Students collaborating on a project

Funding Your Degree

Funding a Graduate Degree

There are a variety of Academic Employment options available to fund a graduate degree. Students may need to utilize one or more of these options over the course of their academic career. It is important to note that practice varies among each graduate program. Please consult with a Graduate Program Coordinator for specific details.

  • Fellowships
  • Are like scholarships - highly competitive and vary widely with regard to stipend and/or tuition support they offer. UC Davis offers a special graduate opportunity program for qualified minority and/or economically disadvantaged students that offers a twelve-month stipend based on financial need, as determined by the Financial Aid Office.
  • Graduate Student Researcher
  • These positions are based on research grant funding, and are arranged with individual faculty members. Applicants interested in a GSR position should make early contact with faculty members in your department/areas of interest to discuss possible opportunities. Graduate Student Research positions provide full remission of the in-state fees and the non-resident supplemental tuition (NRST).
  • Teaching Assistants
  • These positions are allocated by individual departments. These positions are not centrally managed, and each requires an application. The position includes partial remission of in-state fees. The work may involve leading undergraduate discussion or laboratory sections and grading.
  • Readerships
  • These positions involve marking homework solutions submitted by students, and are arranged with individual instructors. Readerships are hourly positions, and include partial fee remissions for in-state fees. Readership positions should not be considered as a sole means of support.
For international and non-California students, non-resident tuition often poses the greatest financial difficulties. TAs, Readerships and regular fellowships do not necessarily include support for out-of-state tuition.  Full or partial Non-Resident Tuition Fellowships (NRTF) may be offered by the department. US citizens and permanent residents are expected to become California residents after one year of study.  For international students there is a waiver of the non-resident tuition for three years following advancement to candidacy for the PhD degree (after completing the qualifying exam).

Exemption from Non-Resident tuition (AB 540) is available to certain non-resident students (citizens and undocumented students) who have attended high school in California and received a high school diploma or its equivalent. For more information, please consult the AB 540 and Undocumented Student Center. Undocumented status, DACA, and AB 540 create special categories of financial aid eligibility. For more information about what you may be eligible for, and additional guidelines regarding these categories, please visit

Graduate Student Funding Resources

Internal and Departmental Fellowships

All new students are considered for these automatically with your application (you must apply by the priority deadline to be considered for the campus level fellowships). In some cases, a few select students will be nominated by their program for Campus fellowships, which are extremely competitive. Some individual graduate programs may also award program-level fellowships, which are decided on by the faculty in program or research area. These may be partial or full support. You should consult with your Graduate Program Coordinator for specific guidance about support available in your program.

Internal Fellowship competition

Each fall, Graduate Studies conducts an Internal Fellowship competition for continuing academic graduate students. This application is used to award fellowship funding for the subsequent academic year.

Graduate Funding Model

The campus provides detailed information on how tuition and Nonresident Supplemental Tuition (NRST) funds are distributed to support graduate education at UC Davis.