MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Financial Information

Graduate Student Stipends

1. PhD students are supported with a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) which includes a stipend of $32,000 per year (effective Fall 2018), full payment of tuition and fees and health insurance benefits. PhD students engage in tutorial research projects during their first year of study and select a faculty advisor prior to the start of their 2nd year of study. The Graduate School provides financial support of the GRA for the first 16 months; the faculty advisor is responsible for supporting the GRA thereafter. PhD students are supported with a GRA for the duration of their training, as long as they maintain full-time enrollment in the PhD program and continue to make satisfactory progress towards completion of academic milestones and degree requirements.

2. The GRA is a .5 FTE student-employee position. Thus GRA’s must follow all applicable employment policies of the institution in which they are appointed (UTHealth or MD Anderson).

3. Students who hold a GRA automatically qualify for in-state tuition and fee rates.

4. The GRA/stipend awarded to GSBS students are intended to contribute sufficiently to meeting educational and living costs so that students can devote full time to their studies. It is the expectation of the Graduate School, therefore, that students holding stipends will not undertake activities, including employment of any kind, that will interfere with their educational program or delay their progress toward the degree.

An exception to this policy will be made by the Dean only if the activity proposed by the student (1) can be justified as contributing in some fashion to his/her training as a researcher/teacher and (2) involves no more than 80 hours of effort over the course of an academic year. Students who participate in extracurricular activities which require a substantial involvement of time must obtain the approval of their advisor prior to initiating the activity.

5. Combined Award Policies
Outside fellowships--A student who applies directly to a funding agency outside the University and is awarded a fellowship may hold that fellowship in combination with a Graduate Research Assistantship as long as the combined payments from the outside fellowship and the GRA do not exceed 130% of the standard GSBS stipend level. When combined awards of this sort exist, the advisor or department has the discretion of providing additional support such that the combination of payments equals the standard GSBS stipend level ($32,000) or up to 130% of that level. If the amount of the outside fellowship is, by itself, greater than the 130% limit, the student is permitted to accept and use the fellowship regardless of the amount provided. In such a case, the student may not hold a GRA nor may the outside fellowship be supplemented by other funds.

Health Insurance

Health insurance, vision insurance and dental insurance plans are available to GSBS students. The plans offered to GRAs by the UT System are described at

All students are required to have health insurance. Students who have been awarded a Graduate Research Assistantship will be covered by the employee medical policy after the initial new hire waiting period. However, all international students will be required to purchase a supplemental insurance policy to cover costs in the event of medical evacuation or repatriation.