Graduate Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities: University of Montana, Department of Psychology

Every effort is made to find and facilitate funding for graduate students during their time spent on campus. Tuition and fees differ depending on whether a student is designated in-state or out-of-state (non-resident). Please note that it is difficult for out-of-state students to obtain in-state residency over the course of their graduate studies.

Our department has various types of funding opportunities, described in more detail below. By convention, our funding opportunities are labeled “assistantships.”

New Student Funding

Part of our program's training includes preparing students for teaching in higher education settings. When students with a teaching assistantship (TA) enter our program in the first year, they function as traditional TAs for a large, undergraduate course for the fall semester and then teach the same course independently in the spring. Current course assignments include Psyx 120, 230, 250, 270, 280, 340, 345, and 385; the specific courses available vary each year. Teaching these positions is particularly helpful for students pursuing careers in academia, and teaching a course independently is one of the unique opportunities our graduate program provides. These assistantship assignments are for the duration of the new students' first academic year. In subsequent years, students will apply for open departmental or clinical positions -- see below for further information.

Departmental Teaching Assistantships

The Psychology Department has 20 departmental assistantships available each year for allocation across our Clinical, School and Experimental graduate programs. Each year, the positions are thoughtfully distributed to our incoming and existing students based on a range of criteria; in particular, we attempt to fund all students as fairly and as evenly as possible. Duties for the assistantships vary, but the typical expectation is that departmental TAs work approximately 20 hours per week.

Compensation: Departmental TAs receive a stipend of $14,800 for the academic year as well as a fee waiver based on their credit load. Certain fees are not included in the waiver: registration, facilities, equipment, and athletic fees. Student health insurance is not waived, but students with other coverage may opt out of university insurance.

Departmental assistanship examples (not an exhaustive list):

  • Psychology 100 Instructor (Introduction to Psychology)
  • Psychology 222 TA (Psychology Statistics)
  • Psychology 320 TA (Undergraduate Research Methods III)
  • Psychology 400 TA (History and Systems)
  • Psychology 520/521 TA (Graduate Statistics)
  • Psychology 525/583 (Psychological Evaluation I/Academic Assessment and Interventions)
  • Psychology 530/526 (Clinical and Diagnostic Interviewing/Psychological Evaluation II)
  • Clinical Psychology Center Assistant

Community-Based Research and Clinical Assistantships

Several campus-based organizations, as well as Missoula and surrounding area agencies employ our students in research or clinical capacities. Students apply for open positions in the spring and typically begin work in the fall of the following academic year.

Currently, the department offers 2 to 4 grant-funded research assistantship opportunities. Research schedules are worked out individually with the faculty supervisor and do not come with clinical duties.

Clinical assistantships are only available to trained and more advanced graduate students from our applied programs (i.e., Clinical and School). Typically, these outside agencies have a contract with the University to employ our students. Work at clinical assistantships usually occurs two days a week, with the expectation that the students spend the majority of this time working in the respective settings.

Compensation:Community-based clinical assistantship compensation varies from site to site. In many cases, the positions will enable students to pay tuition equivalent to in-state resident students, offer a partial tuition waiver, as well as a lodging stipend, if applicable. The department describes assistantships that pay at least $14,800/academic year as offering a “Full Stipend;” assistantships that pay hourly or offer less than the full stipend are described as offering a “Partial Stipend.”

Research Assistantship examples (non-clinical positions):

  • University of Montana Rural Institute: Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, and Service: Pending funding availability the Rural Institute employs graduate students to assist in a variety of research-related activities. Current compensation is $14,800 for the year.

Community-based assistantship examples:

