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Financial Aid

Graduate support packages

All stipend information given below applies to the academic year 2018-2019.

Graduate stipends are of the amount $30,000 and are paid over 12 months . They require the student to perform satisfactorily in teaching and research,  and are renewable for 5 years. A sixth year of graduate support in the form of a research fellowship may be obtained directly from a research  group. Except for highly unusual circumstances, Vanderbilt University will also pay full tuition and health insurance.


Typical teaching duties include teaching two, three-hour introductory laboratories per semester, and/or grading for an introductory course each semester. During the summer months, the student are expected to join a research group and perform research activities, as determined by the faculty leading the research group.


Research assistantships are available to support a student while working with a research group. The duties are arranged by the research group providing the support.

McMinn Fellowships

William A. and Nancy F. McMinn have endowed graduate student fellowships for outstanding students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. These fellowships provide up to $5,000 per year in addition to the regular teaching/research assistantship stipend. The fellowships are renewable for up to five years as long as the student remains in good standing. All students who apply for admission are considered for all special awards and fellowships.

Vanderbilt University Honor Fellowships and Scholarships

The Graduate School holds an annual competition for honor fellowships used to recruit our best applicants to Vanderbilt. All students who apply for admission are considered for these fellowships. All nominees must be seeking the Ph.D. degree.

UGF: University Graduate Fellowship up to $5,000 annual stipend
HSV: Harold Sterling Vanderbilt Graduate Scholarship up to $5,000 annual stipend
PGF: Provost's Graduate Fellowship for Students from Traditionally Underrepresented Backgrounds $5000 annual stipend

The UGF, and PGF are  offered to incoming students for up to three years. Additional two years of HSV may be offered to the same students if they are making good progress towards their degree. The awards will be in the form of an annual topping-up supplements to the student’s base stipend.