Fellowship Information for Doctoral Students

The fellowship information provided here applies only to Arts and Sciences doctoral programs. Doctoral programs in the Schools of Architecture, Business, Engineering, Journalism, Nursing, Public Health, Social Work; the College of Physicians and Surgeons; and Teachers College are administered and funded through the dean’s office of each respective school. Doctoral students in these programs should consult the dean’s office of their individual school to learn about the policies and resources that apply to them.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, through individual departments, awards fellowships solely on the basis of demonstrated academic merit in recognition of academic achievement and in expectation of scholarly success. Students admitted to an Arts and Sciences doctoral program receive a guarantee of multiyear support as indicated in the official letter of admission from the Dean. Detailed financial breakdowns of this fellowship support may be viewed on the following pages:

This support during the guaranteed-funding years is composed of a combination of fellowships and teaching or research appointments.

All departments provide a nine-month standard stipend, the level of which is established each spring for the following academic year. Salaries for student officers of instruction and research are set according to the terms of the contract with SWC-UAW.  Natural Sciences departments may supplement the stipend and/or provide summer research appointments. Humanities and Social Science departments also provide annual summer fellowships beginning in the summer after the first year. Fellowships during the guaranteed-funding years also cover tuition, the Health and Related Services Fee, and basic medical insurance premiums under the University's Student Health Insurance Program, the University Service and Support Fee, and the International Service Charge (if applicable). Students are responsible for paying for the following fees and expenses themselves:

  • Their rent
  • Student Activity Fee
  • Document Fee
  • Withdrawal Fee
  • Late Registration Fee
  • Language course fees

Tuition and all fees will be assessed for students who are not covered under a GSAS fellowship.

Incoming PhD students with guaranteed multi-year support may, with the permission of their Director of Graduate Studies, enroll in courses taught through Columbia Summer Session. Upon receipt of the Summer Tuition Credit application form, GSAS will provide fellowship support to cover the tuition, the University Service and Support Fee, and the International Service Charge only. All other fees charged are the responsibility of the incoming student. Please note that GSAS does not permit incoming students to receive their summer stipends during the summer prior to their first year of the PhD program.  Additional information on how to apply for the Summer Tuition Credit is available here. International students who require a visa for entry into the United States must contact the GSAS Admissions Office at [email protected] by April 16th so that a revised offer of admission specifying a summer start date may be generated.   

Incoming students may apply for Columbia housing through Columbia Residential. Students who sign a Columbia Residential lease are eligible to remain in housing for up to five years. Columbia Residential policies govern the application process as well as the terms for remaining in University housing.

In signifying acceptance of a fellowship award from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, a student acknowledges his or her understanding of the fellowship regulations stated on the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website regarding registration and maintaining New York City residence.

Students should refer to the Fellowship Categories page for additional policies governing their awards. Funded doctoral students in Arts and Sciences programs who are appointed as salaried student officers may not spend more than twenty hours per week in the discharge of the responsibilities associated with their fellowship and those associated with any other activity within or outside Columbia for which they are compensated. Work toward the student’s PhD/dissertation and class time are not included in the work that is part of the appointment. Students on a first-year or dissertation fellowship (which have no service responsibilities) may spend up to ten hours per week on such non-fellowship activities. Furthermore, federal regulations prevent international students on F-1 visas from working more than twenty hours per week under all circumstances during the school term. University and academic holidays must be observed; reasonable requests for time off made with sufficient notice generally should be granted. 

Continuing support is contingent upon the fellow's making a good faith effort to obtain outside funding and meeting the standards for performance and satisfactory progress established by the program and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Failure to maintain satisfactory progress—or, in the case of student officers, failure to discharge responsibly pedagogical or research duties—may result in the loss of funding. Upon completing the multiyear package, students still within their seven registered years of study may be eligible for limited additional support.

Students who win external funding should refer to the External Fellowship Policy. It is the responsibility of the fellow to report outside awards to the GSAS Office of Financial Aid.