Fellowship FAQs

All applicants to Columbia's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are considered for university fellowship at the time of application for admission, provided the application is complete by the stated deadline. All continuing GSAS students must apply for renewal of their fellowship, or for fellowship consideration if they did not receive an award the prior year. Each individual department has procedures and deadlines for fellowship consideration. Contact your department in February for information concerning fellowship consideration.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers a wide variety of fellowships to students based on merit. These awards are made on both an annual and multi-year basis. Fellowships often provide payment of tuition and health fees in addition to a stipend for living expenses. In the course of the doctoral program, the fellowship can take the form of a teaching or research appointment which provides for tuition, health fees, and a salary. Often these salaries are supplemented by an additional stipend for living expenses. All fellowship decisions for applicants and continuing students are made by the departments. All fellows must apply annually for renewal of fellowships through the departments.

Columbia University fellowship awards often consist of teaching or research appointments in addition to a supplemental stipend. By applying for fellowship in your admissions application or through your department as a continuing student, you are also considered for possible teaching or research appointments. There is no separate application for these appointments. These awards are considered part of your university fellowship.

Each fellow is required to submit evidence of at least one effort to obtain funding from an agency external to the university. Generally, applications to external foundations are due early in the fall semester for funding the next academic year (for example, an application due in early October 2014 would be for funding in the 2015-16 academic year). For more information, see the External Fellowships page.

The Office of Financial Aid will calculate the portion of your award that you will receive during the academic year (September through May) and base the top-off on that amount. You will also receive your customary GSAS summer stipend. For questions, contact the Office of Financial Aid at [email protected] or (212) 854-3808.

US citizens or permanent residents who are recipients of fellowship awards, which include teaching or research responsibilities, are required to complete the financial aid forms for the federal aid programs. Students must submit the Columbia University Request for Loans and/or Federal Work-Study and must have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The financial information contained in these documents will NOT alter the amount of the fellowship award from GSAS.

Students holding teaching fellow or research fellow appointments receive two-thirds of the total award as a stipend (disbursed as described above) and the remainder as semi-monthly payroll on the fifteenth and last day of the month. Students holding graduate research assistant appointments receive their entire stipend as semi-monthly payroll. All students, regardless of visa status, may receive the payroll portion of their award via direct deposit and are strongly encouraged to do so. You may complete the online direct deposit form in SSOL.

Stipend checks will be available for students to pick up at the Payments and Deposits Office in 205 Kent Hall. Students must be registered and are required to show a valid CUID card. International students must have a Social Security number or need to show a receipt of application in order to receive their stipend checks.

According to the Tax Reform Act of 1986, all grant aid (scholarships, fellowships) which exceeds the cost of tuition and required fees, books, and related classroom expenses is subject to US income tax. Also subject to tax are any amounts received representing payments for teaching and research. There will be no withholding on fellowship stipends paid to US students and permanent residents. The Controller's Office will withhold on amounts earned through research or teaching appointments. W-2 forms will be issued for amounts earned and withheld for research or teaching appointments only. The student is responsible for accurately reporting stipend amounts and for making estimated tax payments if appropriate. For additional information, please consult Student Financial Services.