Key Policy Statements
The following are some of the fundamental principles underlying graduate financial support at Stanford University (see the associated sections of this manual for further explanation and details):
- Financial support allows graduate students to work on their studies, enabling them to make expeditious progress towards their degree. For this reason,
- during the school year (excluding Summer Quarter), graduate students must be enrolled in full-time studies (8-10 units or TGR) in order to receive fellowship support (stipend or tuition payment) or the Tuition Allowance (TAL) associated with an assistantship.
- during the school year, the maximum assistantship appointment is 50%, providing salary for 20 hours of work per week.
- during the school year, concurrent hourly employment is limited to eight hours per week for US students with a 50% assistantship appointment or a full fellowship. Students with full fellowships may not be concurrently appointed to more than a 25% assistantship.
NOTE: International students and other visa holders are governed by the appropriate immigration regulations limiting the number of hours they may work while in the United States.
- Assistantship appointments provide salary and tuition in exchange for service (teaching or research). As a student employee, the RA or TA is governed by an agreement regarding the hours of work per week for which the student will be paid. The teaching or research to be performed must advance the student's academic and professional training, and must be relevant to the student's field of study.
These characteristics distinguish assistantships from:
- fellowship support, which is provided as financial aid to support the academic progress of the student, without the expectation of service to the university, and
- hourly employment for services which the student can provide, which do not relate to the student's field of study and therefore do not earn an associated tuition allowance.
- Assistantship appointments are full-quarter packages, and salary starts and stops on standard quarter dates. For RAs/TAs who must stop work mid-quarter, the department will adjust salary to be consistent with work performed. TAL however will be paid on a full-quarter basis.
- Stanford policy dictates that outside funds be used first, TAL used second, and school/department funds used last.
- Because graduate students often receive funding from multiple sources during their studies at Stanford, it is important to know and abide by the policy conditions of each funding source. Sometimes, receiving financial support from one source prohibits additional support from another.
- International students must show they have support (either from Stanford or from another source) before they can be issued a visa to come to Stanford.
- Acceptance of a Stanford award obliges a student to inform the department of any other aid received. The Stanford award may be adjusted.
- If a conflict exists between University and School/Department policy, University policy takes precedence.
back to Table of Contents