Most PhD students receive financial support from the University, beginning with the first year of graduate study. Financial aid comes mainly in the form of fellowships, teaching assistantships, teaching fellowships, or graduate student researcher positions. The support we offer is comprehensive. All assistantships and fellowships offer a full tuition scholarship as well as a stipend, and most include medical coverage. The low cost of living in Pittsburgh also contributes to the value of a University of Pittsburgh financial aid award.
In recent years, approximately 80 percent of students entering the doctoral program in economics have been awarded School of Arts and Sciences fellowships. Arts and Sciences fellowships are awarded based on academic promise, are available only to students in their first-year of study, and require no teaching responsibilities. The current two-term stipend for an Arts and Sciences fellowship is $18,546. The Arts and Sciences fellowship award also includes a full-tuition scholarship but does not include health insurance, which is available for a monthly charge.
For the past three years, we have been able to offer the Arts and Sciences Social Science Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships (SSDD) to select entering students, to be used for their dissertation research year. Students who are offered these fellowships will receive an Arts and Sciences fellowship in their first year, and the SSDD fellowship in the fourth year of their graduate study, provided that they are in good academic standing, have completed all the requisite pre-doctoral milestones, and have been admitted to doctoral candidacy before the beginning of the fall term of their fourth year. Students who do not fulfill these requirements will forfeit the SSDD fellowship. The current stipend for the first year is $18,546.
Every year, the Department of Economics awards the Slesinger Fellowship in honor of Reuben T. Slesinger, a distinguished former faculty member, to an outstanding incoming PhD student. The recipient of this award receives the title of Slesinger Fellow. The current stipend for the Slesinger Fellowship is $18,546.
Beginning with the second year of study, initially funded students who are in good academic standing are awarded positions as teaching assistants or graduate student researchers. Once students have passed the PhD Preliminary Examination and have earned 30 credits, they are funded as teaching fellows. Teaching assistants (TAs) and teaching fellows (TFs) usually teach weekly recitation sections, grade, and assist faculty members in undergraduate courses. TFs may also teach their own courses.
Some students assist in faculty research as full-time graduate student researchers (GSRs). These positions involve up to 20 hours per week of research effort with no teaching obligations. GSR positions are typically funded as part of external grant awards made to faculty, and so the number of positions available will vary from year to year. GSR positions are sometimes available in other departments at the University, or with various branches of the federal government or with multinational organizations such as the IMF or the World Bank.
For these services, which require a commitment of up to 20 hours per week, TAs, TFs, and GSRs receive:
|»||A salary for two terms: currently $15,520 for TAs and $16,140 for TFs and GSRs.|
|»||A tuition scholarship during the period of employment and, if desired, during the third term.|
|»||Health Insurance (UPMC - University of Pittsburgh Medical Center).|
Assistantships and fellowships are awarded competitively to qualified, full-time graduate students in good academic standing. The department also offers a limited number of summer teaching and research positions that are awarded on the basis of past teaching performance and academic merit. In past years, we have been able to accommodate most students seeking summer funding .
In addition to the Arts and Sciences fellowships, TA, TF, and GSR awards, there are additional, non-departmental sources of funding that students may apply for over the course of the graduate program. These include:
|»||Andrew Mellon predoctoral fellowships. This is a one-year fellowship award made to graduate students who are working on their dissertation research. No teaching duties are permitted. This award is highly competitive and may be renewed for a second year. Award decisions are made by a University-wide committee. Applications are due by January 15 of each year.|
|»||FLAS and Presidential fellowships. Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships are awarded competitively to graduate students whose work focuses on East Asia, Latin America, or Russia and Eastern Europe. There are also Presidential Fellowships and tuition scholarships for students specializing in Chinese studies. These fellowship awards free the student from teaching for one year and are renewable for a second year. The stipend amount varies. The application deadline is early in the spring term.|
|»||Students may also go to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid in Alumni Hall to apply for long-term, low or no interest Stafford or Perkins loans administered by the U.S. government. These are not available to international students.|
For further information, contact:
University of Pittsburgh
Department of Economics
4914 W. W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260