Financial Aid Overview

What kind of financial aid is available?

All students admitted into the Physics Graduate Program are awarded a (GRA) Graduate Research Assistantship, (GTA) Graduate Teaching Assistantship or Caltech Graduate Fellowship and full tuition. Caltech Fellowships are awarded at the discretion of the Physics Graduate Admissions Committee, no additional application is required. Caltech encourages applicants to seek financial support from outside sources. Attempts to do so will be viewed favorably by the Physics Graduate Admission Committee. Some of the most common fellowships available to U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents are listed here. These fellowships and grants require direct application to the granting agency. It is strongly advised that you include your area of special interest among the various physics research groups in our department, in the space provided on the application under Program Information, especially whether your interests are more theoretically or experimentally inclined. This will assist the Committee in evaluating your application and to best determine your source of funding.

Stipends for Caltech Fellowships range from $32,000 to $34,000. Most students who are awarded an outside fellowship of lesser value than our current 12 month GRA rate will be supplemented by the Physics Department up to the level of our initial offer, if applicable, during their first academic year of graduate study. Some fellowship recipients may elect to add GTA funding to their fellowship beyond the first year. GRAs are paid over a twelve month period beginning with the late October payday and ending with the late September payday which covers your support through the end of September. GTAs are paid over a nine month period beginning with the late October payday and ending with the late June payday which covers your support through the end of June. Summer support for teaching assistants begins with the late July payday and ends with the late September payday which covers your support through the end of September. Summer support for incoming TAs is available by either a summer reading fellowship through the physics department for unattached first year TAs, or a GRA over the three month summer period if an advisor is found who will support you on a GRA during that time.

Do I need to reapply for financial support in subsequent years?

Financial support is usually renewed each year provided the student is in good standing with the Institute, meaning current registration, on track with requirements, passing courses, etc. Students funded by GRAs or GTAs may also elect to change or combine these awards with the approval of the Physics Option Representative. US or international students who come to Caltech with an outside source of funding in the form of a fellowship or scholarship are usually supported by a teaching or research assistantship when their initial award expires, depending on the student's area of interest. The Dean's Office has provided a student estimated budget as a guide for living expenses.