Sep 29, 2022  
2014 - 2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014 - 2015 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

SMS: Financial Policies

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Additional W&M Information:


A student domiciled in Virginia is eligible for in-state tuition rates.  To obtain the in-state rates, a complete Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Privileges form must be submitted by the first day of classes of the semester for which in-state eligibility is sought. 

For more information on establishing domicile, refer to the catalog section Eligibility for In-State Tuition Rate .  All questions about eligibility for domiciliary status should be addressed to the Office of the University Registrar, (757) 221-2808.

A full-time, degree-seeking graduate student of the School of Marine Science may be eligible for a waiver of the out-of-state (non-resident) tuition rate to the in-state (resident) rate, but out-of-state domicile status is not changed.

Graduate Tuition

The College reserves the right to make changes in its charges for any and all programs at any time, after approval by the Board of Visitors.

SMS Tuition & General Fees
Academic Year 2014-15

Full-time (per semester)
In-State (Resident) $6,250
Out-of-State  $14,000
Part-time or Summer (per credit hour)
In-state (Resident) $430
Out-of-State  $1,100

 SMS students are required to register for a minimum of 2 credit hours over the summer sessions (see below).
A $25 registration fee and $55 comprehensive fee is also required for the summer session.

Full-time degree-seeking students of the School of Marine Science must register for 9 credit hours or more during the Fall and Spring semesters.  Any student registered for nine hours or more per semester for any course level (graduate or undergraduate courses) is considered to be a full-time student and will be charged the full-time rates unless qualified for Research Graduate Student status. The tuition charged will be based on a student’s established domiciliary status. 

Note: Most full-time non-resident degree-seeking graduate students who are employed as teaching assistants, research assistants, or graduate assistants of SMS qualify for in-state tuition (see below).

Degree-seeking graduate students will be charged the part-time rates for part-time enrollment (eight hours or less per semester) based on their established domiciliary status. For the School of Marine Science, part-time enrollment by degree-seeking students must be approved by the Associate Dean of Academic Studies. 

All degree-seeking students of SMS must register for a minimum of 2 credits during the summer sessions and will be charged based on their established domiciliary status unless they otherwise qualify for in-state tuition (see below). Full-time enrollment in the summer is defined as a total of 3 credit hours or more in one summer session or in any combination of summer sessions, and half-time enrollment is defined as 2 credit hours in one summer session or in any combination of summer sessions.

Note: Enrollment for a minimum of 3 credit hours during the summer sessions is required to maintain eligibility for the college-endorsed Student Health Insurance Plan or for reduced summer tuition as a Research Graduate Student.

Part-time students who are not degree-seeking students (non-degree seeking post-baccalaureate students), must complete the Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Privileges to determine eligibility for in-state tuition. Students determined to be domiciled outside of Virginia will pay out-of-state rates. Those determined to be residents will pay according to the in-state rates.

Off-site students will be charged tuition per credit hour based on their established domiciliary status.

Auditing fees are the same as those specified for part-time students, unless the auditor is a full-time student. A student must register for the course and permission to audit must be obtained from the instructor prior to registration.

For more information on tuition and domicile, please see W&M’s statement regarding Eligibility for In-State Tuition Rate . Please contact the SMS Registrar for additional infomation.

Senior citizens of Virginia who wish to attend School of Marine Sciences courses are invited to contact the Associate Dean of Academic Studies for full details.

Tuition Bills for SMS Students

A SMS student who has a commitment of tuition support from the Office of Academic Studies or the major professor will receive a tuition eBill from the W&M Bursar for each semester and for summer sessions.  It is the student’s responsibility to forward tuition bills to the department business manager for payment. Please read W&M’s billing and account payment policies , including the policy on financial penalties such as late fees.  Failure to receive a bill does not waive the requirement for payment when due and will not prevent the application of a late fee. In addition, when a student is prevented from registering (hold on account) for failure to pay a campus parking ticket or due to other outstanding balances that are the student’s responsibility, the student will be responsible for any financial penalities.

Eligibility for In-State Tuition for Graduate Assistants (Waiver of Out-of-State Tuition Rate)

Full-time non-resident degree-seeking graduate students of SMS who are employed as teaching assistants, research assistants, or graduate assistants may qualify for in-state tuition if they receive at least $4,000 of stipend during the academic year. Eligibility will be determined by the Associate Dean of Academic Studies and submitted to the Provost for final approval.

