Tuition, Funding and Financial Support for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars

Graduate Student Tuition, Stipends, Insurance and Other Fundings


The tuition of MS and PhD graduate students is paid for by the Medical School in year 1. As you transition into your research mentor's laboratory, they then pay your tuition through the remaining years of your academic training. The average time to graduation for predoctoral training is 5.5 years.

The general graduate tuition rate includes a 6-14 credit band for full-time registration. Each credit above or below the plateau is assessed on a per-credit basis. More information can be found here:

Enrollment per semester Resident tuition Nonresident tuition
Per credit (part-time) $1,593.00 $2,465.00
6-14 credits (full-time) $9,558.00 $14,790.00
Each credit over 14 $1,593.00 $2,465.00

PhD graduate students within the Medical School receive annual base stipends. The total yearly amount varies slightly among the graduate programs, but the average is currently $34,000. Similar to the tuition model, the Medical School pays your stipend in year 1 and, upon selection of a faculty mentor, they will then pay your annual stipend.  The stipend is deposited electronically in the student’s bank of choice every two weeks. Students will receive a 1099 form from the the University of Minnesota for federal and state tax purposes. The receipt of 1099 is because stipends are not considered wages, however they are a form of income that must be reported to the IRS. 

Current Stipends for Graduate Programs in the Medical School:
$34,200 - Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology (MICaB)
$34,000 - Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (MPaT)
$34,000 - Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics (BMBB)
$34,000 - Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology and Genetics (MCDBG)
$34,200 - Integrative Biology and Physiology (IBP)
$34,000 - Neuroscience
$32,000 - Rehabilitation Sciences

Health Insurance

All enrolled students are required to be covered by a medical insurance plan while enrolled in the graduate program at the University of Minnesota.  The Medical School, graduate program and/or your faculty mentor will pay for your insurance. Graduate Assistants Health Plan (GAHP) is the student health plan eligible for PhD and MS graduate students at the U. To be eligible for the GAHP, you must work 195 hours per semester in an eligible position and you must be properly registered for the number of credits required for your job class or appointment. Dependents are eligible for coverage. Health plan network and claims administration services are provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross), giving you access to thousands of providers in their worldwide network.

For more details of the health insurance coverage plans, please see the following link:

Internal Awards

The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), individual graduate programs, and Council of Graduate Students (CGS) each have funding mechanisms earmarked to supporting graduate student recruitment, retention and research education efforts. Through several mechanisms, students are eligible to apply for research awards, travel support (to scientific conferences), and career development funds. On an annual basis, approximately $375,000 in funds is provided for graduate students in the Medical School to support these initiatives. To inquire about the various internal awards available to graduate students, please e-mail for more information. 

Bridge Funding

Medical school graduate students are provided financial support for stipends, tuition costs and heath insurance. During graduate student training, the selected faculty advisor often pays for these expenses during years 2 and beyond of the students' graduate career. In rare circumstances, faculty research advisors may leave the University, lose their extramural funding support or retire abruptly. In the event that occurs, graduate students are protected by the Medical School through bridge funding.  The Associate Dean of Graduate Education will provide bridge funding to support currently enrolled graduate student in good standing who requires financial support during the gap period of finding and transitioning mentorship and training to another faculty advisor. This ensures that there is no loss of financial support and the student can continue to remain focused on research education and training.


Graduate students in the Medical School are classified as either graduate assistants or graduate fellows. Graduate assistants receive financial support in the form of assistantships from the Medical School, graduate programs and elected faculty research advisors in the form of stipends, paid tuition and health insurance coverage. No enrolled graduate student  in good academic standing pays for these expenses.  Graduate fellows receive financial support in the form of fellowships through funding sources external to the University in the forms of grants or awards. In the Medical School, graduate students often receive prestigious fellowships from the National Institutes of Health or National Science Foundation.

