Graduate School. Browse fellowship and grant opportunities on their website. Additional financial aid is also available through University Financial Aid, which can fill in the gaps between educational expenses and available assets.

We help our students pursue their passions.

More than 70% of on-campus students receive funding, including tuition and health insurance.

Available Opportunities

Applying for an assistantship is simple. When filling out your Graduate School Application, check the box to request consideration for financial assistance. Documents submitted with your application will be used to assess merit.

Research Assistantships are often awarded to graduate students interested in working on current research projects. Keep in mind that grant cycles do not necessarily coincide with application deadlines, so many opportunities are filled from the current application and student pool. For questions about specific research opportunities and available funding, contact Forestry and Environmental Resources Faculty members about their individual projects.

Ongoing Funding Opportunities

  • Camcore Stipends: awarded to graduate students who conduct international research focused on furthering our knowledge about tropical and subtropical forest species.
  • Forest Productivity Cooperative Assistantships: awarded to outstanding graduate students working with the Forest Productivity Cooperative on specific areas of research.
  • Gunnar and Lillian Nicholson Graduate Fellowships: awarded to Swedish graduate foresters studying forest genetics and forest management at NC State. Recipients receive funding for five years to earn a doctoral degree, including a $24,000 annual stipend plus all tuition, student fees and health insurance. Students also receive round-trip airfare once per year for travel to Sweden to promote the Nicholson exchange program. For more information, contact Erin Sills.
  • Tree Improvement Program Assistantships: awarded to graduate students working closely with the Tree Improvement Program on specific research, including genetic variation studies, modeling and development of breeding strategies, testing and selection, seed orchard management and the use of clonal propagation in breeding.

