Virginia Institute of Marine Science


Information on the costs of attending William and Mary's School of Marine Science (SMS) at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) may be found on the W&M website.  

VIMS is committed to ensuring that all full-time students in the graduate program of the School of Marine Science are supported for the normal duration of the degree program.  School of Marine Science students generally receive full support, which includes a stipend (salary), tuition, and a health insurance allowance.  We encourage all applicants for the graduate program, as well as current students, to pursue potential funding options that are available to them.  This helps to increase the number of students we may admit to the graduate program.  Links to further information on funding opportunities are given below.

Funding awarded directly to students is primarily in the form of research assistantships and fellowships.  A limited number of teaching assistantships are available after a student finishes the first year of coursework. Tuition and required fees are usually paid on the student's behalf by VIMS or an external funding agency or organization.  

Research assistantships are funded primarily by grants or contracts to individual investigators.  We recommend that prospective students contact particular faculty members of interest in advance of submitting an application in order to assess funding availability and a faculty member's interest in accepting a new student.  

Having an external fellowship may afford the student increased flexibility in research pursuits and provide additional funding for travel and other expenses associated with a student's education and training. Current SMS students have fellowships from NSF GRFP, EPA STAR, NOAA Sea Grant and diverse international scholarships and fellowships. There are links for major fellowship opportunities, below.

VIMS provides additional funding for full-time students in the form of small fellowships funded by the VIMS Foundation, research and equipment grants, and travel awards. Most of these funds are awarded on a competitive basis by the Office of Academic Studies.  In addition, William & Mary's Reves Center for International Studies offers a number of funding opportunities for international students and international programs.  Please visit the Reves Center website for additional information on specific funding opportunities.

In order to continue to receive funding a student must remain in good academic standing and demonstrate satisfactory progress (academic and research) as defined by William and Mary degree requirements and regulations of the School of Marine Science. This includes completing major academic program milestones in accordance with the deadlines stipulated for the student’s degree program as outlined in the School of Marine Science Graduate Catalog for the year of entry to the program.

Fellowships for Graduate Students:

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowships (NDSEG)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

NOAA Sea Grant

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF)

National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (NSF)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 

Ford Foundation

Fulbright Foreign Student Program

China Scholarship Council Graduate Fellowship Program (in Chinese), 

Brazil CAPES Foundation (in Portuguese)  

Other websites serve as portals to additional funding opportunities:

North Carolina State University provides links to additional nationally-available fellowships.

Pathways to Science lists funding opportunities that may be of particular interest to students from groups that are underrepresented in STEM fields.