A Quick Guide to Doctoral Funding at the CUNY Graduate Center

August 30, 2023

Here’s a breakdown of how funding for doctoral students works at the Graduate Center.

Financial Aid sticky with a bunch of $100 bills
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From the moment you realized you wanted to go get a doctorate, you’ve probably been wondering how to pay for it. From five-year fellowship packages to merit-based financial aid, we’ve got a variety of ways to pay for your education. Here’s a breakdown of how doctoral funding works at the Graduate Center.

The good news: 90% of Graduate Center doctoral students receive fellowships. All fellowships cover tuition for five years and many include additional financial support. The types of fellowships we offer vary by discipline. Students will be notified of their fellowship packages when they are admitted to the Graduate Center.

In general, humanities and social sciences students receive either a Graduate Center Fellowship or a Five-Year Tuition Fellowship.

The Graduate Center Fellowship includes coverage of tuition (in-state-only in years two through five for U.S. students); a stipend (called a financial aid fellowship); and a salary for an assistantship, which usually involves research in year one and teaching in years two through five. In 2023, Graduate Center Fellowships amounted to $29,374 in annual funding in addition to tuition coverage.

Five-Year Tuition Fellowships cover full tuition (up to 16 credits per semester) for five years. In years two through five, tuition is covered at the in-state rate for U.S. students. International students on a visa receive full tuition coverage at the out-of-state rate.

Students in Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics receive a CUNY Science Scholarship. In addition to tuition coverage, students receive a stipend (called a financial aid fellowship) and a salary for discipline-related work. In 2023, CUNY Science Scholarships amounted to $33,246 in annual funding in addition to tuition coverage. The Graduate Center pays this amount in the first year. In years two through five, students are paid by the CUNY school where their faculty mentor is based.

A Neuroscience Fellowship, which is similar to the CUNY Science Scholarship, is offered to students in Psychology’s Behavioral Cognitive Neuroscience program and Biology’s Neuroscience program. In 2023, the Neuroscience Fellowship amounted to $33,246 in annual funding in addition to tuition coverage.

Students in Computer Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Psychology, Mathematics, and Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences are eligible for one of three main fellowship packages: a Graduate Center Fellowship, a Five-Year Tuition Fellowship, or a Science Fellowship.

Science Fellows receive tuition coverage and additional funding — $28,374 in 2023 — for the first two years and an additional $2,000 in years three through five. Faculty grants often supplement Science Fellowships in years three through five.

There are additional selective, merit-based fellowships available.

Select Mathematics and Computer Science students can be nominated for Clare Booth Luce Fellowships, which are supported by the Henry Luce Foundation. In 2023, these fellowships amounted to $35,715 in years one and two and $35,000 in years three through five.

The Graduate Center offers merit-based supplemental $10,000 fellowships: the Provost’s Enhancement Fellowship, which is available to students who receive Graduate Center Fellowships, and the James Bruce Llewellyn Fellowship for Minority Students, which is available to students who receive CUNY Science Scholarships.

All students with Graduate Center Assistantships, which are included with many fellowship packages and are essentially paid jobs that involve teaching, research, or service, are eligible for health insurance.

Still have questions? Check out this FAQ with more details about financial aid, from how students receive fellowship payments to coverage of mandatory student fees.

For additional questions or assistance, you can reach the Office of Fellowships and Financial Aid at financialaid@gc.cuny.edu.