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Cunningham Doctoral Assistantships

Cunningham Doctoral Assistantships cover new students’ tuition and stipends for up to two years with funding from the Graduate School and a matching commitment from the department. The department selects the pay step and offers a one- or two-year assistantship for the academic or calendar year.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be planning to enter a doctoral program at Virginia Tech (preferably from a master's or bachelor's program outside of Virginia Tech)
  • Have an outstanding academic record and strong potential for completing a doctoral degree
  • Nomination from an academic department
  • Financial need
  • U.S. citizenship


  • Competitive assistantship stipend for graduate research assistantship or graduate teaching assistantship position
    • Stipend is determined by a candidate’s qualifications and academic discipline
    • Work responsibilities are defined by the department
    • 9- or 12-month appointments are available
  • Tuition scholarship



  • Academic departments may submit a Fellowship Nomination Form beginning November 1 which includes the following information:
    • Applicant’s name
    • Virginia Tech degree the applicant is seeking
    • Previous university
    • Recommendation letter from the department addressing eligibility requirements
  • Decisions will be made by February 1 for 50 percent of the available assistantships and by March 1 for the remaining assistantships.
  • Students can be re-nominated if they were not selected for a previous academic year.