All admitted students are supported for the PhD program. Typically, students are supported by a Dean's Fellowship in the first two years followed by a Research Assistantship in subsequent years as students work for a research group.

The Fellowship support amount increases on average 5% per year. Some students supplement their Fellowship by tutoring, teaching recitation sections, or by grading homework.

These are the Fellowship Support amounts for the current academic year:


Academic Year Support 9/1/19 - 5/31/20

First and Second Year Graduate Student Student Support (DEAN'S FELLOW SUPPORT)

* Disbursed as Teaching Fellow salary payment and Fellowship stipend:

Salary Payment:  $10,077.50 as Teaching Fellow salary payment, disbursed semi-monthly, September 2019 through May 2020.  Semi-monthly amount will be $559.86, processed through Payroll with withholding.

Fellowship Stipend:  $20,155.00 as Fellowship stipend, disbursed in two (2) installments of $10,077.50 each at the start of September and January, processed through Student Services with no withholding for U.S. citizens.

9 - Month total of salary and fellowship = $30,232.50

* Teaching Fellow (TF) Support includes Tuition and Basic Medical Insurance.

For Comprehensive Medical Insurance coverage please visit Columbia Health Services

Summer 2019 Support (6-1-19 through 8-31-19)

Disbursed as Graduate Research Assistant salary payment, and processed through Payroll with withholding:  $3,261.08 per month for June, and $3,359.17 for July, and August 2019 (Salary level for July and August may be increased).

3- Month summer total = $9,979.42


Third-Year and Beyond Graduate Student Support

Graduate Research Assistant salary is paid semi-monthly from faculty-sponsored research grants, through payroll with withholding.

  • $3,359.17 / per month
  • $10,077.50 / 3 months
  • $30,323.50 / 9 months
  • $40,310 / 12 months


  • Year 1: Dean's Fellowship + Research Assistantship during the summer
  • Year 2: Dean's Fellowship + Research Assistantship during the summer

Subsequent Years: Research Assistantship (12 months each year)


Some students enter graduate school with outside fellowships or awards. In this case, support will be supplemented with details dependent on the amount of the outside fellowship.


Students can supplement their income by:

  • Tutoring undergraduates privately (the Physics office keeps a list of those interested in tutoring). Rates are negotiated privately with the students seeking tutors.
  • Teaching recitation sections (a number of undergraduate courses have weekly recitation sections).
  • Grading homework (all undergraduate courses have weekly homework assignments that require grading).

Interested graduate students should contact the undergraduate secretary if they are interested in any of these possibilities for supplemental income.