Funding: An Overview

Tuition and Fees

UC Davis Finance and Business hosts the current tuition costs for graduate students. Visit the Graduate Student Tuition and Fees page to explore current and estimated tuition for in-state, domestic, and international students. 

Types of Funding

The overall cost of attending graduate school at UC Davis goes beyond tuition and fees. It’s important to consider other costs, such as housing, books, supplies, health care, and other personal and living expenses. There are many ways to fund your graduate education, and we want you to feel prepared and supported.

Below are a few resources to help you estimate the full cost of attending graduate school. Keep in mind, your total cost of attending graduate school will vary depending on personal expenses.


Graduate Student Researcher Assistantships

Graduate student research (GSR) assistantships are awarded by individual faculty members who have research grants and are administered through the faculty's home department. Often, research assistantships are negotiated with your major professor during the admission process or when they receive a grant. In-state registration fees are covered under the UC Fee Remission program for any GSR appointment of 25% or greater. During the application process, the GGE will ask faculty who are accepting students for information on any funding arrangements that have been made. You should also request this information from your faculty sponsor.

Teaching Assistantships

Students in the GGE are encouraged to act as a teaching assistant (TA) for at least 1-2 quarters during their program. TA positions greater than 25 % also incur tuition and fee coverage at the level of in-state students. However, the GGE does not award TA positions directly; positions are awarded by academic departments. These departments control the TA positions and hire students yearly/quarterly. You should contact departments directly to learn about their application deadline and requirements. Departments commonly advertise positions in Handshake.


The title Reader is given to a graduate or undergraduate student appointed to render diverse services as a "course assistant," which will normally include the grading of student papers and examinations. A Reader will not be assigned the responsibilities of leading discussion or laboratory sections. A student may not serve as a Reader in a course in which he or she is enrolled. Readers serving more than 25 % also receive the in-state tuition and fee support. Reader positions also can be sought by contacting academic departments or viewing Handshake.

Work Study

IMPORTANT NOTE: YOU MUST SUBMIT A FAFSA Form TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR WORK STUDY! This should be your top priority if you are looking to obtain these funds.

Work study funds are allocated to graduate programs in the form of a work study GGE Fellowship. In order to be eligible you must be: determined financially eligible by the Financial Aid Office (based on the FAFSA), be a US Citizen or Resident, and be selected for a graduate student researcher assistantship of 25% or more by a UCD faculty member. Each year, the GGE coordinator will send a request for work study units to all GGE faculty, at which time they can request the work study for you at either 25 % or 50 %.

GGE Fellowship

UC Davis Graduate Studies allocates funds annually to each graduate group. These funds support fellowships for incoming (first-year) and continuing students. Unlike graduate student researcher and graduate teaching assistant positions, these fellowships are not considered employment and do not have specified work requirements.

Graduate fellowships provide the following:

  • Monthly stipend. Stipends are considered taxable income, but UC Davis does not withhold taxes. Students are responsible for paying applicable federal and state taxes.
  • Registration fees
  • In-state tuition and fees. Out-of-state tuition and fees are provided only for first-year students.

The GGE’s policies applicable to graduate fellowships include the following.
  • Graduate students may be awarded a maximum of eight quarters of fellowship support during their residence in the GGE. Students do not qualify for additional support if they transition from the M.S. program to the Ph.D. program.
  • Students typically will not be awarded more than two quarters of fellowship support in a given academic year.
  • Students may not stack fellowships. If an incoming or continuing student who has been offered a GGE fellowship accepts a non-GGE fellowship, their GGE fellowship will be reduced by the duration of the non-GGE fellowship. For example, if an incoming student who was offered a two-year GGE fellowship (four quarters of support) subsequently is offered and accepts a one-year university fellowship, then their GGE fellowship will be reduced to one year (two quarters) of support. If an incoming student who was offered a two-year GGE fellowship (four quarters of support) receives a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, they must decline the GGE fellowship. The same policy applies to continuing students, regardless of whether the non-GGE fellowship may be deferred.
  • Incoming students who are offered a GGE fellowship are expected to use it for two quarters in each of their first two years. If they wish to defer any quarters to their third year, they must submit a request to the GGE coordinator by June 1 of their first year. The dollar value of deferred fellowships will not increase above the amount originally offered regardless of whether stipend levels or the costs of tuition and fees have increased. 
  • Except in extraordinary circumstances, the GGE does not award fellowships for use beyond the fifth year of residency in the GGE.

Jastro & Shields Graduate Research Awards

Funds for Jastro & Shields Graduate Research Awards are distributed by the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (CAES) to outstanding continuing students in recognition of their potential to carry out research related to the mission of CAES. Funds are available for research (e.g., field travel, project-related materials and supplies, conference travel) and for support while conducting research (stipends, resident tuition, and resident fees). Recommendations for awards are made by the GGE.

University Fellowships

There are a number of university fellowships you can apply for, some of which are restricted to students meeting specific criteria. If applying for these, be sure to note what makes you eligible for the restricted fellowship. The GGE will make nominations based on your selections, but is only allowed a limited number of nominations. Once nominations are made to Graduate Studies, selections for these fellowships are made from a campus wide pool. Notifications of awards are made directly to the students by Grad Studies by mid-March.

External Funding

External Fellowships are those offered by private foundations, government agencies, and corporations.  A variety of support is offered, from one-time awards to multi-year support. Aside from the obvious financial benefit, receipt of external funding exemplifies excellence in research, writing and scholarship.

List of External Fellowships

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available. Please contact the UCD Financial Aid Office at (530) 752-2390 for information and deadlines. The Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) is available by the beginning of January online. Be sure to complete the application by the March deadline. Your eligibility will be determined and forwarded to the UC Davis Financial Aid Office