PhD Financial Support

PhD students receive full funding for their graduate studies, including tuition, fees, insurance, and stipend.

  • The Department and The Graduate School commit to funding students in good standing for 5 years, although funding usually goes beyond that when the student needs more time to finish
  • Support for the first two years is typically a combination of grad fellowships and teaching assistantships. This arrangement gives junior PhD students an opportunity to explore new areas and options for research before requiring financial support from faculty advisors.
  • Support for the the third year and beyond is provided by the advisor's research grant funding.
  • Stipend support can come from a combination of grad fellowship, teaching assistantship, or research assistantship during any year of support, although the scenario above is most typical.
  • Each admitted Ph.D. will receive a letter that details the financial support package to be offered; information in this letter subsumes and supersedes the information in this section, which is intended as a brief overview.

Summer Opportunities

  • First-year Ph.D. students may take advantage of the Department sponsored summer RIP (Research Initiation Project) initiative.
    • The program provides matching summer funding for eligible students who have completed their RIP proposal by the end of their first spring semester and are working with faculty advisors on their RIP during the summer.
    • Program availability and details may vary across years and will be announced by the DGS office each fall semester.
  • First and second year students may also apply for The Graduate School's guaranteed Summer Research Fellowship (SRF), intended for students without other funding for the summer.
  • More senior students take one of two options:
    • to continue their research assistantship during the summer to make progress on the degree
    • to spend the summer on an industry internship
      • International students should consult the Visa office and DGS office for proper procedures before taking off-campus internships
  • Occasionally, a Ph.D. student cannot be supported during the summer by the advisor, and may then apply for the competitive Summer Research Fellowship (SRF)
    • The competitive SRF application period is in early Fall, so speak to the DGS office if you have reason to think you may need it. See Graduate School Fellowships, below.
  • Opportunities also sometimes exist for graduate students to teach an undergraduate class during summer sessions; interested students should contact the DGS office early in the spring.

Fellowship Opportunities

Graduate School Fellowships

The Graduate School offers many competitive fellowships, such as

External Fellowships

The Department annually selects students to nominate for a number of external fellowships, and some allow students to apply directly. Here is a sampling of external opportunities, including several that have been awarded to Duke Computer Science students recently:

Find fellowship opportunities through The Graduate School's Find Funding page or The Duke University Office of Research Support's Graduate and Professional Student Funding opportunities page.

Other Financial Support

See The Graduate School's Financial Support page for information about the Childcare Subsidy, the Medical Expense Assistant Program, and all of the Financial Support Policies, Forms, and Resources.

Both The Graduate School and the department provide Conference Travel Support. Learn about travel funding here.