- Departmental Financial Assistance
- Departmental Fellowships and Awards
- Graduate Student Researchers
- Teaching Assistants
- Other Employment
- Fellowship Opportunities for Continuing Students
- Extramural Funding Resources for Continuing and Prospective Students
- Some Federal and Private Extramural Funding Opportunities for Graduate Students
in the Sciences
- Tax Information
Entering and second year students traditionally have teaching assistant or graduate student researcher positions (TA or GSR) and tuition and fee fellowships from the Department. Domestic students apply for California residency during the first year which eliminates non-resident tuition effective year two. International students making satisfactory academic progress are eligible for renewing tuition fellowships. Students are also encouraged to apply for industrial fellowships and fellowships from Federal agencies. Select departmental and campus-wide fellowships are awarded to incoming and current students demonstrating exceptional undergraduate and graduate academic achievement.
Advanced students are supported by graduate student researcher positions, or occasionally, by fellowships or TA positions.
For continuing students, ongoing financial support from the Department is contingent upon:
- satisfactory performance as a T.A. (in the case of renewal of T.A. support)
- satisfactory academic performance and progress toward the degree
- meeting written and oral English language requirements during the first year (foreign students)
- availability of funds
- all domestic students are required to complete the FAFSA by the March 2nd deadline (see FAFSA memo)
A student is considered to be making normal progress toward the degree if she or he:
- maintains a minimum GPA of 3.0
- completes course requirements within the first two years
- completes English language requirements during year one (foreign students)
- advances to candidacy no later than winter quarter of the third year
- passes the courses and exams required by her or his academic advisory committee
- Ahlers Graduate Fellowship
- Broida Fellowship
- Ferrando-Fithian Fellowship
- Horowitz Graduate Fellowship
- Polchinski Graduate Fellowship
The Department of Physics guarantees continuing financial support for five years provided students remain in good academic standing and are making normal progress toward the Ph.D. degree. This support is in the form of a Teaching Assistant or Graduate Student Research position as well as tuition, fee, and health insurance fellowships.
Graduate Student Researchers work under the direct guidance of a faculty member, usually for 20 hours per week. In addition to a salary, graduate student researchers who are employed more than 35% time receive the payment of full fees, tuition and health insurance.
Teaching assistantships provide students with the chance to gain valuable teaching experience while receiving financial support. Currently, these positions offer a stipend for 20 hours per week for the academic year, plus the payment of fees and health insurance. Teaching assistants conduct laboratory or discussion sections in undergraduate courses, and grade homework and exams in undergraduate and graduate level classes.
Graduate Readers are employed by the department to grade homework and exams at an hourly rate for up to 10 hours per week. Tutors are usually in demand by undergraduates. The A.S. Notetaking Service also hires graduate students, at an hourly rate, to take notes in undergraduate physics lectures.
Additional Financial Aid Sources
We strongly encourage current and prospective graduate students to apply for financial support from both internal and extramural sources. The advantages include not only the potential for a significant source of income while pursuing your studies and research, but experience in the process of applying for and securing extramural funding that will be an essential part of your life in academia.
The following links include some of the more closely matched internal and extramural funding opportunities for graduate students in physics, as well as links for assistance with preparing your funding application.
The Graduate Division awards a select number of university, campus, and regents fellowships based upon each departments' nominations. These fellowships range in duration and amount depending upon the specific award, but usually cover at least one year of fees and tuition, plus a stipend of approximately $17,000; the stipend can be supplemented by a teaching assistantship or graduate student researcher position. Further information on campus-wide fellowships for incoming and continuing graduate students may be found on the Graduate Division website.
There are two types of UCSB fellowship awards: by departmental nomination and by student application:
- Awards by Student Application: The deadline for student application awards is early April. Current students only. More information can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.
- Awards by Departmental Nomination: The deadline for departmental nomination awards is generally the last week of February. Any member of our faculty may make a recommendation to the Department for a student's nomination. If you are interested in applying for a UCSB Central Fellowship that require departmental nomination, please discuss your interest with any of our faculty and/or with the staff graduate advisor. More information can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook [in PDF form]
UCSB's Graduate Division also offers several public e-mail electronic mailing lists for graduate student funding opportunities, as well as a search feature.
We also recommend joining the Science, Engineering and Math electronic mailing lists for graduate student funding opportunities. Upcoming deadlines for grants/fellowships/awards relevant to graduate students in the sciences will automatically be emailed to you each month.
UCSB also subscribes to the Illinois Researcher and Information Service and Community of Science Funding Opportunities (COS) which are extramural funding source databases with search capabilities along with instructions on how to conduct a search.
Funding Opportunities for Graduate Students: UC Office of Research has provided links designed for both prospective and continuing UC graduate students who wish to explore the research opportunities that UC has to offer.
Resources to help with writing your proposal are available from the UCSB Office of Research
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program
Three-year award for students in science and engineering disciplines
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Three-year award for students in science and engineering disciplines
Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellowships
Up to 5-year award for students in the applied physical sciences
Bell Labs Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Graduate fellowship renewable up to four years for minorities and women in the fields of science, math, engineering and technology
Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships
The Fellowship Office of The National Academies administers predoctoral, dissertation, and postdoctoral fellowship programs in research-based fields of study
National Physical Science Consortium
Graduate fellowships for minority and women students in the physical sciences
Amelia Earhart Fellowship Award Program
Awarded to outstanding women pursuing graduate degrees in aerospace-related sciences and engineering for the upcoming academic year
National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science Inc.
Provides graduate fellowships in engineering and science to "highly qualified individuals from communities where human capital is virtually untapped"
AT&T Laboratories Fellowship Program
Fellowships are available to outstanding under-represented minority and women students who are pursuing PhD studies in computer and communications-related fields
Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
Providing opportunities for continuing generations of able and accomplished New Americans to achieve leadership in their chosen fields
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