Graduate students generally finance their graduate studies and living expenses from a combination of sources. Students are expected to actively seek out and apply for funding. Most sources of funding are taxable income.
Financial support for graduate students varies considerably among departments, schools, and programsat Stanford. Academic merit and availability of funds are the primary considerations in awarding graduate financial support.
Specific terms of financial support are explained in the admissions letter sent to each student by the department. Ask in your department for advice about getting and keeping your funding.
Students usually combine a variety of sources of funding over their time in graduate school.
Teaching and research assistantships are an integral part of the education and training for many graduate students, particularly those in doctoral programs. During the Fall, Winter and Spring quarters, the maximum teaching or research assistantship is a 50% appointments (larger appointments are permitted in the summer). A 50% appointment provides 8 - 10 units of tuition allowance (or TGR tuition) and salary for 20 hours of work per week, where the work directly relates to the student’s degree program. Assistantship appointments are usually made through individual faculty members, academic departments, or schools. Stanford fellowships and assistantships are designed to cover the standard expenses of single students; they are not sufficient to cover the expenses of dependents. Some assistantships may be partially funded by the Federal Work-Study Program.
Fellowships usually provide a combination of stipend support and (often) tuition without a specific work requirement, so that students can focus full-time on their academic program.
Many students are supported by fellowships awarded to them directly by external organizations (foundations, government agencies). You must advise your department if you receive an offer of external financial support.
These awards usually require that students apply for them directly. Finding programs that match your situation and field of study requires some searching. Be sure to ask in your department. Here are some places to begin (note that school pages include information that may be relevant to students from other Stanford schools):
Some of the Schools and programs at Stanford have compiled lists of funding resources. Please consult directly with the applicable programs for further details.
Financial support is provided so that students may focus on their studies. Some of these awards come with a prohibition against any additional employment. In other cases, students may find work on or off campus in jobs unrelated to their academic pursuits. For US students with 50% assistantships or equivalent fellowship support, concurrent hourly employment is limited to an additional 8 hours per week. The amount of time that international students may work is governed by the terms of their visa. International students may only work off campus with the coordination of the Bechtel International Center.
Loans can cover educational expenses and basic living expenses for students and dependents.