Financial aid

This section answers questions about the numerous forms of financial assistance that are available for Ph.D. students in Economics at UC Davis.

Research assistantship eligibility

Are research assistantships available for newly admitted grad students?

No. Research assistantships are not offered to newly admitted graduate students but they are available for students who are further along in the graduate program.

Can faculty help improve my chances?

Does contacting individual faculty members increase chances for admission or chances for receiving financial aid?

No. Contacting individual professor does not result in financial aid offers or better chances for admission or aid.

Teaching assistant position eligibility

Do I need to apply for a teaching assistant position?


No. All applicants are considered for these positions. Most new entering graduate students are offered TA positions each year. Of these, some offers to best applicants are multi-year TA offers for four or five years.

How many new students are offered aid?

How many newly admitted grad students are offered financial aid, each year?

We do not release details about past financial aid offers because of year-to-year variances in how many students receive financial aid, or how much aid is awarded per student. Full financial aid is not available for international students. When offered, financial aid usually consists of a teaching assistantship or a teaching assistantship plus some partial funding toward nonresident tuition. Sometimes TA and nonresident tuition fellowship offers are multi-year offers.

How many continuing students get aid?

How many continuing graduate students receive financial aid each year?

We can't predict in advance whether or not anyone is likely to receive future aid. However, most grad students in the program have plenty of TA or RA experience by the time they finish the program. We do not provide information about past aid offers to continuing students, because that would not provide an accurate indicator for future financial aid.

Second chance for tuition fellowship?

If a newly admitted grad student does not receive a nonresident tuition fellowship at first, is there any chance one might be available later, before fall quarter begins?

After financial aid decisions have been made, the department informs new grad students by email about whether or not they will receive an aid offer. If a student receives an email saying the department is unable to offer financial aid, that is really the case and the situation is not likely to change later. New students who are not offered a nonresident tuition fellowship before arrival at UC Davis are not likely to receive one later during the first year, either. (Usually, if further funding for nonresident tuition fellowships becomes available later in the year, it would be offered instead to grad students who entered the program previous years.)

Second chance for TA or financial aid?

If a newly admitted graduate Economics student does not receive a TA or financial aid offer at first, is there any chance one might be available later?

New graduate students can apply for TAships in other departments on campus, such as Mathematics, Statistics, or Agricultural and Resource Economics (students need to inquire at the other departments about TA application procedures, deadlines, and other details). These positions are unlikely to be obtained as early as April 15, and waiting to inquire about them until summer or closer to the beginning of the fall quarter may be preferable. In the past, new students sometimes have been able to get hired in positions like this after arrival here. If another department requires letters of recommendation along with a TA application, students can ask the Economics Graduate Program coordinator to send the other department copies of the recommendation letters that were submitted earlier with the admission application. New nonresident students who are not offered a nonresident tuition fellowship before arrival at UC Davis are not likely to receive one later during the first year, either. But for the second or later years, nonresident tuition fellowships are offered annually to international students on a competitive basis.

Future financial aid prospects

What about financial aid for future years, after the first year in the graduate program?

Continuing graduate students can apply for financial aid each year, in advance for the following year (nonresident tuition fellowships and TAships). Nonresident tuition fellowships are offered annually to international students on a competitive basis. The department has a point ranking system that considers each student's progress in the program, grades, performance on prelim exams, and the quality of recent past TA evaluations for those who have worked as TAs for our department. Continuing student financial aid for the following year usually is offered by early June each year. Our best students generally receive fellowships for close to full nonresident tuition; almost all international students receive at least partial nonresident tuition funding. Additional aid also is offered in the form of TAships and, in later years, research assistant (RA) positions. RAs are entitled to have full in-state fees and nonresident tuition paid by the university for RA quarters. Students also can apply for TAships or RAships in other departments on campus, such as Mathematics, Statistics and/or the Agricultural and Resource Economics. International students become eligible for a "reduced nonresident tuition fee" after “advancement to candidacy.” The reduced nonresident tuition fee is for a period of up to three years beyond the advancement date. Students can become eligible for this by the time the fourth year begins. We are well aware of the financial burden that tuition fees exert and, to date, we usually succeed in giving students at least some assistance. The Graduate Handbook contains information about advancement to candidacy.

My chances for receiving financial aid

What are my chances for receiving financial aid?

The answer depends on how each applicant's records compare with those of a great many other applicants. We therefore cannot estimate an individual's chances until all applications have been received and examined.

Notification of financial aid offer

When will I learn if I will receive a financial aid offer from the Department of Economics?

Newly admitted students will be informed through email, by mid-March or later, about whether or not they will be offered financial aid.