  • Counseling Services at the UM Curry Health Center (CAPS): Clinical or school graduate students provide supervised individual and group psychotherapy, crisis intervention, and couples work to a diverse population of university students. Counseling services trainees perform assessments, conduct initial consultations, generate treatment plans, record progress in an electronic records format, and render psychological diagnoses. Current compensation is $9,000 for the fall through summer, with a fee exchange opportunity.
  • Kalispell Regional Medical Center: Clinical graduate students work in the outpatient clinic, inpatient hospital-based program (adults and adolescents), school-based program, and child/adolescent partial hospital program. Responsibilities may include neuropsychological testing and evaluation, psychological assessments, and psychotherapy. Current compensation is $14,800 for 10 months.
  • Missoula County Healthy Relationships Project: Clinical graduate students provide supervised individual assessment and psychotherapeutic services to survivors of intimate partner violence and facilitate psycho-educational groups in the Seeley Swan valley. Current compensation is approximately $13.35 per hour for 50 weeks.
  • Montana State Hospital: Clinical graduate students provide supervised psychological assessment, consultation with multidisciplinary teams, treatment planning, individual psychotherapy, skills coaching, group education, and skills training at the state hospital in Warm Springs. This is the only state psychiatric hospital, serving a diverse clinical population, located approximately 100 miles from Missoula. Current compensation is $12,744 per year.
  • Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribal Behavioral Health Program:Clinical graduate students provide supervised individual, group, co-occurring and other psychotherapeutic interventions for Confederated Salish & Kootenai (CSKT) tribal clients in St. Ignatius. The position is 100% outpatient psychotherapy services, providing primary care coordination for a limited case load. Current compensation is $14,800.
  • Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribal Public Defenders Office: In collaboration with the CSKT Tribal Behavioral Health Program, Clinical graduate students provide supervised evaluations and group treatment for individuals with mental health and chemical dependency diagnosis for CSKT tribal clients in Pablo. Current compensation is $16,937.
  • Student Advocacy Resource Center (SARC): Clinical graduate students provide individual counseling services to SARC clients (survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence and discrimination), provide on-call services to victims of sexual assault, assist with outreach programming and program development. Current compensation is $14,800.
  • Youth Homes: Clinical graduate students provides in-home therapeutic interventions to children and their families, including assessments, placements, and case management for children in FSS, foster, adoptive, respite or guardianship services. Also provided are case management and treatment planning. Current compensation is $17,760 for 12 months.
  • HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program: Students in this position (up to 4 slots per year) provide integrated behavioral health services in primary care settings throughout Western Montana. This funding opportunity is limited to students in their final year of training at UM prior to internship. Current compensation is $28,352 annually.

Please note: The information in this document is purely descriptive, subject to change, and does not represent a "contract" of any sort. Although we have a history of providing funding for students, the uncertainty in the marketplace makes it impossible for us to guarantee funding for any particular student. Funding decisions are made year to year, depending on multiple factors, including the students’ performance at assistantships, timely progress in the programs, and the Montana State Legislature.

Supplemental Funding Opportunities

Teaching Opportunities

Each year additional funding opportunities come from sabbatical or vacancy replacement teaching, as well as teaching openings during Winter Session (3 week), and Summer Session (primarily 4 week) and online courses. Reimbursements are as follows:

  • $1,100/credit hour for winter session
  • $1,000/credit hours in summer session
  • $1,000/credit hour for online teaching

Assignments are made based on teacher ratings, perceived competency and financial need (priority is given to students not receiving full tuition waivers and/or tuition support).

The InPsych Program

The Indians Into Psychology (InPsych) Program offers scholarships to eligible Native American students accepted into the Clinical Psychology Program at The University of Montana. Eligible Native American students are those who are “a member of a federally recognized tribe” and who are in good standing academically. Students who accept the scholarship have a required payback; more specifically, for each year they receive the scholarship they must work a year for Indian Health Service. Payback begins after the scholarship recipient is licensed.

The InPsych Program is one of three programs in the US funded by Indian Health Service (IHS); the University of North Dakota and Oklahoma State University are sister programs. According to Rose Weahkee (personal communication, January 2011) there are a total of 80 psychologists working for IHS and of those 80, 21 are American Indian/Alaska Native psychologists. The effort to recruit and train AI/AN psychologists is an effort to address this dire need. The American Psychological Association (1996) reported that there are fewer than 60 AI/AN psychologists in the US and Canada.

If you have questions about the program, contact Dr. Gyda Swaney, Director (Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes).

Program Costs

Description 2017-2018 1st-year Cohort Cost
Tuition for full-time students (in-state) $7869.78
Tuition for full-time students (out-of-state) $19,485.84
Tuition per credit hour for part-time students (if applicable, enter amount; if not applicable enter "NA")  NA
University/institution fees or costs $976.41
Additional esitmated fees or costs to students (e.d. books, travel, etc.) $2,000

*Students funded with a UM Teaching Assistantship (TA) receive a tuition waiver covering both in and out-of-state tuition. Note that 60% of this cohort received a TA position. Historically, we have been able to provide TA positions for 75-100% of incoming students; those who do not receive a TA position become highest priority for funding in their second year of study.