Research Graduate Student Status

Upon the recommendation of the major professor, a student who has achieved candidacy may apply to the Associate Dean of Academic Studies for either a single semester (M.S. students) or two semesters (Ph.D.) of Research Graduate status. During this period the student registers for at least 9 credit hours, but will be charged reduced tuition (3 billable credit hours). Awarding of Research Graduate status is contingent on the availability of funds. The following conditions must be met:

  1. The student has completed all SMS and departmental required coursework.
  2. The student has passed the Qualifying Examination and the prospectus has been approved.
  3. A Ph.D. student has passed the Comprehensive Examination
  4. The student is not employed significantly in any activity other than research and writing in fulfillment of degree requirements.
  5. The student is present on campus or is engaged in approved fieldwork related to his/her thesis or dissertation.

Research Graduate status enables a student to register for a maximum of 12 credit hours of thesis or dissertation credit for fall or spring semester upon payment of the part-time rate (3 credit hours). The student may elect to utilize up to two (2) of the three paid credit hours for formal coursework and may register for additional coursework only upon payment of the generally applicable additional part-time tuition. The student who is approved for Research Graduate Status should check with the SMS Registrar about proper registration procedures.

A student with Research Graduate status is eligible for services (e.g., student health and athletic events) only if required fees are paid.

Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships

Financial aid in the form of graduate research assistantships, teaching assistantships and fellowships is available to full-time students in degree programs of the School of Marine Science.  Most full-time graduate students in the School of Marine Science receive full financial support, which includes an assistantship or fellowship and tuition.  The assistantship or fellowship includes an allowance for health insurance. Continuity of student funding is accomplished through a combination of grants and contracts to individual faculty, teaching assistantships, external fellowships, and institutional general and endowment funds, as available. 

To receive available funding, a student must remain in good academic standing and demonstrate satisfactory progress as defined by College degree requirements and regulations of the School of Marine Science.  This includes meeting the milestones for normative progress in the degree program.  The student may not hold any other employment or appointment of a remunerative nature without approval of the Associate Dean of Academic Studies.

The School of Marine Science places strong emphasis on student involvement in research activities. All students who receive financial aid through SMS are expected to participate an average of twenty hours per week in their advisor’s group activities and in a research project or program as determined jointly with their faculty advisor. For graduate research assistants, every effort will be made to ensure that assistantship duties are relevant to the student’s course of study and research program.

More information regarding funding for SMS graduate students is available below and on the website:


The School of Marine Science, with funding from the VIMS Foundation and the Office of Academic Studies, awards fellowships to approximately 25% of SMS students each year.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching assistantships support student professional development and the classroom or laboratory activities of SMS faculty. The time commitment for all assistantships is approximately the same (i.e., twenty hours per week). All students on teaching assistantships are eligible for consideration for in-state tuition rates.

Graduate Workships

Graduate workships allow SMS students to expand the breadth and depth of training while supporting the operational needs of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. A particular workship assignment may be recurring, but is generally considered to be short-term in duration.

With the approval of advisors, students typically work up to 100 workship hours per fiscal year.  No student may work more than 29 hours each week, averaged over an annual period. 

Student Health Insurance Requirement

The College of William & Mary requires all full-time undergraduate, graduate and all F-1 & J-1 international students to have adequate health insurance coverage throughout the school year.  An allowance sufficient to cover the cost of the College-endorsed Student Health Insurance plan is included in the stipend of full-time degree-seeking students of SMS who receive a full support package that is administered through VIMS or W&M.

Note: Only full-time students are eligible for the college-endorsed Student Health Plan (see Full-time students are also eligible to access services at the health center during the fall and spring semester. The Student Health Center fee for the summer sessions is optional; a student must pay it separately to use the health center over the summer (see 

Students who already have health insurance must submit a waiver request by the posted deadline each academic year. The waiver must be approved to avoid being enrolled in and billed for the College-endorsed plan. Visit for more information about the insurance requirement or the College-endorsed insurance plan. If you have any questions, please email the Student Insurance Coordinator at or call (757) 221-2978.

For additional information on the Student Health Center and health insurance requirement, please refer to W&M: Student Services .