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Graduate Assistantships

The Biological Systems Engineering department at Virginia Tech supports most of its graduate students with either Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs) or Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs). 

Virginia Tech biological systems engineering student showing an instrument for an outdoor lab

GRAs come mainly from research grants BSE faculty obtained through various funding sources, such as federal agencies of National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Health (NIH), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, US Department of Education, US Department of Energy (DOE), and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state agencies of Virginia Agriculture Council, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Experiment Station, and Virginia Sea Grant, commodity groups, industrial companies, and university agencies.

GTAs are awarded to graduate students who serve as a teaching assistant to professors in teaching certain courses. A student funded by GTA is required to spend 20 hours per week in teaching related activities, such as grading homework and exams, leading laboratory sessions, and even giving lectures.

Applicants interested in obtained assistantships are encouraged to contact the professors of interest during the application process.