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GSE Fellowships and Grants

Funding During the First Year

Most doctoral students in their first year in the GSE receive a funding package that is a combination of graduate assistantships, fellowship stipends, and fellowship tuition and allowance. The package normally consists of a 25% assistantship, fellowship stipend, and fellowship tuition plus tuition allowance (from the assistantship). Basically, tuition at the 11–18 unit rate is covered by the funding package, and assistantship salary plus stipends are paid in total amounts equivalent to the 50% graduate assistantship salary level.

Because GSE doctoral students in their first year are required to take 11–18 units per quarter in their first three quarters, they receive a combination of fellowships and 25% graduate assistantships. Students cannot work more than 25% time when enrolled in more than 10 units. Once students drop to the 8–10 unit enrollment level after their first year in the doctoral program, GSE fellowships are replaced with 50% graduate assistantships. A bi-monthly salary and a tuition allowance (for 8–10 units) are provided for 50% assistantships.

Guaranteed Funding Period

The first five years of the GSE doctoral program are commonly referred to as the “guaranteed funding period” for the purposes of graduate aid. This is a safety net that helps students when they are unable to secure 50% worth of graduate assistantships (or combined fellowships and assistantships) on their own during the first five years of the program. The guaranteed funding covers deficiencies below the 50% assistantship level in the form of an assistantship paid from the GSE operating (or base) budget during the academic year, and in the form of a stipend during the summer.

The fifth-year funding package, which consists of a 25% assistantship and a fellowship stipend equal to the salary of a 25% assistantship, is only guaranteed if the student has completed their dissertation proposal and gone TGR prior to the first day of autumn quarter of their fifth year. Students who do not meet this requirement may still seek out funding on their own, but they are not covered by the funding guarantee and forfeit the funding package.

Students must contact faculty members directly to identify research, course or teaching assistant opportunities. In cases where students cannot secure 50% assistantships, they should reach out to the Doctoral Programs Officer as soon as possible. Every effort will be made by Academic Affairs to help identify opportunities. Funding through the base budget is used as a last resort.

Graduate assistants who will be paid from base budget will be placed with a faculty member and/or on a project that normally does not afford to hire a research assistant. In order to be paid from the GSE base budget under the guaranteed funding provisions, students must work at the GSE on a project to which they are assigned. Students who are funded through base budget must be in residence (i.e., at Stanford) and available to work on campus for a regular weekly schedule. By securing assistantships on their own (i.e., not from base budget), students ensure that they will work for projects, courses, and/or faculty of their choosing that best match their interests and goals.

The guaranteed funding period applies to doctoral students in their first five years of enrollment. Other than for a childbirth or medical accommodation, or for a leave of absence taken under extenuating circumstances approved by the Associate Dean, students cannot bank partial or full quarters of guaranteed funding for future use. The impact of leaves of absence on the guarantee period must be discussed in advance with the Director of Degree Programs. Regardless of how students fund their studies, the GSE's guaranteed funding only applies to the first five years of enrollment in the doctoral program, except in the cases noted above. Students who choose to work below the 25% (in years 1 and 5) or below the 50% assistantship level (in years 2-4) in a given quarter and/or rely upon other sources of financial support, such as loans or personal funds, do not bank the guaranteed funding for subsequent quarters.  For example, if a student wishes to not work on an assistantship during her or his fifth year, she or he is not eligible to receive additional guaranteed funding from the GSE in the sixth year. The GSE's funding guarantee is contingent upon students being able to physically come to campus for work. If a student chooses to spend a quarter away from campus, they may seek out assistantship work that can be done remotely, but the GSE will not guarantee funding for a student in this case, even if they are in their guaranteed funding period. Students should contact the Associate Dean of Educational Affairs if they would like to request an exception to this policy.

Travel Fellowships

These fellowships are intended to enhance student careers by enabling them to attend professional meetings to present papers or to advance in their research. Students must document that they are presenting a paper at a conference or provide documentation on how this will benefit their research for fellowship eligibility.

Students are eligible for a maximum of $700 (for North America travel or virtual opportunities) or $1100 (for international travel). These funds are determined on an individual basis as a partial contribution to expenses. The GSE cannot guarantee that the maximum will be awarded. For the purposes of this fellowship, travel within all of North America constitutes domestic travel (including, but not limited to, Canada and Mexico).  Please check with the Director of Degree Programs if you are unsure as to whether the country you are applying to constitutes domestic travel.

GSE students are limited to one pre-candidacy and two post-candidacy fellowships. Pre-candidacy travel fellowships are forfeited if not used before advancing to candidacy. These cannot be banked for future use after advancing to candidacy. It is a “use it or lose it” deal.

Further information and the forms are available on the GSE website, and the Director of Degree Programs can provide further information.

School of Education Dissertation Support Grant (School of Education-DSG)

The GSE makes available grants of up to a total of $6000 per student for advanced doctoral students needing support for dissertation research activities.

These grants are available to students who do not have access to other funds to cover their dissertation costs.

Ann Porteus ( administers this program and should be contacted for any questions. Ann will send an email to all doctoral students at the start of autumn quarter with application instructions and materials.

Contact us

PhD students, please contact

Photo of Jeremy Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Associate Director of Degree Programs

MA POLS and MA/PP students, please contact

Wesley Horng
Wesley Horng
Associate Director of Admissions & Academic Affairs

EDS, ICE/IEPA, Individually Designed, LDT, MA/JD, MA/MBA students, please contact

Photo of Caroline Stasulat
Caroline Stasulat
Associate Director of Degree Programs
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