Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Fellowships and Financial Aid

Full-time students admitted to our Ph.D. program  are generally offered a financial support package for four years of study.  Support is provided by a combination of fellowships and teaching/research assistantships, including a fellowship (with no teaching) in the first year and a teaching assistantship for the second year. This package, which covers tuition and fees and health insurance and also provides a stipend, continues for four years, for Ph.D. students in good standing.  As many students will write their dissertations in applied areas, it is expected that  their latter years of graduate study will be funded by outside grant support provided by their dissertation advisors.

Teaching assistants most often run recitations of calculus, meeting with up to four small groups of undergraduates once a week to discuss homework. Other possible TA assignments  include running problem sessions in more advanced courses such as advanced calculus or linear algebra, or running review sessions or grading for courses in which there are no problem sessions. Counting contact hours, office hours, grading, record keeping, etc., the TA responsibilities take up to twelve hours per week (and replace one of the graduate student's own courses). 

Students for whom English is not their native language are required to pass a test (the "Speak Test") demonstrating proficiency in English.  More information can be found at the English Language Programs web-page.  This web-page also describes a summer course on spoken English and classroom teaching taught by ELP. This course, which runs from late in June to the end of August,  is normally taken by foreign  Ph.D. students in the summer before they begin their graduate studies.  For fellowship students, the expense of attending this course is paid by the School of Arts and Sciences. The School and Math department also provide TA training at the beginning of the Fall semester and mentoring for TA's during the semester. Additional services for teaching assistants are provided by the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Graduate students often teach courses over the summer, for an additional stipend. (Doing this is optional, but is good experience.) Unlike TA responsibilities during the academic year, grad students who teach during the summer have full responsibility for the course, giving the lectures and assigning homework and grades.

Students in the masters program are not normally offered financial aid. In some circumstances Master's students may  be considered for teaching assistantships, which provide only a stipend. To be eligible for these positive non-native speakers of English must prove proficiency in spoken English as described at the ELP web-page. These are awarded based on merit and availablity, and are decided on a semester-by-semester basis.

Correspondence concerning Admission and Financial Aid should be sent to the Graduate Group Chair.