Financial support from the University is available on a competitive
basis to entering graduate students in the form of Fellowships, Graduate
Student Instructorships, Graduate Student Researchships, Readerships,
and University Financial Aid. The Department pledges incoming PhD
students sufficient financial support so that they have funding for at
least 5 years of graduate study at Berkeley, subject to the student
making good progress toward the degree and satisfactory performance of
all teaching duties.
For entering PhD students without outside support, the Department normally covers all fees and nonresident tuition during the first year of study. Nonresident tuition will be covered for up to 4 additional years for PhD students making good progress who are ineligible to become California residents. Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to establish California residency after one year in the state and should plan to do so. The Department lacks the resources to cover their nonresident tuition for longer than one year. Students will receive advice on how to qualify for residency. The Graduate Division Fellowship Office requests that all domestic students submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This information is for use only by the Fellowship Office to allow for the use of need-based funds. Please note: as graduate students you do not need to include parental information. Prior to receiving a stipend or being hired as a Graduate Student Instructor or a Graduate Student Researcher an international student must have a Social Security number. We recommend students arrange to get a Social Security number at the Embassy before coming to the U.S.
The procedures and deadline for applying for University of California fellowships are described in the application for admission. Because the number of such fellowships is small, applicants are also strongly encouraged to apply for other fellowships, such as the National Science Foundation fellowships. In past years, many strong students have missed the opportunity to get one of these fellowships by not applying. Fellowship applicants are expected to supply information on their financial status.
Graduate Student Instructor Positions
The Department has a number of half-time Graduate Students
Instructorships (GSI's) for which graduate students may apply. The
workload usually averages between 14 and 16 hours per week.
New GSIs are required to enroll in Mathematics 300 (Teaching Workshop) for one semester, during their first term holding the teaching position. The class meets for 2 hours per week, about 8 times during the semester. The University requires that prospective international Graduate Student Instructors demonstrate proficiency in spoken English before they begin teaching. Since a high score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) does not guarantee the necessary degree of fluency, all applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of Spoken English (TSE). This test, which is given by the Educational Testing Service, can usually be taken at the same office abroad as the one at which the TOEFL is offered. A score of 50 or above on the TSE is necessary for an appointment as a Graduate Student Instructor.
It is essential that the TSE be taken during the first two weeks of August so that the results will reach the Department in time for consideration. In the absence of a TSE score, the Department can make only a conditional offer of a teaching appointment which will be contingent upon a satisfactory score on an oral proficiency test. Alternately, the Graduate Student Teaching & Resource Center offers the SPEAK test (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit), several times during August. International students should plan to arrive on campus at least 3 weeks before the semester starts. It is recommended that the test be taken a least 1 week after arrival in the United States, but at least 10 days before the first day of classes, as it takes 10 days to receive the test results. Students should contact the Graduate Student Affairs Officer for additional information.
Incoming students who are not able to pass the TSE or SPEAK before the beginning of the Fall semester should concentrate on mastery of spoken English during the Fall semester and must pass the TSE, SPEAK, or OPT test before the beginning of the Spring semester in order to qualify for financial support from the Department. Failure to pass TSE, SPEAK, or OPT after the end of the first year will result in loss of all financial support from the Department.
Graduate Student Research Positions
A number of positions as Graduate Student Researchers are also available. These are funded by the grants of individual faculty members, and most are reserved for students who have been advanced to candidacy.
A limited amount of support may be earned as a Reader.
Some graduate students earn money as tutors. The Department maintains a tutor registry on a semester basis, which is available to students desiring help. Tutors make their own arrangements with the students. See staff in 970 Evans for more information.