Graduate student research positions are awarded directly by individual faculty. This is the most common form of financial assistance. Faculty members obtain contracts from various government agencies and industry to carry out research in applied topics. A portion of these funds are meant to pay trained graduate students a salary to assist in research which will normally result in a thesis for the student and scientific progress in the topic. Research Assistantships are individually negotiated between each student and his/her thesis advisor.
Exceptional Fall applicants, and in some cases continuing students, are offered fellowships which include a stipend and tuition expense. These awards are typically for one year, and the total monetary compensation is approximately equivalent to a Teaching Assistantship or Research Assistantship.
Teaching Assistantships are reserved primarily for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering graduate students. Preference is usually given to doctorate students. Applicants from abroad who wish to apply for TA positions should take the Test of Spoken English (TSE) at the TOEFL Center in their home country or the equivalent TOP exam given at UCLA.