Financial Assistance: Overview
Students who are admitted to any of Princeton's doctoral programs are almost always offered financial assistance in the form of a fellowship and/or assistantship. This financial support helps to defray the cost of tuition, and also provides a stipend to assist with living expenses during the student's four- or five-year program.
The type of financial support awarded to each student is determined by the Graduate School, taking into account the academic department's recommendation whenever possible. Applicants should not request a specific type of financial aid; they will be considered for all types of support for which they are eligible (fellowship, assistantship, traineeship, etc.).
The amount of financial support provided to each student depends on the Graduate School's evaluation of the academic merit of the applicant (from the student's application and supporting documents), the department's recommendation, the size of the entering class, and all available financial resources. In some cases, a student may be required to borrow a modest sum of money through low-interest student loans to meet the full cost of living, especially if a spouse and/or children will be joining the applicant at Princeton.
In the humanities and social sciences, summer support for doctoral candidates is a part of the financial package that the student is offered at the time of admission. This means that stipends are paid to the student over twelve months of the academic year (as long as academic work is performed during the summers).
In the natural sciences and engineering departments, the vast majority of graduate students receive summer support in the form of research, for which they are compensated just as they are during the academic year. In some cases, students receive external grants that provide stipends over the summers which often substitute for or complement University funds.