Five-Year Funding Guarantee and Seven-Year Funding Eligibility
A comprehensive program of financial aid is available for doctoral students, including fellowships and appointments in teaching and research as appropriate to the program. Detailed financial breakdowns of doctoral fellowship support may be viewed on the following pages:
- Humanities and Social Science Departments
- Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B), Mathematics and Statistics
- Other Natural Sciences Departments
Guaranteed-Funding Years (Years 1-5)*
Doctoral students normally receive the annual prevailing stipend (or salary, in the case of student officers) and appropriate tuition, health fees, University service and support fees, and if applicable, international fees, for five years, provided that they remain in good academic standing and, in the case of student officers, have discharged responsibly their pedagogical or research duties. For doctoral candidates in Humanities and Social Science departments, as well as E3B, Mathematics, and Statistics, this includes five summers of support.
*For doctoral candidates in English and Comparative Literature and Theatre only, guaranteed funding extends from year one through six.
Funding-Eligible Years (Years 6 and 7)
After the fifth year of funding, students in years six or seven* may be eligible for, but are not entitled to, additional support. Such advanced students may be eligible for GSAS funding if they have previously banked it from outside awards received any time in years one to five; if they have special teaching assignments such as Core Preceptors, Kluge Scholars, or GSAS Teaching Scholars; or upon special request by departments that have exceptional and demonstrable pedagogical need in a given year, subject to GSAS approval. Students in the Natural Sciences may be supported by their PIs as student officers of research.
*Students who enter with advanced standing (30 credits and 2 Residence Units) are still guaranteed five years of funding, but will be eligible for only one additional year of support.
Students are not eligible to receive GSAS fellowships after their seventh year of registration. However, for students beyond their seventh year of registration who currently hold a major, competitively awarded external fellowship that requires that GSAS contribute to the cost of tuition and health fees, an exception is made.
These time limits and restrictions on funding do not affect a student's ability to apply for outside grants or Title IV funding (Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford and Grad PLUS Loans and Federal Work-Study).
Note: The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences requires that all work for the PhD or DMA degree be completed within nine years of full-time registration, less any advanced standing granted, as noted in the regulation concerning satisfactory academic progress.
Students in all degree programs are required to register in each semester until all degree requirements have been completed, or until the time-to-degree limit has been reached. Students who do not receive GSAS or outside fellowship support beyond their guaranteed GSAS funding package are directly responsible for any tuition charges and all fees. The Columbia Health and Related Services Fee is mandatory and automatically billed; University policy also requires that all registered full-time students either enroll in the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan or have alternate health insurance coverage that meets the standards set by Columbia Health.