Biology Department photograph montage

Scholarships and Funding - Graduate Students

The SFSU Financial Aid office is the first stop for all prospective and current graduate students seeking funding. The counselors will help you apply for the most available general forms of financial aid, including grants, scholarships, loans, and part-time employment.

Department of Biology Support


There are two levels of Biology Department Employment that support graduate students:

1) Graduate Teaching Associates (GTA) provide currently enrolled or admitted CSU graduate students with part-time employment offering a practical teaching experience in fields related to their advanced study. GTAs teach university courses and may also assist faculty or teaching staff with various professional and technical activities. Each semester the department awards Graduate Teaching Assistantships to graduate students, to serve as instructors in laboratory courses.

2) Graduate Assistants (GA) help faculty members or the teaching staff with various professional and technical duties generally associated with the subject area or programs in which the assistant is doing graduate work. This work may not take precedence over the successful completion of the graduate degree program by the student in the a timely manner.

Graduate Assistants (GA's) are hired by the Biology Department for an array of jobs, including lab set-up, exam reading, and facilities support (e.g., greenhouse, herbarium, conservation genetics lab, insect museum). Available jobs vary from semester to semester. GA positions vary from 5, 10, 15, to 20 hours/week. Contact your major professor or potential research advisor for information regarding available GA positions.

To be considered for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship Award or GA postion complete the application.

Current Graduate Students GTA & GA Applications

Incoming Students GTA & GA Application

Please review the following GTA assignment descriptions. This will help you determine which course you are interested in and eligible for.

GTA Assignment Descriptions

NEW:  Tuition Reimbursement Program!

This year, the University is offering a pilot tuition reimbursement program for Graduate Teaching Assistants in specific Biology classes. Their goal is to help undergrads get the best experience possible and to fund graduate students to help them earn their degrees. Our goal is to select  graduate students with a strong interest in teaching that also meet the criteria below. 16 students and 2 alternates will be selecting in Spring 2019. 

If selected to participate in the program, students will receive a one-time reimbursement of ~3500.00 (the current rate of graduate tuition with no fees) in Spring 2020.

To qualify, students must meet the following criteria:

1) Teach one of the classes below in both the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 Semesters. These are intro classes, so most folks with any type of biology degrees can teach any one: 

Biology 101 (Intro Human Biology Laboratory); Biology 150 (World of Plants); Biology 213 (Principles of Human Physiology Laboratory); Biology 230 (Introductory Biology I).

2) Have participated or will participate in a college-level teaching training program in Fall 2019. 

There are 3 types: A) a semester-long course: Biology 750 Scientific Teaching for Scientists or BIOL860 Advances in Biology Education Research (highly recommended!). B) A Biology Teaching Workshop and participation in semester-long Teaching Support Groups in Fall and Spring.  C) Take an equivalent University-sponsored class or workshop and participate in Teaching Support Groups in Fall and Spring. We will follow up about the availability of each.

3) Maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA

4) Score 2.5 or better on teaching evaluations for Fall 2019.

Apply here by April 1st:


Nelson Scholarship Fund for Conservation Biology  (for graduate students in EECB)

College of Science and Engineering (COSE) Scholarships

COSE scholarships are for students in all departments in the College (Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geosciences, Mathematics, and Physics & Astronomy).

The Student Enrichment Opportunities Office (SEO) lists information and administers several large federally funded fellowship programs. These include the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (MBRS-RISE) and the MA-MS/PhD Bridge to the Future programs.

The Science Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory (SEPAL) administers programs that engage graduate students in Biology education.

The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (CSU-LSAMP) Program provides academic support for underrepresented minority students who either intend to major in or are majoring in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) at San Francisco State University, Skyline College or City College San Francisco.

San Francisco State University Support

The Graduate Division at SFSU offers several Scholarships and Fellowships, including the Graduate Fellowship Award and the Graduate Equity Fellowships. Visit the Graduate Division web site for more information.

The Office of Academic Honors and Scholarships offers updated information on available scholarships.

Instructructionally Related (IRA) Research Awards
If you are an undergraduate or graduate student in the Biology Department and are conducting a research project, then you are eligible to apply for a small grant from the Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) Advisory Board to support your research. Annoucement for this awards are generated through the department.

Instructructionally Related (IRA) Travel Awards


CSU Research and Travel Support

CSU Grant and Award Programs