The current graduate students are available to answer any more specific questions. Contact information can be found on the Graduate Students page. If there are major concerns and questions not addressed here, please contact us.
Along with the nationally-known attractions of the Alamo and the River Walk downtown, San Antonio is home to a SeaWorld and to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Some of the more local attractions include quite a collection of great restaurants and food trucks, several museums around the city, the San Antonio Zoo, the Japanese Tea Garden and the Botanical Gardens, and the revitalized north-end of the River Walk at Pearl. San Antonio is also home to the NBA San Antonio Spurs, and minor league teams in baseball and hockey. For any history buffs, there are beautiful missions and historic sites throughout the [...]
No. Under the conditions of the Research Assistantship, we are not allowed to seek other employment.
Yes, the stipend will be enough to cover living costs in San Antonio. The cost of living here is below the national average. Federal loans are also available to graduate students, if needed, through FAFSA. If you have specific questions about cost of living, or the Research Assistantship stipend, please feel free to email any of our graduate students.
Yes, through UTSA all students have the option of purchasing insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. Other insurance options for graduate students in the SwRI/UTSA program are available through the healthcare.gov website.
We have graduate students of all ages, and some are married and some have children. Although graduate school requires a lot of time, often it is possible to have a flexible schedule. UTSA has child services that are available, but space is limited. If during the program you consider using paid leave through the Family Medical Leave Act, consult the Human Resources department at UTSA for eligibility.
UTSA is about a 20-minute drive from SwRI. It is HIGHLY recommended for students coming into the program to have their own reliable mode of transportation. For those without a personal vehicle, there are bus routes that go between SwRI and UTSA, but they require 45 minutes to an hour each way. Because of the distance and highways between the UTSA and SwRI campus, the route is not biking-friendly. Carpooling, though, is another viable option.
All of the graduate students in the joint SwRI/UTSA program have offices at SwRI. Research labs relevant to the program are also at SwRI. However, the core classes, weekly seminar, and several advanced electives will be taken at UTSA. When able, SwRI adjoint-taught classes will be offered on the SwRI campus.
YES! All of us get the opportunity, and are encouraged, to travel. We travel to conferences and scientific meetings both domestic and abroad, with a few of us even invited to give talks at these meetings. We also attend summer schools around the nation such as the UCAR Heliophysics Summer School in Boulder, CO and the NASA Planetary Science Summer School in Pasadena, CA. Recent places we have traveled include Snowmass and Boulder, CO, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Alaska, Iceland, Sweden, Japan, and Greece. Travel for the program also can include instrumentation work at facilities across the country, such as NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) [...]
Yes. Most of us work on several projects during our time at SwRI. You may change projecs as you work towards your dissertation or you may combine projects in order to gain unique insight. This is handled on a case-by-case basis between the student and their advisor.