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Doctoral Program - Financial Support

All students accepted to the Ph.D. program are guaranteed 5 years of 12-month funding through spring quarter of the fifth year. Financial support typically is provided through teaching and research assistantship salary and tuition allowance.

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for outside scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial support. Students with outside support enable the department to stretch its own resources. Full fellowships are supplemented by the department up to the current Stanford Graduate Fellowship rate (details at link below). Students with outside support may have fewer teaching and research assistantship duties.

Stanford Graduate Fellowships (SGF): A prestigious program begun in 1996, these fellowships are awarded by the University to selected applicants nominated by departments and are roughly comparable in benefits to National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships. Both international and U.S. applicants may be nominated by the department for Stanford Graduate Fellowships. There is no application or request process for these awards. 

Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowships (SIGF): The Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship (SIGF) Program is a competitive, university-wide program that awards three-year fellowships to outstanding doctoral students engaged in interdisciplinary research. Applications typically open in January with a closing deadline of mid February.

Stanford Bio-X PhD Fellowship Program The Stanford Bio-X PhD Fellowship Program supports Stanford PhD students who are pursuing cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in collaboration with multiple faculty mentors. Fellows receive full support (stipend and tuition) from Bio-X for three years of their graduate studies. Applications for the 2024 Stanford Bio-X fellowships typically open in January.

Teaching Assistantships

As part of the doctoral program students are expected to act as teaching assistants. Duties typically involve assisting a professor with grading of homework problems and/or conducting weekly tutorial section meetings for elementary and intermediate statistics courses. In later years students may be assistants for advanced courses. Each quarter students are asked to list preferences for TA assignments, which are accommodated where possible. Tutorial section meetings provide students an opportunity to develop teaching skills. Our Teaching Assistants Resources section contains advice about many aspects of TA work.

Documented teaching experience is an important factor in many post-Ph.D. job searches. Through course evaluations students are offered the opportunity to build evidence of their teaching skills.

Research Assistantships

All PhD students, except those with external financial support, will have RA assignments with duties that may vary substantially from quarter to quarter and from project to project. First year students will have very light assignments. RA assignments will not exceed 10 hours per week and on average are much less. Once students have embarked on their own research, it is common for this research to take the place of other RA assignments.

Summer Quarters

Stanford is on the quarter system. The autumn, winter and spring quarters, each lasting about 11 weeks, are the principal academic quarters. The summer quarter lasts eight weeks. In the Statistics Department, except for the first summer, students are not required to enroll at Stanford or be on campus during summer quarters, though many students choose to do so. The department maintains an active summer program of seminars, lectures, and courses.

Students receiving financial support during the summer are required to enroll, and may register for regular coursework or independent research in or out of the department. First year students enroll for Stats 302, Qualifying Exams Workshop, in preparation for the late August exams.

Stanford is not in session from mid-August to late September, although research activities continue and students may remain in their university housing.