PhD Student Funding Overview

Humanities Quadrangle Courtyard

At Yale, you can earn your doctorate at our expense. 

Our funding packages for Yale PhD students are among the most generous in the world. Every PhD student receives a fellowship for the full cost of tuition, a stipend for living expenses, and paid health coverage, though the details of your funding package will differ depending on your academic program. On average, doctoral students receive more than $500,000 in tuition fellowships, stipends, and health premium benefits over the course of their enrollment. Full PhD funding normally extends for a minimum of five years, unless your doctoral program is of shorter duration, e.g., Investigative Medicine, Law, Nursing, and Public Health. 

The main categories of funding available to PhD students are detailed below. Our Programs & Policies handbook contains additional information about funding and fellowship opportunities available at the Graduate School, along with applicable policies. 

If you have questions about your funding, you can ask your program registrar or DGS, Graduate Financial Aid, or Associate Dean Robert Harper-Mangels.

Types of Funding for PhD Students

University Fellowships (UFs) are provided through the Graduate School and do not require teaching in Yale's Teaching Fellow Program. UFs are often used during the initial year(s) of your doctoral program to cover your stipend and tuition, when you are engaged in coursework and identifying an adviser.

For official policies governing University Fellowships, including information on deferring a UF, please see our Programs & Policies Bulletin.

In subsequent years and in most programs, your stipend will be funded by a teaching fellowship or a research assistantship.


Teaching Fellowships (TFs) are contingent on teaching Yale's Teaching Fellow Program (TFP). While you are on a TF, a portion of your stipend is compensation for teaching. The rest of your stipend will come from other sources, depending on your department or program. See the Teaching Fellow Funding page for more information.

The teaching portion of your stipend is subject to federal tax withholding, so you will notice a difference in your paycheck in teaching versus non-teaching semesters.

In lieu of teaching in the Teaching Fellow Program, PhD students in the humanities and social sciences may choose to undertake one of the available Professional Development Opportunities. These positions allow you to gain professional experience at a library, museum, or other office on campus relevant to your studies. 


If you are in the natural sciences, your funding will likely come from training grants and faculty research grants at some point during your enrollment. In most programs, you may only join a research group that has active grant funding. Please consult with your DGS, if you have questions about this aspect of your funding package.


We strongly encourage you to compete for external fellowships. Winning an external award in a national competition, whether sponsored by a public or private agency, is a significant honor. External fellowships may be subject to our Combined Award policy. Please be sure to review our External Fellowships & Awards page to understand how external awards interact with university funding.

An external fellowship may also offer you added flexibility in your program. 

  • If you are a student in the natural sciences, an external fellowship may allow you to pursue a project or idea that is otherwise not eligible for financial support through your adviser’s research funding. 
  • If you are a student in the humanities or social sciences, an external fellowship might allow you to defer a University Fellowship (UF) to a subsequent term or year. 

You can search for external fellowships through the Yale Student Grants Database, other university search engines (e.g., UCLA), and commercial sites.

You must notify the Graduate School of any external awards you receive. 

  • Send a copy of your award letter to the Financial Aid Office at
  • If your award is subject to the Combined Award policy, then you will receive a combined award letter via email when your award has been processed, outlining your updated funding package. 

For any questions and concerns regarding your combined award letter, please contact the Graduate School Financial Aid Office via email at Associate Dean Robert Harper-Mangels can also advise regarding our Combined Award policy.

Additional GSAS Financial Support

PhD Stipends

An overview of information relevant to the PhD stipend.

Health Award

The Graduate School provides Yale Health Basic Coverage at no cost to all students (Master's and PhD) who are enrolled at least half-time in degree-seeking programs. In addition, all PhD students registered at least half-time receive a Health Fellowship Award that covers the cost of Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Care Coverage.

Conference Travel Fellowship (CTF)

By partnering with the MacMillan Center and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, graduate students with representatives in the Graduate Student Assembly are eligible for annual conference travel funding of up to $800.

PhD Student Travel Health Fellowship

If you are a PhD student traveling for dissertation research, the Graduate School provides a Travel Health Fellowship to cover the cost of required immunizations and prescription drugs at Yale Health.

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