One-Time Funding Opportunities


  • M.S. or Ph.D. Assistantship in Coupled Human-Natural Systems: The Kern Group is looking to fill multiple funded graduate student positions (Ph.D. is preferred) to conduct highly interdisciplinary and innovative research on complex emergent risks in coupled natural-human systems. Our research is broadly focused, bridging electric power systems and water resource systems analysis, environmental science, and finance/economics. Requirements: A quantitative background (natural sciences, math, statistics, engineering or economics) is strongly preferred. Applicants should have at least six months (or one semester) experience in computer programming (e.g., Matlab, Python, R, C++, etc.). Interest in doing computational work is more important than skill (the goal is to get a lot better, but you have to want to). Students from under-represented groups (e.g., women, minorities) are especially encouraged to apply. Compensation: For Ph.D. applicants, three years of full tuition and living stipend ($25,000 per year research assistantship) are guaranteed.  For master’s students, two years of support are guaranteed. If interested, please send an email with a letter of introduction, CV and a statement of research interests to Jordan Kern.
  • Tropical Forest Ecology PhD Assistantship. Seeking a motivated PhD student to conduct forest ecology research in Mexico. The project will build on existing connections with community managed forests, and could include a focus on regeneration dynamics, resprouting ecology and coppice management, biodiversity, forest restoration, and/or climate resilience. The position is funded for three years and includes a graduate stipend, tuition, and health insurance. Ideal start date in January 2022 or September 2022. Applicants must be proficient in Spanish. Desired qualifications: an undergraduate or graduate degree in forestry, botany, ecology, plant science, biology or a related field; experience conducting field research; classwork or experience analyzing data in program R; interest in forest ecology and silviculture. To apply, send, via e-mail attachment, a brief letter of interest and CV including GPA and contact information for three references to Meredith Martin ( Materials should be sent by September 30, 2021.
  • Human Dimensions and Community Forestry PhD Assistantship to work on the NSF project “Influence of Community Forestry on the Dynamics of the Integrated Socio-Environmental Systems,” beginning in fall 2022. The project focuses on the relationships between community forestry in Nepal and (a) the social capital and livelihoods of communities, (b) rural out-migration, and (c) land use decisions, including the role of community forestry in moderating the effects of COVID-19. The selected student will work on household surveys in Nepal, data analysis, and publications. Qualifications: M.S. in forestry, natural resources, environment and development economics, social sciences or related degree. The successful candidate should be a highly motivated to work with an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional team and have strong analytical and communication skills. Field experience with social surveys and research experience in economics, social sciences, or human dimensions are preferred. The research assistantship covers tuition, health insurance and a $26,000 annual stipend for three years. The selected student may participate in fieldwork in Nepal during one or more summers. How to Apply: submit an expression of interest to Dr. Erin Sills ( and Dr. Rajan Parajuli ( This should include a cover letter describing your research experience and interests, a resume including names of three references, and unofficial B.S. and M.S. transcripts and GRE scores. Students from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. The position will remain open until filled. Expressions of interest will be reviewed starting October 15, 2021 and continue on a rolling basis.
  • Forest Biometrics MS assistantship: Dr. Leah Rathbun is looking to fill a funded M.S. position to conduct research in one of the oldest bald cypress groves here in North Carolina. This project will focus on using Sonar and LiDAR to evaluate tree biomass both above and below the water table. This position requires a strong foundation and interest in statistics, big data, data analysis and modeling. An undergraduate degree in natural resources or the geosciences is a benefit but not required. Field work will include boating through cypress swamps. Funding will include two years of tuition , fees, benefits, and an annual stipend of $25,000. Two semesters will require teaching assistantship duties in a basic field measurements course. The position will begin January 2022. If interested, please send an email with a letter of introduction, resume/cv, and a statement of why you are interested in the position to Dr. Leah Rathbun (
  • Population Genomics of Urban Raccoons PhD assistantship: The Kierepka Laboratory combines genomic and bioinformatic analyses to investigate the effects of environmental heterogeneity on wild animal populations. The PhD student will lead an evolutionary and population genomics study of urban raccoons across the United States. Competitive stipend, tuition and health benefits provided. Please submit a letter of interest, CV, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for three potential references as a single pdf document to Dr. Liz Kierepka ( Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. Applications will be evaluated as they arrive, but final deadline is October 20, 2021. Interviews will begin in early November. Qualifications: M.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology, Genetics/Genomics, Zoology, Biology, or related fields. Interest in pursuing genomic questions in wildlife is a must; the majority of work is laboratory-based for projects in my lab. Previous experience with genomic or genetic methods methods including DNA extraction, PCR, general wet laboratory skills, and genomic analysis are desirable. Although familiarity with bioinformatics and molecular techniques are desirable for this position, previous experience in all areas is not required.


  • Global Change Fellows Program: This program is designed to train the next generation of global change scientists by providing financial, scientific, and professional development support for graduate students who are interested in multi-disciplinary research. They come together across disciplines to discover, collaborate, and share their knowledge with diverse stakeholders. Additionally, students need to be dedicated to making the science related to climate change better, where better means more true, of a greater impact, or, as our land grant mission dictates, more ethical and just. This program is sponsored by the DOI Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center and NC State University. Applicants must be an NC State master’s or Ph.D. student and nominated by a SE CASC Faculty Affiliate. The nomination process begins in January of each year. To learn more, view the Global Change Fellows page.

Funding for Current Students

  • Bruce and Barbara Zobel Endowment for International Forestry Studies: awarded to graduate students traveling outside the U.S. to study silviculture and production forestry. A committee grants $8,000 per year for a variety of activities like workshops, conferences, internships and research. This endowment encourages forestry students to gain an international perspective by obtaining first-hand experience with forestry in diverse environments around the world. For more information, contact Rachel Cook.
  • Laarman International Gift Fund: awarded to graduate students conducting creative and important international research in Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife Science, or Natural Resources. Awards are between $500 and $5,000. For more information, contact Rachel Cook.

North Carolina Residency

NC State is a public land-grant institution that receives money each year from the state of North Carolina. In return for this support, the university is required to provide affordable education for NC residents and to maintain extension and other outreach programs that benefit the people and communities of our state. This means that there is a significant difference between tuition for NC residents and non-residents, and a strong financial incentive to establish in-state residency as a graduate student.