The Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering offers a limited number of graduate fellowships and assistantships on a competitive basis. This support is intended to atttract and retain outstanding candidates for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees by enriching the academic experiences of the students. Most fellowships require U.S. citizenship and a composite GRE score of over 1700 (or average above 65th percentile) and an undergraduate GPA of 3.6 or higher. Fellowships provide monetary stipends, tuition and partial fee waiver. Candidates who wish to be considered for fellowships must submit their completed application materials prior to February 1 in order to receive full consideration for fellowships for the following fall semester.

Assistantships offer employment in research. An assistantship appointment provides a stipend plus tuition and partial fee waiver. A one-half time assistantship requires an average of 20 hours per week of work. Typically, graduate students will have the opportunity to gain significant teaching experience.

Current Assistantship and Fellowship Stipends for New Students

Graduate Research Assistant Rates

(Effective 8/16/19)

Assistantships are appointed on a 9 month + 2 month basis: August 16th through May 15th and May 16th through July 15th.

M.S. (50%) $2,186.60/month
Ph.D. (50%) $2,291.46/month
Ph.D. Post Prelim (50%) $2,414.32/month


JBT M.S. $22,500 (20k from College & 2.5k from Advisor)
JBT Ph.D $26,500 (22.5k from College & 4k from Advisor)
USDA National Needs $22,000
NSF $34,000
SURGE  $25,000

Teaching Assistant Rates

25% $1,093.14/month

Fellowship Opportunities

ABE Awards

The deadline for 2020 - 2021 award applications was January 31st, 2021.

2020 - 2021 ABE Faculty and Graduate Student Awards

Graduate and Faculty Awards Ben and Georgeann Jones Excellence in Teaching Awards (two awards) - Awards will be given to one faculty member and one TA. This award recognizes excellence in teaching by faculty and graduate teaching assistants.

Faculty only Award Kent and Marlene Mitchell Teaching Excellence Award - This award recognizes excellence in teaching by faculty.

Graduate Student Research Award - The ABE Graduate Student Research Award recognizes outstanding contributions in research in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. To be eligible, the student must also be enrolled during the academic year in which the award is given. The completed nomination form along with the nominee’s CV must be submitted to the ABE Department on or before January 31, 2021. 

Faculty Award for Research Excellence (FARE) - The ABE Faculty Award for Research Excellence (FARE) recognizes outstanding research accomplishments at the University of Illinois during the past four years. 

Staff Award of Excellence - The ABE Staff Award for Excellence recognizes outstanding performance and demonstrated professional excellence by members of the professional staff of the department. The award recognizes professional staff for outstanding service to faculty, staff, and students in the ABE department. An individual may receive the Staff Award for Excellence only once.

Apply for award