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Student Programs

Geophysical Institute graduate student researchers study and conduct research across several departments, colleges and disciplines. Undergraduate and graduate students can probe topics in atmospheric science, remote sensing, seismology, LIDAR, snow, ice, glaciers, permafrost, planetary science, space physics, geochronology, tectonics and sedimentation, volcanology, satellite data, climate change, high performance computing, or use of unmanned aircraft systems. 

Become a UAF Student

How to Apply 

To become a UAF student or just take a class click here. 

About the University of Alaska Fairbanks

Want to learn more about UAF and its history? Click here for everything UAF. 

About the University of Alaska Fairbanks Graduate School

Are you a graduate student or looking to become one? Visit this site for information about applying to a program, funding, dates and deadlines, health insurance and more. 

UAF Doctoral Programs

Want to know what doctoral degree programs available at UAF? Click here. 

UAF Master's Programs

Want to know what master's degree programs available at UAF? Click here.

International Students and Scholars

Do you want to be an international student studying on a campus away from UAF? Or are you looking to be an international student studying at UAF? Or do you want to teach at UAF or be a part of the research here? Click here for more information.

Cost of Living in Alaska

See the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development to learn more about relocating to Alaska. This site covers community information, cost of living differences (average costs of weekly food and utilities, rentals, fuel), relocation analysis, employment information and links to information about the climate.

UAF offers student housing. Options for living on campus include single student housing, family and employee housing, graduate student and nontraditional housing. 

Financial Aid

Financial support is available within the university system. Please visit the UAF Financial Aid Office for more information or speak with an admissions counselor for additional help. Information about teaching assistantships, fellowships and other types of financial aid can also be found through the Financial Aid Office.

Learn More About Fairbanks

Explore Fairbanks provides up-to-date information about visiting and living in Fairbanks. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner provides news about Fairbanks and Alaska.



The Geophysical Institute Graduate Student Association (GIGSA) is the unified voice of the graduate student body at the GI. In addition to advocating for graduate students, GIGSA organizes a variety of activities to support graduate student research and travel opportunities. These include the monthly Pizza Seminar, Travel Grants, summer cookouts and an annual book sale. GIGSA also collaborates with other student groups on UAF's West Ridge to advocate for graduate student interests or co-host events.  

Pizza Seminar Series

The Pizza Seminar Series is organized by GIGSA students during the fall and spring semesters to inform a broad audience about current research, promote interdisciplinary work across research groups and encourage collaboration among scientists within the GI. The seminar is held on the second Monday of the month at noon in the Elvey Globe Room. Pizza is available at $2 per slice to raise money for the GIGSA Student Travel Grant.

If you are interested in giving a talk or have a suggestion for a speaker please contact the seminar coordinator. For more information about giving a presentation check out GIGSA Seminar Series Goals and GIGSA Seminar Speaker Guidelines.

GIGSA Pizza Seminar Series Speaker Guidelines

GIGSA Pizza Seminar Series Goals

Book Sale

Every year GIGSA hosts a book sale in the Elvey Globe Room. Proceeds benefit the graduate student travel fund. A wide selection of books are available to fit interests both academic and personal of students and employees from every discipline. These books are from the UAF library system and are offered at very reasonable prices.

Volunteers are needed to run the sale, and volunteers get first dibs on the books! Join the GIGSA Google Group to learn more about this volunteer opportunity.


Though the time for cookouts in Fairbanks is short, GIGSA takes full advantage of it! Join us behind Elvey to cook burgers and enjoy the company of others of like mind. A burger with toppings and a drink is $5; money not spent on supplies goes to the travel fund.

GIGSA Fundraisers

GIGSA students host a variety of fundraisers throughout the year. All of the proceeds support graduate student travel to a variety of scientific conferences or workshops, including the annual American Geophysical Union meeting. Attendance at scientific meetings allows graduate student to share their research findings, network with experts in their field of study, and gain experience communicating and presenting.

Travel Grant

The GIGSA Graduate Student Travel Fund provides financial assistance to graduate students presenting their own research at a national or international conference or workshop. Travel for purposes other than conferences or workshops, such as for collaboration with colleagues at other institutes, may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

To qualify, the student must work for a faculty member belonging to one of the seven GI research groups: Space Physics and Aeronomy; Tectonics and Sedimentation; Volcanology; Atmospheric Sciences; Remote Sensing; Seismology and Geodesy; Snow, Ice and Permafrost (although the student may be located anywhere on campus) Student's from other research groups are encouraged to reach out to see if they qualify for the GIGSA travel grant. Successful applicants will receive assistance in the form of frequent flier mile award tickets or monetary support for national or international meetings.

The award will be authorized to cover airfare/mileage ticket, registration, lodging and ground transportation, depending upon the amount awarded to the student. The award letter will be provided before travel but the amount will be reimbursed (except for the mileage ticket, if any) to the student when they submit the necessary documents and receipts after returning from the conference or workshop. Each student is allowed one award during a master’s program and up to two awards during a Doctoral program. For all conferences/workshops, applications are due a  minimum of two months prior to travel.

Please refer to the attached document for all other policies and regulations regarding the GIGSA travel grant. Within the form, you can also find directions for how to complete and where to submit the completed application.

GIGSA Travel Grant Application Form

If you have any questions please contact the travel grant coordinator at

New Student Guide

GIGSA maintains a guide for new (as well as continuing) graduate students. It can be found as a read-only Google Doc here.

Contact Us

Join the GIGSA Google Group to learn about current graduate student issues we’re working to resolve and other exciting activities in the GI graduate student world.

General Inquiries
Do you have general questions about GIGSA?

Pizza Seminar
For specific questions and feedback related to the Pizza Seminar series please contact our seminar coordinator.

Travel Grant
Information about the travel grant can be found above. If you have questions please contact our Travel Grant Coordinator.