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Support Policy Overview

Students are fully funded (all tuition and fees covered plus at least $31,500 additional support per year) by the Department, as detailed below, for Years 1-5. This includes non-resident tuition for international students and non-resident first year students (international students must advance to candidacy by the end of Year 3 to receive tuition remission). Students in Years 6-8 are not considered supported by the Department but may be employed if within UC, GEPA, and department time limits, for example, as a teaching assistant (TA), Graduate Student Researcher (GSR), or Readers.

We expect that all graduate students, regardless of the source and method of payment or the amount of their support, will be full time students in residence for 9 months of the year. The full financial support package is provided based on the assumption that graduate work is a student's full-time job, to which the student is devoting full-time effort in-person in San Diego for the 9 months of the academic year.

Five Year Support Package (2023-2024)

Year 1: $32,000 base support package (Sept-June)

  • Academic year base package includes 1 course TA appointment and stipend support
  • Full tuition, fees, and health insurance covered
  • McGill Research expense account: $2,000 (not included in the $32,000 base support amount)
  • Anderson Travel/ Research Program typical annual award per student: $800

Starting the summer after Year 1, students also have the option to TA for Summer Session courses, or work as a GSR if funding from their advisor or another source provides it. Summer Session TA appointments have a pay rate of at least $3,788/5 weeks (i.e. 1 session is 5 weeks), and GSR appointments has a pay rate of at least $5,090 per month. A summer course TA appointment or an equivalent amount of support from another source is guaranteed during the summer between Year 1 and Year 2.

Years 2-5: $31,500* base support package (Sept-June)

  • Academic year base package includes 9 total course TA appointments over Years 2-5
    • Years 2-4: support comes in the form of 2 TAships, 1 Associate (in lieu of TA) position, and a small stipend
    • Year 5: support comes in the form of 3 TAships and a small stipend 
  • Full tuition, fees, and health insurance covered during quarters of employment with Psychology
  • Full tuition for international students covered during quarters of employment with Psychology (Years 1-3 ) and waived for 3 more years after advancing to candidacy before the start of year 4.
  • Anderson Travel/ Research Program typical annual award per student: $800

The Psychology Department encourages graduate students to obtain outside funding to increase the level of support they receive, and even provides assistance for doing so. For example, the department has a special committee of current graduate students and faculty members that is available to help students review their application materials for major fellowships and grants. 

A student who receives outside funding will receive 100% of their external award, plus our $31,500* base support package, up to the Graduate Division maximum of $34,650 for the academic year. Any amount of departmental support above this maximum is not paid (including over summer). If the fellowship award specifically disallows TA effort, work, or service, the amount of department support will be correspondingly limited. Students have the option of declining the Psychology portion of their award package, thereby releasing them of TAships if their fellowship covers tuition and fees, or if they are willing to cover the fees themselves and will be able to meet the program teaching requirement of participating in a minimum of four teaching assistantships (one the first year and 3 others before graduating). Please contact the Graduate Coordinator for details pertaining to specific awards and for planning.

Years 6-8: Support available via departmental course TA or other employment

Graduate students in Years 6-8 are not considered supported by the Department, meaning they will not receive the Department's $31,500* base support package from Years 1-5.  Although they are not considered funded after Year 5, they are able to receive support from TA, Reader, GSR appointments, and/or extramural fellowships. TA, Reader, and GSR appointments above 25% effort in a quarter also cover the tuition and fees. While there are often TA appointments available within the Department, these cannot be guaranteed. Priority for available TAships is given to graduate students earlier in the program. Please note that there is an 18-quarter instructional limit that applies to TAships, Associate (in lieu of TA) positions, and Associate In (teaching a class) positions. This 18-quarter instructional limit is set by the University of California Office of the President (UCOP). After this limit has been exhausted, graduate students can no longer serve in these capacities, and instead may be supported through available GSR appointments, as readers, or through external fellowships. Additionally, graduate students cannot receive any support from the University or the Department after 8 years. 

NOTE: The department admits students with the intention to provide support for 5 years of graduate study. As yet, we have always been able to meet our intended support level. Further, the support package outlined above is the model implemented for the current year, but the source and method of funding is subject to change.

*$31.5k is the minimum total support package with 3 quarters of employment. The actual total will vary by graduate student based on their employment history with more experienced grads receiving higher pay.