Financial Support and Resources

The following ​page provides information about Merit-Based Financial Support (Teaching Assistantships), Graduate Student Fellowships, Financial Aid, Tuition and Fees, Cost of Housing, and Cost Calculators. General information is provided here; more specifics (and lots of “fine print” which definitely needs to be read, is included in offers of admission).

The Department of Economics expects to offer a full financial package to all accepted PhD students covering a stipend, full tuition, and health insurance. The package is guaranteed for five years for students making satisfactory progress. Support is a combination of teaching assistantships and fellowship money.​

Merit-Based Financial Support/Teaching Assistantships

The application deadline for admissions consideration with priority-based financial support is ​December 1st. All applicants meeting this deadline are automatically considered for financial support.

It is advisable for applicants to submit all application materials prior to the December deadline. Merit-based support is awarded on the basis of academic performance.

Teaching Assistantships in the Department of Economics are normally the maximum award, fifty percent (50%) appointment (which is a full-time T.A. position). This generally includes teaching two discussion sections per quarter, holding office hours, conducting review sessions, and other lite administrative duties. While duties are contractually limited to 20 hours a week, most assignments require less time than that. The Department makes a particular effort to assign easy duties to first-year students. Teaching Assistantships for continuing students are dependent upon satisfactory performance as a student and as a teaching assistant in previous quarters.

Students with multi-year offers of Teaching Assistantships retain their offer if they make normal progress (as outlined above) and perform well as a teaching assistant.

Students whose native language is not English and who are awarded teaching assistantships must demonstrate proficiency in English. A committee including representatives from the Department of Economics and the English for Multilingual Students program evaluates the potential teaching assistant based upon a five to seven minute presentation on an undergraduate topic assigned in advance by the department. The evaluators assess the student's ability to explain academic concepts and respond to questions in English. Prospective teaching assistants who do not pass the evaluation for spoken English are required to enroll in an appropriate course and they are re-evaluated every quarter until they meet proficiency requirements.

Some research assistantships are available from individual faculty members, depending on research funding. Arrangements to work as a research assistant are made directly with individual faculty members.

Sustainable Water Markets (SWM) Fellowship Program

The Sustainable Water Markets (SWM) Fellowship Program provides graduate students support and training to lead water management reform by contributing new knowledge and shaping policy through market-based solutions. SWM Fellows conduct interdisciplinary research, cutting across natural science, economics, law, and policy to advance the scientific bounds of water management and markets. Their research contributes to new innovations and intellectual breakthroughs within the water markets field, and provides a framework to inform policy makers and water resource managers. SWM Fellowships provide up to 2 years of PhD funding. Recipients of the fellowship are selected on the basis of professional or academic achievement, demonstrated commitment to careers in water-resources management and sustainable water markets, and notable leadership potential.

To learn more about the fellowship visit and apply:

International Doctoral Recruitment Fellowship (IDRF)

Doctoral students who are not US citizens or permanent residents are subject to non-resident supplemental tuition, until they are advanced to candidacy.  However, UCSB provides international students an international doctoral recruitment fellowship to pay this supplemental tuition after the first year. As a result, international students rarely have to pay the non-resident supplement.

The fellowship will take effect the fourth registered quarter and will continue until the student either advances to candidacy or exceeds the approved time to advancement for the department. Students, who exceed the time to advancement, and those who fail to maintain good academic standing, will lose their eligibility and the fellowship will not pay Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition (NRST). Once you have advanced to candidacy you will receive a three calendar year waiver of non-resident supplemental tuition while completing your degree.

US citizens and permanent residents are required to take steps to establish California state residency before beginning of the second academic year of your doctoral graduate program.

Graduate Student Fellowships

Merit-based fellowships are awarded to incoming and continuing Ph.D. students. Most fellowships are awarded for periods of several years and are intended to support the student until completion of the degree.

The Chancellor's, Eugene Cota-Robles and Regents Special Fellowships, which are awarded by the university in competition across departments, supply good support for two to six years and relieve the student of teaching assistant duties during at least two years.

In addition to UCSB fellowships, the Department of Economics also provides a number of partial fellowships sponsored by donors to the Department.

Those fellowships are listed as follows:

  • Janet A. Alpert Fellowship in Economics
  • Mortimer Andron Fellowship
  • Costas Graduate Fellowship
  • Robert T. Deacon Graduate Fellowship
  • Gretler Foundation Fellowship
  • Keith Griffin Memorial Fellowship
  • Raymond K. Myerson Graduate Fellowship
  • Thormahlen Family Fellowship in Economics
  • White Family Graduate Fellowship
  • Jenifer Jo Williamson Fellowship

Financial Aid (Need-Based Financial Support *)

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required of all U.S. citizens and permanent residents. General information about need-based aid follows. Application ​information and more detailed information regarding need-based financial support may be obtained at:

United States citizens and eligible non-citizens may apply for need-based financial aid in the form of loans and work-study awards through the UCSB Financial Aid Office. Eligible non-citizens are those who are: (1) a U.S. Permanent Resident with an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551); (2) a conditional permanent resident (I-551C); or (3) an other eligible non-citizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service showing one of the following designations: "Refugee", "Asylum Granted," "Indefinite Parole," "Humanitarian Parole," or "Cuban-Haitian Entrant". University of California financial aid programs are based entirely on demonstrated financial need and require a separate application called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The annual priority filing date is March 2 prior to the academic year for which you are applying, and the FAFSA should be postmarked no later than that date. The Graduate and Professional School Financial Aid Service Application (GAPSFAS) is not accepted at UCSB.

Students' eligibility for aid is determined by comparing the "Estimated Student Budget" with the individual student's actual resources. The Financial Aid Office has calculated specific estimated student budgets for both single and married students, residents and nonresidents. Assistance from the Financial Aid Office is usually offered as a combination package of the following types of aid:

Work-Study: Student salaries are paid partly by the federal government and partly by the hiring department. Any on-campus employer or eligible nonprofit off-campus employer may employ students with Work-Study funding. Graduate students may apply their Work-Study allocation to their TAship, if applicable.

Direct Loans: A maximum of $8,500 per year in subsidized Direct Loans is available for eligible Graduate students. Students who do not demonstrate need qualify for the unsubsidized Direct Loan. The maximum amount that graduate students can borrow through both the subsidized and unsubsidized programs is $20,500. The actual amount they can borrow will be determined by their financial need, based on their need-analysis.

* Subject to change without notice.

Tuition and Fees

The UCSB Office of the Registrar lists a summary of quarterly fees and expenses.  Citizens and U.S. permanent residents are eligible for California residency after one year and are expected to take the necessary steps to become state residents for tuition purposes. Information on requirements and procedures for establishing legal California residency can be found here.

San Clemente Graduate Student Housing

UCSB also provides a considerable amount of below-market rate housing for graduate students. This reduces the cost of living in Santa Barbara considerably. Interested incoming students should are advised to sign-up for graduate housing as early as possible.

Cost Calculator

The UCSB Office of Financial Aid makes available to all incoming students a "Cost of Attendance" calculator which estimates the expenses you will incur as a graduate student while attending ​UCSB.

Please visit the Cost Calculator, for more information.