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, 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.

Upon admission to the Ph.D. program, prospective students are provided a detailed funding package that specifies the length of funding, source of financial support, and requirements students must adhere to, to maintain eligibility for financial support. Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents (domestic students) are required to establish California residency after one year in the state and must do so before the start of their second year. 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.


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 successful 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 Graduate Students Instructorships (GSI's) for which graduate students may apply. The standard GSI appointment is 20 hours per week.

New GSIs are required to enroll in MPS 375 (Pedagogy Course) during their first term holding a teaching position. This course aims to support new instructors, prepare them for teaching in a unversity setting, and set them up for success in the classroom. The University requires that prospective international Graduate Student Instructors demonstrate proficiency in spoken English before they begin teaching. 

Graduate Student Research Positions

A number of positions as Graduate Student Researchers (GSR) are also available. GSR positions are funded by the grants of individual faculty members, and most are reserved for students who have been advanced to candidacy. The faculty appoint students to GSR positions each term. 

Readership Positions

A limited amount of support may be earned as a Reader. Reader positions generally supplement primary sources of income and typically do not solely support student living expenses. 

Summer Courses

Enrollment in summer courses is not covered by the Department. The only exception is for students who need to be enrolled in internship units for F-1 Curricular Practical Training. Please contact the Graduate Advisor for more information.