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Understanding graduate funding

Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures

The Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures Handbook is a compilation of university policies and other information related to academic standing and financial support of Stanford graduate students (including non-degree-seeking students). Graduate students should refer to the GAPP Handbook for the most updated information around graduate financial support, including types of funding such as fellowships, assistantships, and hourly work.

Assistantships

Graduate Student Assistantships are a form of student employment, earning a compensation package including both salary and tuition allowance (TAL) for the performance of research or teaching services to the University as part of the student's academic and professional training and development.

Full-time assistantships correspond to 20 hours of work per week during the 12-week quarter, and salaries  are paid twice a month, according to Stanford's payroll schedule, which is linked below.

Doctoral students should review the links below for more detailed information on assistantships, including: types of assistantships (TAs, RAs, TFs, CAs), expected hours of work per week, quarterly minimum salary rates and accompanying tuition allowance. 

Fellowships

Fellowships, typically including a full or partial tuition payment and a stipend for living expenses, are awarded as a form of financial support to a student. They are not provided in exchange for services provided by the student. They may be awarded by Stanford University, or any of its departments, or by external sources, on the basis of merit or need.

Fellowships are typically paid out as a lump sum per quarter, within the first few weeks of the quarter. The default for disbursement of stipends is “standard charges,” i.e., after other university charges, such as room and board, have been deducted, the remaining fellowship stipend is paid as a refund check to the student. See the links below for more information on fellowships.

Hourly work

Stanford University uses student hourly employment to hire Stanford students into jobs that are specifically earmarked for matriculated students. Student workers are supervised in their work, are hired through the PeopleSoft HR system, and must record and approve their work hours. Compensation is established on an hourly basis, and the amount of pay is based on the actual number of hours worked in each pay period.

These job assignments are incidental to the student’s course of study with reasonable limitations placed during the academic quarter on the nature of the work assignment and the number of hours of employment. Typically, students on a full fellowship or assistantship are limited to an additional 8 hours of work per quarter.

The Sociology Department sets the graduate student hourly rate in accordance with the type of work being performed. The standard hourly rate is reviewed each year to ensure compensation adheres to the appropriate minimum range set by the University. For more information on rates, please contact Sociology's Director of Finance & Operations.

Resources to understand your university bill