Funding Your Degree

Funding Your Graduate Degree


Graduate Research Assistantships

Research assistantships may be supported through externally funded grants to faculty to provide financial support towards a student's graduate work and participation in a particular study. The level of funding may vary slightly from grant to grant. Some research grants may also partially or fully cover tuition. At present, the tuition rate is reduced for students supported by research assistantships. Students should check with their major professor about potential grant-supported research assistantships.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Qualified graduate students may apply for teaching assistantships to help support their graduate work. Assistantships are limited in number and typically require assisting in the teaching of introductory lecture classes and labs, or labs associated with specialized courses offered by their major professors each semester. At present, teaching assistants are paid $6,500 per semester and are given reduced tuition. You must submit an application for graduate assistantship with your application for admission. This assistantship may be maintained for several semesters with acceptable progress and productivity in teaching assistant service.

Students seeking research assistantship or teaching assistantship support should request to be considered on the application to the program. They should also discuss this directly with their major professor or graduate programs director.


The Department of Marine Science is committed to providing funds and resources to support the graduate program and graduate students.

Douglas D. Nelson Graduate Fellowship

This fellowship exists thanks to Dr. Douglas D. and Mrs. Nancy M. Nelson. Nelson was a long-time professor, researcher, and administrator in marine science at Coastal Carolina University. The Nelsons are great supporters of CCU and through service to the university have been instrumental in many of the positive changes within the College of Science.

This fellowship is for a student fully admitted to the Department of Marine Science graduate program. Preference for the award is given to students who:

  1. Show potential for outstanding academic and professional achievement;
  2. Are pursuing studies in marine geology, physical oceanography, coastal processes, or wetland studies using geological processes;
  3. Are U.S. citizens;
  4. Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  5. Demonstrate financial need; and
  6. Are enrolled for a minimum of 6 graduate credit hours per semester.

This fellowship includes the stipend from the Nelson's gift and a graduate assistantship within the Department of Marine Science. Graduate students who have received a medical degree or Ph.D. in science or engineering are not eligible for this fellowship. A call for applications typically occurs in March of the academic year preceding the award academic year.

Guy Daniels Marine Science Summer Graduate Fellowship

The award consists of at least one fellowship of $1,500 or more, not to exceed the maximum funding associated with a graduate teaching assistantship.

The funds will be distributed through the awardee’s student account.

Recipients of the award must meet the following criteria: 

  • New, Continuing, or Transfer student;
  • Enrolled:
    1. in CMWS 701(internship) or
    2. full-time towards completion of a thesis or dissertation during the award summer term (and enrolled in CMWS 700 or CMWS 702 or CMSS 799)
  1. Graduate GPA Requirement:
    1. Continuing – CCU GPA of at least 3.0;
    2. Transfer – GPA of at least 3.0;
    3. Pursuing a graduate degree in Marine Science;

Preference for the award will be given to a student(s) who is working on a project which meets any of the following:

  1.     involves the nature conservancy;
  2.     is located in the municipality of Surfside Beach, SC;
  3.     is related to impaired waterways.

Past recipients may receive this award more than once but must re-apply. 

As a condition of accepting the award, the recipient must be willing to:

  1. Provide a picture and brief biography of him/herself to the Donors.
  2. Collaborate with the Donors to provide a short public outreach communication regarding his/her research/internship findings by the conclusion of the summer.
  3. The Donors may also request the awardee’s attendance at an annual surf competition where funds for the fellowship are raised.

A call for applications typically occurs in March of the academic year preceding the award summer.

Graduate Student Research Support

Students may work with their faculty advisor and graduate advisory committee to request modest support from the department to help support their research or professional activities. Such requests may address costs associated with field or conference travel, vessel or equipment time, and/or supplies. Inquire regarding an application for these funds with the Marine Science Associate Chair for Graduate Programs  Students are expected to follow all university policies regarding purchasing and reimbursement.


Students are encouraged to apply for external fellowships, scholarships, internships, or other awards. For help searching for available opportunities consult your faculty advisor, the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Services, and/or the Director of Scholarships. Emails regarding external funding opportunities will also be distributed to current graduate students.