Graduate Scholarship Committee
The Graduate Scholarship Committee (GSC) is a standing committee of the Department composed of four full-time faculty members appointed by the Department chairman. The GSC sets forth policies, criteria, and procedures for all graduate scholarships in the Department.
Students in the Department's graduate program may be granted tuition waiver and/or stipend as scholarship by the Department. There are four basic types of scholarship:
- half tuition waiver
- full tuition waiver
- full tuition waiver + half stipend
- full tuition waiver + full stipend
In addition, the Department may grant on-campus lodging as part of a scholarship. Upon request, the Department provides private health care benefits to graduate students receiving half or full stipend scholarships.
All students having scholarship have research assistant (RA) duties. Those students who have stipend and/or lodging scholarship in addition to tuition waiver also have teaching assistant (TA) duties to the Department. Students who have TA duties may not work outside the University. Students who have only RA duties may work outside the University subject to their supervisor's and GSC's approvals.
All new students admitted for graduate study are considered for scholarship. The Department makes the final decision on what type of scholarship, if any, each student is offered.
Changes in scholarship status
The GSC reviews the performance of current scholarship recipients twice a year, and may decide to change the scholarship type or discontinue the scholarship when necessary. The basis for this review is the performance of the student in fulfilling his/her TA and/or RA duties, in addition to his/her current GPA. Supervisors may nominate their students for an upgrade or downgrade of scholarship type. Students with no scholarship may be also be nominated for scholarship by their supervisors. The GSC reviews these nominations on a case-by-case basis.
Determination of the monthly stipend amount
The amount of monthly stipend paid to each student depends on both the level of the student in graduate school and the performance of the student in fulfilling his/her TA, RA, and service duties. A student's level is reflected to his/her stipend amount via a status factor multiplier that is determined according to the following:
- MS student or PhD student (no MS degree) taken fewer than 10 graduate courses: 1.0
- PhD student, holding an MS degree or taken 10 or more graduate courses: 1.3
- PhD student, qualification exam passed: 1.7
The GSC may change these factors when necessary. The monthly stipend paid to half-stipend scholarship students is half of the full-stipend amount.
New graduate students (first year MS students and first year PhD students whose MS degrees are not from Bilkent) start their first semester with the maximum possible stipend amount for their level. The research and coursework performance of each student is evaluated and reported to the GSC biannually (February and September) by the student's degree supervisor. In the case of new graduate students who have not yet had the chance to do any research, this evaluation is based solely on their GPAs. Students who have TA duties are evaluated on their performance by the course instructors at the end of each semester. In addition, the Department chair evaluates the service provided to the Department by each student biannually (February and September). Based on these evaluations, the GSC adjusts the stipend amount of each student biannually (effective March and October), and informs students of their upcoming stipend amount.