Fellowships and Funding

Fellowships and Funding FAQs

  • How are most students supported during their studies?  Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) and Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) appointments are typical sources of tuition and support for our Ph.D. students. The vast majority of students will work as a GSR and/or GSI from 1-3 years during their enrollment in the Ph.D. program.  There are many GSR opportunities across the Berkeley campus and at UCSF.  Traineeships in health services research (AHRQ), demography and aging (NIA), breast cancer research (Komen), and alcohol and behavioral health (NIAAA) also partially fund tuition, fees, and stipends for many of our Ph.D. students. Students also receive internal graduate division fellowships awarded upon admission and additional University and graduate division opportunities are available for continuing students. The Ph.D. program provides financial support, primarily during the first two years of the program as students are fully engaged in their coursework.  Students who have completed course requirements have been successful in receiving dissertation grants from external organizations to fund their research.
  • How do I apply for a fellowship? What are the criteria?  You must indicate on your application that you wish to be considered for a fellowship or other sources of funding.  The Admissions Committee makes the determination of eligibility for types of funding and nominates applicants based on the strength of the applicant’s academic achievements.
  • What other information can you provide regarding funding for graduate school?  The Graduate Division has a listing of fellowships and grants for graduate study or dissertation research located here.
  • What does it cost to attend UC Berkeley? How much should I budget?  For information regarding tuition costs and fees, please navigate to the Graduate Division site here.
  • Do students with outside sources of funding have priority in admissions?  All applicants are reviewed and considered in the same manner.  The program is a small one; the “fit” of experience, academic training, and area of research interest remain the key considerations.
  • What is the FAFSA, and do I have to fill this out?   U.S. citizens and permanent residents must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be considered for many forms of funding.
  • What type of financial assistance do you have for international students? Funding is more limited for students who are not US citizens; there is one campus fellowship opportunity which is open to international students.  The program faculty nominate one student who has achieved academic excellence and that nominee is considered in competition with candidates from departments across the Berkeley campus.  Non-resident students are generally eligible to work as GSRs; to be eligible for GSI positions, international students must first take and pass a SPEAK test (English).
  • Is there any other source of funding available for international students? Berkeley International Office (BIO) provides temporary, on-campus housing and partial fellowships to eligible international students.  The Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program provides support for up to three years of formal graduate-level study leading to a masters or doctoral degree. Fellows are selected from countries and territories where the Ford Foundation maintains active overseas programs.  The University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UCMEXUS) and Portal del Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACYT) offer a doctoral fellowship program for Mexican scholars.