Awards and Funding

Various awards, assistantships and fellowships are available to new and current graduate students at New Mexico State University. We encourage you to contact your department to get more information regarding these opportunities.

For Current Students

  • Mike Watts Outstanding Leadership Award
  • Merit-based Enhancement Award
  • Outstanding Graduate Assistantship Award
  • Preparing Future Faculty Graduate Assistantship Award
  • Alumni Association Outstanding Graduates (Non-monetary)
  • Conference Travel Awards

Funding Opportunities

In selecting individuals for any assistantship or fellowship, and in the administration of appointments, New Mexico State University will not discriminate on grounds of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

The Graduate School offers awards, assistantships, and fellowships to qualified graduate students. All awards require faculty nominations. Current students and admitted students can request the faculty or the department head to nominate them for the awards of the Graduate School.

Below is a summary of those awards. For detailed information and the application process and deadlines please consult your department.

Most graduate assistantships offered by New Mexico State University are awarded by the students’ academic department. We suggest that you contact the department of study to receive information on graduate assistantships, fellowships, and internships. The student must be admitted to the Graduate School before a request for an assistantship or fellowship will be considered by the department or the Graduate School.

The university limits the number of years a student may be supported on funds from the state of New Mexico. A student should check Graduate Assistant Employment Guidelines of the Graduate School. Departments may place additional limitations on the years of support.

Merit-based Enhancement Fellowships for Current Graduate Assistants

To help departments reward outstanding graduate assistants, the Graduate School offers Merit-Based Enhancement Fellowships to graduate assistants who are engaged in the teaching or research mission of New Mexico State University. The amount of the awards is $4,000 for an academic year.

Nominations must come from faculty and are turned into the Graduate School. Deadline is April 1. 

Outstanding Graduate Assistantship Award

We also offer Outstanding Graduate Assistant awards of $2,000 to recognize the contributions of graduate assistants to the teaching and research mission of New Mexico State University. The awards allow faculty to show appreciation for the excellent work of graduate assistants. Current graduate assistants must be nominated by their faculty to be considered for the awards.

The Mike Watts Outstanding Leadership Graduate Fellowships of $2,000

The Graduate School encourages faculty to nominate outstanding graduate assistants for a Mike Watts Outstanding Leadership award. The fellowship is made available through the generosity of the family and friends of Michael E. Watts. The Watts Fellowships are available to graduate assistants from any area of Graduate School.

If awarded, the fellowship will be paid as salary supplement to the regular assistantship. Please note that for those students who also receive financial aid, the fellowship can have an impact on the amount of financial aid received.

Nominations must come from faculty and are turned into the Graduate School. Deadline is April 1. 

Fellowships

The university offers a number of fellowships available to both new and continuing students. Check with your department for more information.

Assistantships

Graduate assistantships in teaching and research are available primarily through the department in which the student is enrolled. Eligibility for teaching assistantships includes (a) acceptance by and subsequent registration in the Graduate School and academic department, (b) classification as a “regular” graduate student, (c) enroll in and successfully complete nine graded credit hours each semester and (d) maintain a 3.0 grade-point average. Full time status for graduate students is enrollment in nine graded credit hours.

Graduate students accepted on a provisional basis cannot serve as teaching assistants. However, they can serve as research assistants. Eligibility includes (a) acceptance by and subsequent registration in the Graduate School and academic department, (b) classification as a “provisional” graduate student (c) enroll in and successfully complete nine graded credits hours, and (d) funded on research projects of the faculty of NMSU. Provisional students can also be hired as graders for one semester. The department must submit a formal letter to the Graduate School requesting that the student be allowed to work as a grader. The Graduate School can approve or deny the request.

A student seeking appointment as a teaching assistant will be required to demonstrate proficiency in communication skills necessary for satisfactory service in the classroom. All graduate students given an assistantship must attend a mandatory orientation offered by the Graduate School. Departments may also require students to complete workshops/orientations in order to qualify for assistantships.

All international students seeking a teaching assistantship must demonstrate proficiency in English and competency in pedagogy. Prior to the first semester in which the teaching assistantship is to be received, international students must undergo the NMSU International Teaching Assistant (ITA) screening administered by the Department of Communication Studies on behalf of the Graduate School. Students who pass the screening exam are immediately eligible for assignment to a teaching assistantship. Those who do not pass the screening exam must enroll in and satisfactorily complete COMM 485 before being eligible for a teaching assistantship. To aid those incoming international students who plan to teach in the fall semester, COMM 485 is offered in the summer. International graduate students wishing to hold a teaching assistantship should check with their department to determine when they should arrive on campus to meet the screening requirement. International students who don’t pass the screening exam may be eligible to serve as graders for their academic departments. The academic departments must receive approval from the Graduate School in order to hire these students.

The duties involved normally require about 20 hours per week (full time fall and spring) of the student’s time. By accepting an assistantship, the student is obligated to enroll in and maintain enrollment in a minimum of nine graded credits per semester, but not more than 15 per semester. A graduate assistant may not enroll for more than 15 credits for each fall and spring semesters. Courses taken for audit or undergraduate deficiencies are counted in the maximum total course load; audited classes and courses under 450 cannot be used for the minimum GA course load requirement.