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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

Join dozens of Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences students who gain valuable leadership skills in a multidisciplinary, multicultural community as Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS).

KHS admits up to 100 select applicants each year from across Stanford’s seven graduate schools, and delivers engaging experiences that prepare them to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders ready to address complex global challenges. As a scholar, you join a distinguished cohort, participate in up to three years of leadership programming, and receive full funding for up to three years of your PhD studies at Stanford.

Candidates of any country may apply. KHS applicants must have earned their first undergraduate degree within the last seven years, and must apply to both a Stanford graduate program and to KHS. Stanford PhD students may also apply to KHS during their first year of PhD enrollment.

If you aspire to be a leader in your field, we invite you to apply. The KHS application deadline is October 11, 2023. Learn more about KHS admission.