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Funding for Ph.D. Students

Ph.D. students at Yale are normally fully-funded for a minimum of five years. During that time, our students receive a twelve-month stipend to cover living expenses and a fellowship that covers the full cost of tuition.
 
Your funding will come from different sources during your enrollment. Every student, and every program’s financial aid package may be different. It can seem complicated, but your program and the Graduate School will take care of most of the accounting behind the scenes. 
 
The major types of funding available to Ph.D. students are summarized below. Our Programs & Policies handbook has even more information about the breadth of 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 one of the Graduate School deans. 

Types of Funding for Ph.D. Students

University Fellowship (UF)

University Fellowships (UFs) are funds provided through the Graduate School. These funds may be used during the initial year(s) of your doctoral program to cover your stipend and tuition. 
 
For policies governing University Fellowships, including information on deferring a University Fellowship and how teaching impacts a University Fellowship, please see our Programs & Policies
 
In subsequent years and in most programs, your stipend will be funded by a teaching fellowship, dissertation fellowship, or research assistantship.

Teaching Fellowship (TF)

You will receive a Teaching Fellowship (TF) when you teach at Yale. See the Teaching Fellows website for more information on the program. 
 
While you are on a Teaching Fellowship, the TF will provide a portion of your stipend. The rest of your stipend will come from other sources, depending on your department or program. 
 
In lieu of a Teaching Fellowship, you might choose 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.

Sixth-Year Funding Initiative

If you are a Ph.D. student in the humanities and social sciences, you may be eligible for a teaching position or its equivalent if you have no other source of funding. In your sixth year, you will be supported at the same level as your department’s standard stipend for the nine-month academic year. Read more about our Sixth-Year Funding Initiative
 
If you are in the sciences and engineering, you are funded according to your program’s financial aid package, normally for the number of years it takes to complete your degrees.

University Dissertation Fellowship (UDF)

This fellowship is available to you if you are a student in the humanities or social sciences who has advanced to doctoral candidacy. You may receive a UDF while you are engaged in full-time research and writing, normally in the fifth year of study. See our Programs & Policies for applicable guidelines. 
 
If you have external funding, it may be possible to defer a UDF and take it in your sixth year instead. 
 
After you advance to candidacy, you will complete the University Dissertation Fellowship form to indicate when you would like to receive the UDF. 
 
Please note, you are not eligible to serve as a Teaching Fellow while you are receiving UDF funding. 

Training and Research Grant Support

If you are in the natural sciences, your funding will most 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. 

External Fellowships

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. Please be sure to review the University’s policy on External Fellowships & Combined Awards, to understand how external awards interact with university funding. 
 
In addition to prestige, an external fellowship may also offer you added flexibility in your program. 
  • If you are a student in the natural sciences, an external fellowship might 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) or University Dissertation Fellowship (UDF) to a subsequent term or year. 
Search for external fellowships through the Yale Student Grants Database and other resources
 
You must notify the Graduate School of any external awards you receive.
  1. Send a us copy of your award to the Financial Aid Office at gradfinaid@yale.edu
  2. You will receive a combined award letter via email confirming your award has been processed and 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 gradfinaid@yale.edu

Departmental Funds and Awards

In some cases, programs and departments are able to fund students who are not otherwise supported by Graduate School resources. Some award additional fellowships and stipend supplements, normally at the time of admission. 
 
Some programs also provide funding for conference travel and research in absentia.

Health Fellowship Award

We provide Yale Health Basic Coverage to all students who are enrolled at least half-time in degree-seeking programs at no cost. You do not need to apply for, or waive, this coverage. 
 
In addition to the Basic Coverage, all Ph.D. students registered at least half-time receive a Health Fellowship Award that covers the cost of Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Care Coverage. Ph.D. students are automatically enrolled in this additional comprehensive coverage. If you waive Hospitalization/Specialty Care Coverage, you are not eligible to receive the Health Fellowship Award. 
 
The Health Fellowship Award also covers the children of Ph.D. students. Dependents must be added to your Hospitalization/Specialty Coverage at Yale Health each term. 
 
Review the Ph.D. Student Health & Family Support chart for more information.

Travel Health Fellowship

If your Ph.D. research requires travel outside the United States, a special fellowship will support the cost of required inoculations and prescription drugs at Yale Health. Costs from outside medical facilities will not be considered for reimbursement. 
 

Ph.D. Family Support Subsidy

If you are a Ph.D. student who has a child or children under the age of 18, you may request a family support subsidy. You may use the subsidy towards the costs of childcare, spousal health care at Yale Health, or any other expenses. For more information, see our Ph.D. Student Family Support Policy

Conference Travel Funding

We encourage you to attend and present at conferences in your field. Funds are available through the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA), departments, programs, and other external resources to help cover the cost of conference travel. See our Conference Travel Funding page for more information. 

Dean’s Emergency Fund

To help Ph.D. students with unexpected one-time expenses such as travel related to a death in the immediate family, temporary housing after a fire, or emergency dental surgery, the Dean’s Office has set aside special funds. Read more about the Dean’s Emergency Fund.
 

Additional Financial Assistance

Additional Summer Resources