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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Department of Economics

Ph.D. Program

Financial Support

Merit-based financial aid awards are available to support study in the Ph.D. program in the form of fellowships and graduate assistantships. Financial support is renewed each year for four years of study, subject to maintaining satisfactory performance in the Ph.D. program. Applications with supporting materials for a University Fellowship must be received by January 15 to ensure full consideration.  


Economics applicants compete with Economics Department Ph.D. applicants for one University Fellowship. Winners receive a fellowship in their first and fourth years of study and receive graduate assistantship in their second and third years. Fellowships include a stipend ($25,290 in 2017-18) and a full-tuition scholarship for 30 credits for the academic year. Students receiving a fellowship have no service responsibilities to the University during the years that they are on the fellowship. Recipients are required to take 15 credits each semester that they are on fellowship. Fellowship recipients can opt to have University health care insurance coverage at a modest fee. Fellowship stipends are taxable under the state and federal government laws.

Graduate Assistantships

The Economics doctoral program provides opportunities to obtain teaching experience and to participate in research projects with faculty. Most entering and continuing graduate students have teaching assistantships. All teaching assistants participate in the unique Teaching Assistant Orientation Program conducted by the Graduate School. As a teaching assistant, students eventually gain experience in all aspects of teaching, from exam preparation and grading to lecture their own classes, usually teaching in the Division of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Advanced graduate students may elect to compete for research assistantships. Research assistantships are available, through the Center for Policy Research, a research institute within the Maxwell School, or through faculty members who have externally sponsored research projects. It is useful for students to serve as both teaching and research assistants during their time in the doctoral program.

Graduate assistantships are renewed each academic year on the basis of satisfactory progress in the Ph.D. program and of the recent performance as a teaching or research assistant. Assistantships include a stipend for the academic year ($18,650 in 2016-17) and a subsidy toward health insurance coverage for the year. Assistantships require 20 hours of service per week in teaching, grading, or research. A full graduate tuition scholarship for 24 hours of course work per year is also awarded with the assistantship. Students with assistantships take 9 hours of courses during each semester, and use their remaining 6 hours during the summer to register for additional courses or for dissertation credits. Graduate stipends are subject to tax by state and federal government but, at this time, are not subject to the social security payroll tax.

Summer Support

The Economics Department offers opportunities for teaching, research, and summer fellowship support during the summer. Summer funding is also available to graduate students through externally funded research projects. All summer support is subject to taxation by the state and federal governments but, at this time, it is not subject to the social security payroll tax.

Additional Fee 

There is an additional $50.00 per semester fee that a graduate student is charged regardless if an Assistantship or Fellowship has been awarded, the fee is a Maxwell program fee.