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Financial Support

Financial support is available in the form of fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships. The department attempts to support all full-time graduate students at the Ph.D. level. Award of financial support is competitive, and monthly stipends average $2,100, usually with tuition and fees. The most common form of support is a half-time research assistantship that provides approximately $21,000 during the calendar year plus tuition and fees.

Fellowship support is generally not offered to students at the Master's level.

Graduate Student Researchers

A Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) performs research related to the student’s degree program in an academic department or research unit under the direction of a faculty member or authorized Principal Investigator. GSR positions are typically awarded by the professor who is the holder of the research grant. Students typically work for 25% (10 hours/week) to 49.99% (20 hours/week) as GSR's. These appointments usually pay for fees and tuition (if applicable) and salary of approximately $1051/month for a 25% appointment and $2102/month for a 50% appointment. The Graduate Student Academic Title Pay Rates provides further information about salary for GSR positions. GSR positions are available throughout the academic year and summer months. Students are encouraged to read about faculty research and to contact faculty directly to inquire about a GSR position.

NOTE: If students do not establish residency by the end of their first year of study, Nonresident Supplemental tuition will not be covered under any circumstances. This means that even if a student holds a Graduate Student Researcher position, the out of state tuition will not be covered under this appointment.

Research / Travel Grants

Your ECE research advisor may have funds available for student travel. The funds are intended to offset travel charges, not pay for the total travel. Refer to the following fiscal resources for further information.

Other Sources for Financial Assistance and Fellowships

For more information about possible sources for financial assistance, please visit the web pages below.

Graduate Fellowships

Teaching Assistants, Tutors and Readers

A Teaching Assistant (TA) assists in the instruction of any upper or lower division course at the University under the supervision of a faculty member. The TA primarily assists the faculty member in charge of the course by conducting discussion or laboratory sections that supplement faculty lectures and by grading assignments and examinations. Graduate students enrolled full-time (twelve units or more) may be appointed up to 50 percent time (twenty hours/week) Teaching Assistants during the academic year.

Graduate students may also be appointed up to 50 percent time (twenty hours/week) as Readers and Tutors. A Tutor provides tutoring to individual (one-on-one) or small groups (three or more) of undergraduate or graduate students who require additional help to understand a course or topical material. In some instances tutoring may focus on improved use of the English language. A Reader, on the other hand, assists a course instructor by grading homework, papers, or exams and may also hold office hours to answer students' questions about such assignments.

All appointees must be registered full-time (12 units or more), and must be in good academic standing, i.e., maintain a GPA of 3.0 in upper-division and graduate course work and must not have more than a total of eight units of F and/or U grades overall.

Teaching Assistants and others appointed on academic titles at 25 percent time or more for the quarter are eligible for payment of partial fee remission of 100 percent of the annual education and registration fees and 100 percent of the Graduate Student Health Insurance fee. For Teaching Assistants, these fee payments are credited to students’ accounts prior to the beginning of the quarter. Readers and Tutors who eventually work 110 hours during the quarter are refunded fees at the end of the quarter after copies of timesheets are submitted to OGS. The Graduate Student Academic Title Pay Rates provides information about salary for teaching assistant, reader and tutor positions.

Graduate students appointed as teaching assistants, associates, readers or tutors (ASE’S) are represented by the Association of Student Employees/UAW under a collective bargaining agreement with the University of California. All salary payments under these titles are subject to a deduction for union membership dues or agency fee deduction for students who choose not to become members of the union. The university/UAW Agreement can be retrieved electronically at

Applications for TA, Tutor and Reader positions are due at the end of the 7th week in Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters for positions beginning the next quarter.

NOTE:  Due to the limited number of TA, Tutor, and Reader positions that are available at the ECE Department, we strongly encourage students to seek employment outside of ECE.  Please visit the following web page for information on academic employment opportunities that may be available at other departments:

California Residency and the Nonresident Supplemental Tuition Fee

Each new student entering UCSD is required to submit a Statement of Legal Residence to the Office of the Registrar. Students classified as residents of California are exempt from paying  Nonresident Supplemental tuition, however they are still responsible for payment of  tuition and fees. All students who are not legal residents of California are charged a  Nonresident Supplemental tuition fee each quarter, as well as tuition and fees. Graduate students who are appointed as Teaching Assistants or Associates (sub 0, fixed salary) or as  Readers or Tutors at least 25% percent time for the entire quarter are eligible to receive partial fee remission that covers the Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan (GSHIP), Tuition (formerly the Education fee) and the Student Services fee (formerly the Registration fee). Additional fees must be covered by the student. Nonresident Supplemental tuition (formerly nonresident tuition) is not covered. 

A complete statement covering California residence requirements, determination of residence for tuition purposes, and/or recognized exceptions appears on TritonLink.

Additional information may be obtained from the Campus Residence Deputy (email:; phone: 858-534-4586) at the Office of the Registrar. No other university personnel are authorized to supply information relative to residence requirements for tuition purposes.

Establishing Residency

Students seeking to establish California residency for tuition purposes are advised to review the requirements and deadlines. Adherence to the published deadlines is the responsibility of each student and is essential. Exceptions to waive or extend deadlines are not considered.

If you are currently a nonresident student, you can find out how to change your nonresident status to resident status for tuition purposes after one year of living in California and being able to prove residency from TritonLink.

NOTE: If students do not establish residency by the end of their first year of study, Nonresident Supplemental tuition will not be covered under any circumstances. This means that even if a student holds a Graduate Student Researcher position, the Nonresident Supplemental tuition will not be covered under this appointment.