Financial Support

Graduate Student Financial Support


All graduate students at UC San Diego are responsible for tuition and fees each quarter in order to utilize University resources. Students can receive financial support to help cover these costs in the forms of fellowships, scholarships, and academic student employment positions. To be eligible for financial support, graduate students must be registered full-time (12 units) and be in good academic standing.


Throughout the year, fellowships and awards are available to all graduate students. More information on available fellowships can be found here.

Academic Student Employment Positions

Both Ph.D. and M.S. students are eligible for the appointments listed below, but priority is given to Ph.D. students.  Appointments are quantified by a percentage based on a 40-hour work week (i.e., 100% = 40 hours per week; 50% = 20 hours per week; 25% = 10 hours per week). Graduate students cannot work more than 50% during the academic year, or 100% during the summer.

Graduate Student Researcher (GSR)

Paid research positions are available via grants awarded to faculty members. Students employed as GSRs at 25% or above qualify for GSR Tuition and Fee Remission which covers all tuition, fees, and nonresident student tuition (if applicable). Students should talk to their faculty advisor for availability.

Pay rates are posted on the Graduate Division website. Ph.D. students are paid at the Step 7 GSR rate until they advance to candidacy, after which time they are paid at the Step 8 GSR rate. 

Teaching Assistant (TA) / Reader

Teaching Assistants and Readers are hired on a quarterly basis to support teaching instruction.  Appointment percentages are assigned based on course enrollment. Students in the NANO and CENG Departments will be notified when quarterly applications are open.  Students can also apply for positions in other departments by signing into the Instructional Assistant Employment web page. Offers are typically extended one month prior to the start of the quarter. Students employed as TAs or Readers 25% and above are eligible for TA Fee Remission which covers the majority of resident tuition and fees. The Teaching + Learning Commons offers training opportunities for TAs and future faculty members.  

Before they can be appointed as a teaching assistants, all international graduate students at UCSD are required to demonstrate a high level of oral and aural competence in the English language. International students must contact to schedule an English Language Certification Examination (ELCE) as soon as they are offered their first TA position. The ELCE must be taken during finals week or the week after to be eligible to work as a TA the following quarter. Students can follow this link for more information on the ELCE.

All new Associates In, Teaching Assistants, Readers, and Tutors must attend the New Academic Student Employee (ASE) Orientation. Department staff will announce orientation information as they are scheduled.

Pay rates are posted on the Graduate Division website.

Visit Graduate Division's website for additional information regarding support for student parents.

Travel Funding

The department does not provide travel funding.  Graduate students should discuss support for travel expenses with their faculty advisor/PI, or refer to the additional resources listed below.  Students should contact department financial support staff for travel reimbursement policies, prior to booking any travel.

Additional Resources:


It is UCSD policy that U.S. citizens on support will not have out of state tuition paid by the University after their first year.  Therefore, if a domestic student does not establish California residency prior to the start of their second year, they will be responsible for out of state tuition.  Follow this link for more information on California residency.

International Ph.D. students will have nonresident student tuition waived for three years after successful completion of the Senate Examination.

Direct Deposit

In order to avoid payment delays, it is highly recommended that students enroll in direct deposit.  There are two forms of direct deposit for graduate students:

  1. Payroll: TA, Reader, and GSR employment checks.  Students will be unable to enroll in this form of direct deposit until they have completed hiring paperwork and an employee number has been generated.
  2. Disbursements: Stipend payments for fellowships and other financial support that is not employment, and travel and other personal reimbursements.

Additional Resources