Financial Support

The following page offers an overview on the types of merit-based financial support offered to students in the PhD Program. More specific information will be included in offers of admission.

The Department expects to offer a full financial aid package to all accepted PhD students, which will cover full tuition, health insurance, and a stipend. Financial aid packages, which are a combination of Teaching Assistantships and fellowship money, are guaranteed for five years for students making satisfactory progress.

The Free-Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required of all U.S. Citizens and permanent residents. More detailed information may be obtained on the FAFSA website.

To be considered for merit-based financial support, applicants are expected to submit their online application by the Priority Financial Support deadline, which is updated every application season on the Graduate Division website. Merit-based support is awarded on the basis of academic performance, and can take on the following forms:

Teaching and Research Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships

A 50% appointment Teaching Assistantship is typically the maximum merit-based award. Accepting this award means taking on a full-time TA position, which includes but is not limited to teaching two discussion sections per quarter, holding office hours, review sessions, and other administrative duties. While duties are contractually limited to 20 hours a week, most assignments will require less time than that. The Department makes a particular effort to assign less time consuming duties to first-year TAs.

Students who have been offered Teaching Assistantships for multiple years will be able to retain their TA position if they make normal progress of program requirements and their TA performance is deemed satisfactory by the Department.

Students with a native language other than English must demonstrate English proficiency. A committee, which will consist of representatives from the Economics Department and the English for Multilingual Students program, will evaluate the TA based on a five- to ten-minute presentation. The Department will assign a presentation topic in advance, and assess the student’s ability to explain academic concepts and answer questions in spoken English. Those who do not pass this evaluation will be required to enroll in an appropriate language course and be re-evaluated every quarter until they meet proficiency requirements.

Research Assistantships

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.

Merit-Based Fellowships

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

While admission is competitive and based on merit alone, the university may provide extra fellowships to candidates who increase diversity. Applicants can refer to the UC Santa Barbara Graduate Division website for more information.

University Recruitment Fellowships

UC Santa Barbara offers several fellowships for graduate students, many of which support the student for two to six years and relieve the student of Teaching Assistantship duties for at least two years, and are intended to support the student until the degree is completed.

  • Chancellor’s Fellowship
  • Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship
  • Doctoral Scholars Fellowship
  • Regents Special Fellowship in Economics
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.

Central Fellowships for Continuing Graduate Students

Continuing graduate students may apply directly to the following central awards. Applications are typically due in March for the following academic year:

  • Broida-Hirschfelder Dissertation Award
  • Brython Davis Graduate Fellowship
  • Olivia Long Converse Graduate Fellowship
  • James D. Kline Fund for International Studies
  • Humanities & Social Science Research Grant
Department Fellowships

In addition to University-wide fellowships, the Department also offers a number of partial fellowships which are sponsored by Department donors. The generous support of these donors is a key factor in the growing reputation of the Economics PhD program. The Department is proud to offer the following fellowships:

  • Janet A. Alpert Fellowship in Economics
  • Mortimer Andron Fellowship
  • Costas Graduate Fellowship
  • Robert T. Deacon Graduate Fellowship
  • Gretler Foundation Fund in Economics
  • Keith Griffin Memorial Fund
  • Raymond K. Myerson Family Trust Graduate Fellowship
  • Louise & Stephen Pahl Graduate Fellowship Endowment in Social Sciences
  • Thormahlen Family Fellowship
  • White Family Graduate Fellowship
  • Jennifer Jo Williamson Fellowship

Students who have been accepted into the PhD program and have been selected for a Departmental fellowship will be contacted by the Department of Economics with more details.

Sustainable Water Markets Fellowship Program (offered by the Bren School of Environmental Science):

The Sustainable Water Markets (SWM) fellowship program focuses on market-based mechanisms that create lasting change in water management. Through training, research, and communication, the SWM program prepares a new generation of high-impact leaders in freshwater conservation. SWM Fellows conduct interdisciplinary research, cutting across Natural Science, Economics, Law, and Policy to advance the scientific bounds of water management and markets. Visit the Bren website for more information and to apply to the fellowship.

Graduate Student Support

Graduate students require research funds for the acquisition of data, dissertation research, conference travel, and more. A key factor to the growing reputation of our PhD program is the generous support of donors.

Tax deductible donations can be made to the Departmental Fund for Graduate Education. This fund supports equipment needs for graduate students, provides graduate summer research stipends on a competitive basis, and provides emergency financial support to high-achieving graduate students in need.