Financial Opportunities

Updated March 28, 2023

Doctoral students

All incoming PhD students are offered a first-year support package that includes a monthly stipend plus full fees and non-resident tuition. The funding source is normally a combination of fellowship and a graduate student researcher position (GSR). In future years, the majority of students are supported on graduate student researcher positions with their thesis advisor or on fellowships. Teaching is an important part of doctoral studies, and students will be required to serve in a teaching assistant (TA) position for at least one quarter to fulfill the doctoral program teaching requirement. Sometimes, students elect to serve as a TA for additional quarters as a source of support. International students must pass an English Language Proficiency Certification Exam before being eligible to be hired as a TA. TA, GSR, and fellowships all come with payment of fees and tuition. Graduate student health insurance premiums are also paid as a part of these fees. 

Masters students

International students must have demonstrated financial ability to support studies in the United States. TAships or employment opportunities are not guaranteed for MS students. MS students should not expect to be supported by either Research Assistantships or Teaching Assistantships. MS students may apply for teaching assistantships after accepting admission to the program. Teaching assistant (TA) positions normally include a monthly salary plus a significant subsidy to offset nearly the full cost of fees; Masters students are responsible for paying the remaining balance of fees plus non-resident tuition, if applicable. International students must pass an English Language Proficiency Certification Exam before being eligible to be hired as a TA. Masters students are encouraged to pursue their research interests and should ask faculty and other researchers about the possibility of a research assistantship, which may pay salary, fees, and tuition.

More information for International students

  • Students whose spoken TOEFL score is 23-25 or who have waived the TOEFL requirement due to their previous educational background must pass the in-person English Language Certification Examination (ELCE) prior to being hired as a TA for the first time. This test is administered during Finals Week of each quarter, and students who have pending TA assignments will be contacted to take the test. We will contact you to schedule the exam if this applies to your situation. All students in this category may apply to TA through the IA System, however, they will not receive an offer letter until they have satisfied the requirement. 
  • Students with a spoken TOEFL score of 28 or above are exempt from this requirement and may be considered for a TA position immediately. Students in the CSE Department are eligible to participate in a pilot program where a spoken TOEFL score of 26 or above will allow you to work as a TA in the CSE department without completing ELCE certification. 
  • Students with a spoken TOEFL score of 22 or below will not be permitted to take the certification exam until they have completed formal English proficiency training. All students in this category will have their TA applications marked as ineligible until they have satisfied the requirement. Students who fall into this category may obtain the required English language proficiency skills through courses offered in the English Language Institute and the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program. Conversely, students in this category may choose to retake the TOEFL exam and score within the eligible range for testing (≥ 23) or for employment (≥ 26). For more information, please see the Graduate Division's policy here and a helpful FAQ guide from the Teaching + Learning Commons here.
  • Students who are being hired for the first time and who do not yet have a social security number must apply for one through the International Students & Programs Office.

Resources for all graduate students

  • Graduate students holding appointments above 25% as graduate student researchers, teaching assistants, language assistants, readers, or other employment titles, or who receive support from traineeships, fellowships, or scholarships paid through the university or directly to the student, must enroll and register for twelve units of upper-division and/or graduate course work and research each quarter.
  • Fellowships and Scholarships Students are encouraged to apply for fellowships and scholarships. These fellowships confer their own benefits and prestige, and for thesis students, they provide more flexibility in choosing a thesis advisor because the advisor does not have to provide support. 
  • Academic Student Employees (Teaching Assistant, Tutor, Reader)
  • Graduate Student Research Positions
  • Jobs and Internships
    • Many of our students work in local industry during the academic year (mainly MS students) and the summer months (MS and PhD). San Diego is one of the fastest growing high-technology areas in the country, and has been named the "Wireless Capital of the World" and the "#1 place to do business in America" by Forbes magazine. 
    • Graduate Division Financial Support 
    • Jacobs School of Engineering
    • Port Triton 
    • UC San Diego Career Services Center
    • Financial Aid Domestic students may apply for financial aid, which is administered through the University and is considered separately from department funding. Please visit the Financial Aid Office website for more information. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the financial aid application timeline at the time of program application.
    • CSE receives dozens of notification for short- and long-term positions, and forwards these out to the CSE graduate student mail lists.

Cost of Study 2022-2023

For the Fall-Winter-Spring academic year, the total proposed registration cost for full-time study is $18,007.99 (tuition and fees) for California residents and $33,109.99 (tuition, fees, and supplemental non-resident tuition) for those who are not California residents. Adult citizens and certain categories of adult aliens may establish residence based on laws and regulations governing California residency. The cost of fees includes a student's health insurance plan; additional insurance for dependents may be purchased.

Housing Costs

University Housing Services operates apartments for couples, families, and single graduate students. Because University apartments cost less than comparable private housing, there are usually long waiting lists. Students are encouraged to get on the waitlist as soon as they are eligible to do so. The cost of off-campus varies dramatically, and it can be difficult to find suitable housing during certain times of the year, especially September. Students should make their housing arrangements well in advance of the start of the school year. More information: Housing.