The Physics Department only admits the number of students that we anticipate being able to support all the way through the PhD. Every effort is made to offer continuous financial support during the entire PhD program. This financial support typically comes in the form of Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, and Fellowships.
Teaching Assistantships (TA’s): Newly admitted students are typically offered TA’s for their 1st year in the program. TA’s are 12-month appointments that provide funding throughout the academic year and the summer after the 1st year. In addition, 2nd year grad students usually work as TA’s. TA’s typically work as supervisors in freshman physics labs, as recitation leaders, and as graders for undergraduate courses. The TA workload is roughly 20 hours per week. All TA’s receive a stipend, full tuition waivers, and University health insurance coverage. For 2015, the Physics Department TA stipend was $23,700 per year.
Research Assistantships (RA’s): Students typically move from TA’s to RA’s during the 2nd or 3rd year of the program. RA’s are usually funded through grants held by the student’s PhD advisor. RA’s are also 12-month appointments, and include a stipend, full tuition wavier, and University health insurance. For 2015, RA stipends were typically in the range of $25K – $29K per year.
Fellowships: Graduate students can also be supported by externally funded Fellowships. For example, in recent years, we have had students supported by NSF Fellowships, NASA Fellowships, and Meyerhoff Scholars Fellowships. The Physics Department now offers special GAANN Fellowships to well qualified students. For more information about GAANN Fellowships, click here. Fellowships typically include a stipend, full tuition waiver, and University health insurance coverage. For 2015, most Fellowship stipends were in the range of $28K – $33K per year.