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.
  • Christmas Tree Genetics Awards: awarded to graduate students interested in Christmas tree breeding, propagation or pest resistance. For more information, contact Justin Whitehill.
  • 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.
  • M.S. Assistantship in Environmental and Developmental Economics: This assistantship is designed to support the interdisciplinary and international project, “Connections between Water and Rural Production: Socio-hydrological Systems on a Tropical Forest Frontier.” The student may pursue an M.S. in Forestry or an M.S. in Natural Resources, and may also become a student affiliate of the Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy. Required: econometrics or statistics and data management skills; coursework in microeconomics; ability to cooperate and communicate with an interdisciplinary and international team of scientists. Preferred: familiarity with STATA and ArcGIS; ability to read Portuguese (possibly based on knowledge of Spanish); interest in issues at the interface of environment and development, including tropical deforestation. Benefits: annual stipend of $20,000 for up to 2.5 years, tuition, health insurance, travel to participate in project meeting at partner university and to present results at a conference in the U.S. To apply: email an expression of interest and resume to Dr. Erin Sills; submit an application (including GRE scores and TOEFL if relevant) to the Graduate School at NC State. The position will remain open until filled.
  • M.S. Assistantship in Forestry Extension: The selected student will work as part of the Extension team and conduct research focused on the needs of forest landowners in North Carolina as related to Extension programming. In addition, the student will provide support in the development and delivery of Extension programming. The successful candidate will be highly motivated and have a demonstrable interest in Extension and the mission of the Land-grant University. Qualifications: B.S. in forestry, natural resources, agricultural sciences, social sciences or a related degree. A candidate with strong analytical and communication skills is preferred. The assistantship covers tuition, fees and a stipend for 12 months of the year.  Please submit a resume, unofficial B.S. transcript, GRE scores and a statement of research and Extension interests to Dr. Robert Bardon or Dr. Rajan Parajuli.
  • Forest Economics Graduate Assistantship:
    MS or PhD assistantship available to work on a project to evaluate spatial and economic determinants of stumpage prices for different forest types in the Southern U.S. If you have strong quantitative or econometric skills and an interest in studying forest resource and land use dynamics in the US South, please reach out so that we can discuss possibilities.  One year of funding available, potentially renewable, starting January or August 2021, including stipend, tuition and health benefits.
    Preferred skills: One degree in economics. Strong analytical and programming capabilities and the ability to build, manage, and analyze large datasets using statistical software (e.g., SAS, Python, Matlab, R, or Stata). Skilled in geospatial analysis, spatial data, and associated tools (e.g., ArcGIS, QGIS, etc.). Familiarity with USFS datasets such as the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) database and the Timber Products Output (TPO) database. To apply, please send your resume and transcripts to: Justin Baker, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, NC State. Formal acceptance will require admission to the Graduate School.


  • 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.
  • National Needs Fellowship Program: This is a fully-funded opportunity to work with a forest industry partner, non-profit agency and/or government agency.  Minimum qualifications for the National Needs Fellowship include a B.S. degree in soil science, forestry, environmental science, ecology, natural resources or a related discipline. We are seeking to develop a cohort of diverse students and strongly encourage applications from students traditionally underrepresented (i.e., African-American, Hispanic, Native Americans, etc.) in forestry and forestry-related fields. Applications for Fall 2021 will open in December 2020. For more information, please contact Dr. Zakiya Leggett, and email CV and transcripts (unofficial).
  • Ph.D. Fellowship Available in Bioproducts/Bioeconomy Development: The Forest Biomaterial Department at North Carolina State University is seeking candidates for a Ph.D. Fellowship to do research in biobased products through an awarded USDA grant, “Preparing Diverse and Rural Students and Teachers to Meet the Challenges in the Bioproducts and Bioenergy Industry” (approximately $2.75 million over the next four years). The fellowship is for a maximum of four years of support, including a stipend of about $23,000, tuition and benefits. For more information, contact Dr. Elizabeth Nichols.

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.
  • David and Angelica Harcharik Forestry International Studies Endowment: awarded to Forestry and Environmental Resources graduate students going beyond their national borders in pursuit of scientific knowledge and the understanding of other cultures. For more information, contact Erin Sills.
  • 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.