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Student Funding/Stipend

The first year of student funding is provided by the Neurosciences Graduate Program. This includes full payment of tuition and fees and a stipend of $34,000/year for 2019-2020.

Beginning Fall Quarter (September 1) of the second year, your thesis advisor assumes responsibility for providing full financial support. Before joining a lab, you should make sure your thesis advisor is able to cover your stipend and fees for the duration of the thesis project.


Faculty members are expected to pay graduate student stipends, in addition to covering tuition  and fees.

Earnings from employment (teaching assistantships, instructors, readers, tutors, etc.) may be used to bring stipends up to but not above the standard support level. In general, students are not expected to hold any outside employment while registered as full-time students receiving financial support.

Outside Funding

All students are encouraged to apply for outside sources of funding, such as fellowships. This can be a plus on your academic record and make more laboratories available for your thesis research.

Most fellowships also provide some money for travel and supplies. In addition, any student who is awarded an outside fellowship as the primary investigator (not assigned to an institutional training grant), will be given a $1,200 annual bonus in addition to their stipend (for the life of the fellowship as long as you are a current student). If the outside fellowship is received in the first year, the Graduate Program will provide the bonus. Thereafter, it will be provided by the thesis advisor with his/her approval.

Many fellowships and scholarships are available, most notably through the National Science Foundation. Typically, a student can apply for these fellowships in their first year or in the year preceding entry to graduate school.

See more fellowships.

Applications are available online and through the Graduate Division (GD). The deadlines for these fellowships vary.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers a variety of fellowship opportunities. The most readily accessible are the Research Supplements for Underrepresented Minorities program designed to attract minorities into biomedical and behavioral research.

Principal Investigators holding NIH research grants may apply for these supplements to support underrepresented minorities. The supplements offer funding for fees, stipends and supplies.

The application is straightforward with a fast turn-around time and high success rate (averaging 72 percent across the various NIH institutes). Eligible candidates should call (301) 594-7706 for information about the program.

The Individual National Research Service Award Program (NRSA), available from a number of agencies within NIH, requires a more extensive application and has a lower success rate than other fellowship opportunities, but provides a very rich source of funding for students once they begin their thesis research.

Our students have been more than 50% successful in obtaining NRSA Fellowships in recent years. There are three annual deadlines for these applications: April 5, August 5 and December 5.

Get more details online or contact:

The Division of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, OER,NIH
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910
Bethesda, MD 20892-7910
Phone: (301) 435-0714

Information about other funding sources is available from OGS on the UC San Diego Graduate Funding Blog.

Health Benefits

Health, vision and dental coverage is included in the fees paid by the program or your PI. More information.

California Residency

All students (except international admits) are expected to establish California residency prior to the start of their second year. Students who do not establish residency will be responsible for their "Non-resident Supplemental Tuition" for approximately $15,000/year.

You should begin the process to establish residency immediately following your arrival to California. To qualify for residency, you must demonstrate that you have resided in California for at least one year.

Residency is established by severing residential ties with other states and creating them with California: getting a California driver’s license and registering your car with the state; establishing a residence; registering to vote; and/or paying California taxes.

At orientation, first year non-resident students will receive a listing of what to collect and/or establish within their first year in California to satisfy all reclassification requirements.

More information on California residency.

International Applicants

See the Neurograd Admissions page for special funding information.