Finances and funding

All students admitted into the Statistics Department are offered enough financial support to live comfortably, for at least the standard duration of the degree. This aid may take several forms: fellowships, teaching appointments (GSI), or research appointments (GSR). A common path through the PhD program is to receive funding for the first year, then get a GSR position every other semester from the second year onwards.

Policy for PhD students

The policy for the Ph.D. program is that financial support will be distributed among all students making satisfactory progress. In giving support, the department will try to equalize net income, defined as payment plus fellowships and tuition waivers, minus taxes and the fees and non-resident tuition that the student has to pay. A level of net income will be determined which constitutes basic support, comparable to support offered by other institutions with good statistics programs. Support is promised for four years to students making satisfactory progress, and is frequently extended for another year. In addition, all Ph.D. students are offered financial support of some kind during the summer.

GSR appointments are typically acquired with one’s advisor, but there are often opportunities for GSR appointments with professors from other departments advertised by email.

GSI positions are plentiful. Students in their second year and beyond are encouraged to GSI for upper division undergraduate courses and graduate courses that they have taken.

There are a number of fellowships offered by federal institutes (NSF, NDSEG), private institutions (Microsoft Research, Google, Facebook), and by groups on campus (BIDS).The SGSA hosts an annual fellowships workshop to help new PhD students apply for these fellowships.

Policy for MA students

MA students typically cover expenses through a combination of student loans, private funds, and employer support (for those who are already in careers). A number of Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) opportunities are available for MA students each semester. MA Students are informed of these opportunities before each semester; at which point they can apply for a position if they wish. Selection will be based on teaching experience, English proficiency, performance in the MA program, and the student’s schedule. Please be aware that new GSIs are required to take a pedagogy course, over and above the regular coursework of the MA program. Also, MA students who are awarded GSI appointments must stay in the MA program for an additional semester (three semesters in total) in order to spread out their course load and effectively balance teaching responsibilities. Students who stay for an extra semester are expected to find an internship over the summer.

Funding Sources

From the Department

There are various funding opportunities from within the department itself.

Teaching (GSI) appointments

All PhD students are required to be a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) at least twice throughout their entire degree. For some people, GSI appointments are the primary source of funding, while for others, they will only be a GSI a couple of times. All first year international students with sufficient English proficiency are GSIs in their second semester.

Research (GSR) appointments

If you’re not being funded by a GSI appointment, you are probably a Graduate Student Researcher (GSR). This means that you’re funded (usually by a professor or a fellowship) to just do your research. It’s a nice life being a GSR.

Reader/grader positions

Being a reader or grader means that you don’t actually teach, but you just grade homeworks and assignments for a class. This is an uncommon position for grad students and is more common for undergrads, but it has been known to happen once in a while.


The staff occasionally receives inquiries from people interested in hiring graduate students as tutors in statistics. The staff keeps a list of students who are available for such tutoring and which courses they wish to teach. If you are interested in making a few extra dollars tutoring, then let the office staff know about it, and chances are excellent that you’ll get a few tutoring requests each semester. Pay rates are arranged privately with the student and typically range from $25 to $50 an hour. You should not tutor for a course you are GSIing for, as it is a conflict of interest.


All applicants to the Statistics Department are automatically considered for department and university fellowships. The Michel and Line Loève Fellowship is granted to doctoral students specializing in probability.

Travel funds

There are funds available from the department if you plan to present at a conference.

Outside the Department

There are various sources of funding that one can hope for that lives outside the department.

From the University

The university has fellowships, long-term and short-term loans, grants, and fee deferments for which you can apply. Students are eligible for loans to pay registration fees; check with the Loans and Receivables Office (192 University Hall, 642-3190) for details. California residents may apply for California State Scholarships. Many students have fellowships or grants from outside agencies or their home governments. UC has a fellowship program with deadlines in December for the following year. A variety of fellowships are available inside and outside the UC system; catalogs are available in 318 Sproul Hall. Contact the Graduate Division Fellowship Office (318 Sproul Hall, 642-0672). The Financial Aid Library in 201 Sproul Hall has information about available funds. The Graduate Division (Third floor, Sproul Hall) has a copy of the yearly Grants Register.


There are many on-campus and off-campus fellowships up for grabs. See the fellowships page for more information.


The department operates a drop-in consulting service (Stat 272). Occasionally clients come in with problems needing more attention than the drop-in service can provide. In these cases the department is glad to refer the clients to graduate students. You set the pay rate; the standard rate is around $50 per hour, depending on experience. Students interested in this kind of work should contact the faculty member in charge of consulting. It helps to have a good background in applied statistics.

Private Tutoring

If you want to tutor privately, this can be a nice way to make some extra cash money.

Summer Internships

It is very common to leave the department during the summer and to get an internship somewhere. See the internships page for information.

Other university part-time jobs

The Student Learning Center offers employment opportunities as study group leaders for small groups of students who need additional assistance with their statistics or mathematics courses. To be considered for such employment, you must first go through a one-semester training program or satisfy this requirement with equivalent experience.