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Graduate Funding

Stanford Engineering provides a variety of funding options to help master’s and doctoral students pay for their graduate degree.

Many graduate students are concerned about funding their graduate education. At Stanford, your graduate application is also your application for fellowships and assistantships. For PhD students and some master’s students, this funding is part of the admissions offer. Master’s students who are not offered funding as part of admissions may seek teaching and research assistantships. Each department website has more information on these processes.

Regardless of Stanford-provided funding, prospective students are strongly encouraged to apply for external fellowships, such as the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship and fellowships offered by the National Science Foundation, Hertz Foundation, and Ford Foundation. These fellowships strongly enhance your resume for your future career.

PhD Funding

All SoE PhD students who are in good standing relative to their PhD program requirements should be funded to the department’s PhD standard. In all departments, this is at least equivalent to Stanford’s 20-hour-RA salary plus tuition to cover the department’s required enrollment (summer enrollment requirements vary by department).  Arranging for this funding is the responsibility of the department and the faculty PhD advisor, and can include fellowships, research assistantships, training grants and teaching assistantships.

Often, our PhD students apply for and may receive individual fellowships which can reduce the department’s or advisor’s cost of funding.  In these cases, the guarantee of funding to the student will include the fellowship award and additional support from the department/advisor to reach the department-standard level.  For educational purposes, departments and advisors may encourage their students to apply for such fellowships and provide resources to strengthen their applications; however, no department or faculty member may require students to obtain external individual funding or to “self-fund” as a condition of admission, entry to or continuation in the Ph.D.

Teaching and Course Assistantships (TAs and CAs)

The TAs and CAs program funds incremental diversity course assistants in the undergraduate curriculum. This program has the dual goal of enriching the undergraduate curriculum and the diversity of students available as teachers, mentors, and role models in engineering. Each department may nominate up to five incoming master’s students who would contribute significantly to this dual goal, in addition to the TAs/CAs supported by their department allocation.

In addition, graduate students (including coterms) may serve as CAs in the Additional Calculus for Engineers (ACE) program.  

Master’s funding

Most departments do not guarantee funding for master’s students. However, many receive external fellowships and some are Knight-Hennessy Scholars. In some departments, teaching assistantships are also available. Please refer to department websites for more information. Master’s students may also consider loans through the financial aid office.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars program

We encourage students to consider applying to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program. Each year this program awards up to 100 high-achieving students with full funding to pursue a graduate education at Stanford. Deadlines are in September, before the Stanford graduate application is due.