Financial Support

All of our incoming Physics Ph.D. students are supported financially by Research and Teaching Assistantships, which provide a salary during the academic year and a tuition allowance for 10 units per quarter. Each year the department is allowed to nominate top students for Stanford Graduate Fellowships. It is highly recommended for students to apply for fellowships from outside sources such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense and the Hertz Foundation.

Students usually settle with a research group towards the end of their first year or the start of their second. Before that, they "rotate" between different groups. A rotation means that the student spends a quarter working in a given group. Rotations allow students to have contact with research as soon as they arrive at Stanford and gives them the opportunity to try out different research topics, while interacting with different faculty and groups. During the first three quarters rotations are funded by the Physics department (two quarters as a Research Assistant and one quarter as a Teaching Assistant) and therefore the rotation advisor does not need to provide funds, unless the student continues with the group for more than one quarter. Students should contact potential rotation advisors before the quarter starts to express interest and check the availability of positions. All students need to be formally rotating each quarter until they permanently join a group.

Teaching Assistantships are available as part of the student support. All graduate students are expected to teach at least three quarters as a requirement to obtain a Ph.D. degree in Physics.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars

Knight-Hennessy Scholars cultivates and supports a highly-engaged, multidisciplinary and multicultural community of graduate students from across Stanford University, and delivers a diverse collection of educational experiences, preparing graduates to address complex challenges facing the world. Each year, Knight-Hennessy Scholars selects up to 100 students who are newly enrolling in a graduate degree program in any of Stanford’s seven schools. Knight-Hennessy Scholars participate in an experiential leadership development program and receive funding for up to three years of graduate study at Stanford. Candidates of any country may apply. Candidates must submit two applications to be considered; one to Knight-Hennessy Scholars by early October and one to the graduate degree program by its deadline. Visit the Knight-Hennessy website to learn more.