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, as most awards are department-based.

For Current Students

  • Merit-based Enhancement Award
  • Outstanding Graduate Assistantship Award
  • Preparing Future Faculty Graduate Assistantship Award
  • Alumni Association Outstanding Graduates (Non-monetary
  • Conference Travel Awards ( provided by ASNMSU)
    Note: Conference Travel Awards are not funded by the Graduate School, but by ASNMUS. Please contact ASNMSU for more information about the possibility of the funds provided by ASNMSU.

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, but faculty are not required to nominate a student.

Nominations are once per year, and the “Call for Nominations” is sent to Department Heads, Associate Deans for Academics, and Graduate Program Directors. Graduate students are notified that the nomination window is open via a post in the graduate students listserv.

Below is a summary of those awards. Not every award has open slots each year, as some are multi-year awards.

Not all students will be chosen for an award, even if they have a 4.0 GPA. For detailed information and the application process, requirements, and deadlines (usually in early May each year, for the next academic year), please consult your department.

Some awards carry both tuition help and either a 20-hour per week or 10-hour per week graduate assistantship.

Graduate Assistantships

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.

Funding Opportunities for NMSU Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars

Click on the link above to view all of the Funding Opportunities for NMSU Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars through the Research Administration Services. Restrictions, deadlines, and explanations are available for each of the funding opportunity.

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 $5,000 for an academic year, with $2,500 disbursed over the course of each semester. The award functions as a “stipend” and is incrementally added to a student’s paychecks.

Nominations must come from faculty and are turned into the Graduate School.

Outstanding Graduate Assistantship Award

We also offer Outstanding Graduate Assistant awards of $3,125 for a fall and spring semester 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 amount of the awards is $6,250 for an academic year, with $3,125 disbursed over the course of each semester. The award functions as a “stipend” and is incrementally added to a student’s paychecks.

Diversity Scholarship: $2,500 per fall and spring semester; .5 FTE (20 hours per week) graduate assistantship. Student must be enrolled full time, have a 3.0 GPA or greater, and be in good standing.

PFF: Preparing Future Faculty. Award is a .25 (10 hours per week) graduate assistantship. No tuition award is associated with the PFF. Awardees can combine the assistantship with a .25 FTE (10 hours per week) assistantship from another funding source, such as their department. Student must be enrolled full time, have a 3.0 GPA or greater, and be in good standing.

Coverdell/Peace Corps Award

This award is for RPCVs (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers) only. Please see this link for more information: COVERDELL

NMHED “Continuing” Award

This State-based award is tuition help of $3,600 per semester. It is a multi-year award and does not always have a place in the Call for Nominations process, as all spaces may be filled. Priority goes to New Mexico residents. You must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident to be eligible. Master’s program students: 2 year award. MFA: 3 year award. Doctoral Students: 4 year award. Students must have 3.0 or greater GPA, be full time in a graduate program, and be in good standing. Awards do not cover summer sessions.

Special Duration Awards

Some graduate students in certain programs may be considered for a special-duration award. Speak with your faculty advisor or department head to determine if your program of study has any special-duration (multi-year) awards that may offer tuition help, a .5 graduate assistantship, or both.

Looking for information about the NMHED STEM or GA Union awards?

Please see this link to view the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and its December 2023 Addendum: CBA AWARDING


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 English Department 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 do not 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.

External Funding Options

Pivot ProQuest

Government Grants