Doctoral Student Financial Support

Doctoral Funding Packages

Social Welfare doctoral student funding packages are offered at the time of admission to successful applicants. A funding package typically includes five years of financial support for payment of tuition and fees (including student health insurance); and an academic year allowance for living expense support funded jointly by fellowship award(s) and salary from a student academic appointment as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) or Graduate Student Researcher (GSR).

No tuition and fee or stipend support is guaranteed beyond the expiration of the original funding package, although continuing students are eligible to apply for departmentally restricted awards when funds are available. All doctoral students are also strongly encouraged to continually seek additional extramural funding, especially for dissertation support.

Nonresident Supplemental Tuition

Nonresident Supplemental Tuition (NRST) for out-of-state doctoral students in Social Welfare will only be covered by a Doctoral Student Support Package for the first year. Social Welfare doctoral students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are expected to establish California residency at the end of their first year in California and to maintain residency throughout their studies. For further information about residency classification and instructions on how to establish residency, please visit California Residency for Tuition Purposes.

International students in F-1 or J-1 status are not eligible to establish California residency and must pay nonresident supplemental tuition EXCEPT for a three-year exemption when advanced to doctoral candidacy. The Social Welfare Dean’s Doctoral Fellowship will pay NRST on behalf of international students for the first three years of study.

Fellowship Awards

Students receiving any university fellowship awards are subject to all university rules, regulations and eligibility requirements for financial support. Students receiving external fellowships must also refer to the fellowship terms set by the corresponding agency, including terms regarding supplementation with employment or another fellowship. 

Fellowship recipients are required to register full time (generally 12 units per semester) and to devote their time to study and/or research in the field in which the award is made, make satisfactory academic progress, and maintain a 3.0 GPA. Your award letter will include any details about additional specific enrollment requirements. You MUST immediately inform your faculty adviser, the GSAO, and the Graduate Fellowships Office of any changes that may affect your fellowship award(s), such as the offer of another award or any concerns about making sufficient academic progress. For more information please see the Guide to Graduate Policy > Financial Assistance Policy.

To be considered for fellowship funding all U.S. citizens and permanent residents should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the FAFSA deadline each academic year. If you are eligible to submit a FAFSA, you should do so even if you do not intended to take out any student loans.

Coordinating Payment of Tuition and Fees with Other Fellowships or Awards

Throughout your graduate career you may receive more than one type of award that is intended to pay fees, or fees and tuition, for a particular semester. Fee remissions for students with eligible academic student appointments will generally take precedence over concurrent fellowships, departmental awards, and loans. If you receive more than one type of award intended for tuition and/or fee support, a set of established rules governs the following order in which awards are credited to offset fees and tuition in your CalCentral student account:

  1. Outside agency awards.
  2. Fee and tuition remissions from UCB campus appointments.
  3. Departmental fellowships and awards paid through your CalCentral student account.
  4. University fellowship awards or Block Grant awards.
  5. Student Loans.
  6. Student Payments.

Fellowship Funds Paid by External Sources

Students receiving fellowship support from an external source/outside agency are responsible for ensuring that funds get properly applied to their CalCentral accounts by the payment deadlines each semester. Do NOT remit external fellowship checks to the School of Social Welfare. External fellowship checks should be made payable to “UC Regents” and mailed to the UC Berkeley Financial Aid & Scholarships Office, 201 Sproul Hall #1960, Berkeley, CA 94720-1960.

Be sure to give your donor your student identification number (SID) and ask them to include it with your award. It's also helpful if the donor includes a letter explaining the award terms when they send the award check to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office.

Stipend Limits on Graduate Division Fellowships

Effective 2021-22, Graduate Division-administered fellowships may be held concurrently, and with external fellowships (terms permitting), as long as the combined stipend funding does not exceed $40,000. Requests to exceed this amount requires the approval of the Associate Dean of the Graduate Division. Departmentally-controlled funding is not subject to this stipend limit. Salary from academic student appointments also does not count toward the $40,000 stipend cap. For more information please see the Guide to Graduate Policy > G1.3 Fellowships.

Combining Fellowships and Employment

Students who are receiving a fellowship administered by the University that will give them a defined minimum stipend level plus fees are subject to an employment restriction: they may work up to 25% time during the academic year (that is, 25% each term or 50% for one term only). There is no work restriction for the summer term. Note that some fellowships, including the Doctoral Completion Fellowship (DCF) and U.C. Dissertation-Year Fellowship, are subject to other work rules, as outlined in their corresponding award notices and terms documents.

Students receiving external fellowships must refer to the fellowship terms set by the corresponding agency which may restrict employment more than this.

Social Welfare Dean’s Conference Travel Award

Doctoral students presenting original research, or participating as an invited discussant or panelist, at a major meeting of a recognized learned society or professional organization, may apply for a Social Welfare Dean’s Conference Travel Award. Travel Awards are issued as cash stipend payments disbursed to your CalCentral student account.

  • The award amount is $1,600, and you may receive one Dean’s Travel Award per academic year.
  • In your final, job-seeking year in the doctoral program, you may apply for up to two Dean’s Travel Awards, with the limitation that at least one of them must be to support you presenting at either the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting or the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) Annual Conference.
  • Travel grants cannot be awarded for travel to states listed on California’s state-sponsored travel ban (AB 1887), which currently includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

The Application for Social Welfare Dean's PhD Conference Travel Award must be submitted no later than three weeks before the start date of the conference or meeting. Applications submitted later than this deadline or after the fact will not be considered, without exception.