The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies encourages and works with our graduate students to competitively submit these fellowship applications. They provide extensive experience in scientific writing and grantsmanship, help solidify thesis proposal aims and objectives and strengthen the research education activities of recipients. A common mechanisms at the National Institutes of Health is the Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award, colloquially referred to as the F31 grant award. The purpose of this Kirschstein-NRSA program is to enable promising predoctoral students with potential to develop into a productive, independent research scientists, to obtain mentored research training while conducting dissertation research. The F31 is also used to enhance workforce diversity though a separate program. More information of this award can be found here:


Postdoctoral Scholars Salary, Insurance and Other Funding Support


Postdoctoral graduate experience is provided through the following appointment classifications: (1) Postdoctoral Associate (Job Code: 9546); and (2) Postdoctoral Fellow (Job Code: 9560). These appointments are provided to individuals granted a doctorate or doctoral equivalent degree or when returning for additional training, updating, or retooling. Appointments are limited to fields for which postdoctoral degree training is necessary for career entry, such as academia or senior level scientists in government agencies. Appointments are typically limited to a period of up to five, depending on training needs, are are generally applicable to individuals within ten years of their doctoral equivalent degree.

More information on postdoctoral appointments can be found here:

Salary and Benefits

Salaries for Postdoctoral Associates in the Medical School are set by the the University. Postdoctoral associates may be appointed on sponsored institutional training grants, sponsored individual fellowship awards or training awards. Funding is supported through the collegiate budget and postdoctoral associates at the University of Minnesota are employees. As employees, postdoctoral associates conduct research, teach and/or provide service that enhances career skills or allows for opportunities to learn new research or teaching techniques. 

For the 2024 FY, the salary floor for postdoctoral associates will be increasing to $54,835. All current postdocs who are paid below this salary floor will have their pay increased to $54,835 with a June 19, 2023, effective date. This salary floor is based on updated market data for postdoctoral associates, including data on minimum stipends published in April 2022 by the National Research Service Awards. 

Benefits for Postdoctoral Associates (Job Code: 9546) can be found here:


Postdoctoral scholars insurance and benefits is contingent on the job code (i.e. postdoctoral fellow: 9560 vs. postdoctoral associate 9546). 

Postdoctoral associates are eligible for the UPlan Medical Insurance, Reimbursement Accounts, Disability Coverage, Retirement Plans, Tuition Benefits (i.e. Regents Scholarship), Vacation Leave, Paid Sick Leave, Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), Bereavement Leave and Miscellaneous Paid Leaves (i.e. Civic Duty Leaves, Military). 

As stipulated by the awarding agency, Postdoctoral fellows are not employees of the University, provide no service to the University, and as such received no salary from the University. However, individuals appointed under this classification receive a training stipend through the funding agency. As providing no service to the University, the position has a different model of insurance and benefits.  Postdoctoral fellow are not eligible for the UPlan Medical Insurance, but instead are eligible for Graduate Assistant Insurance.  Furthermore, postdoctoral fellows are not eligible for Reimbursement Accounts, Disability Insurance, Retirement Plans, Vacation Leave, Paid Sick Leave, Paid Parental Leave, or Family and Medical Leave (FMLA). 


Postdoctoral scholars are classified as postdoctoral associates or postdoctoral fellows. Individuals receiving fellowships in the form of extramural awards or grants are classified as postdoctoral fellows with a different job code (9560) with the  University of Minnesota.  Postdoctoral fellow appointments are for persons receiving a fellowship or training award granting a stipend and allowing for advanced study or research. Postdoctoral fellows can be appointed on sponsored individual fellowships or institutional training awards, such as National Institutes of Health Training Grants (i.e. T32, T35 mechanisms). Individuals appointed as postdoctoral fellows are not employees of the University and, therefore, provide no service to the University. This view of no service to the University distinguishes postdoctoral fellows from postdoctoral associates, with responsibilities of the postdoctoral fellow defined by parameters of the fellowship or traineeship.