Updated Framework for Ph.D. and MFA Financial Support

Dear UCI Community,

We are excited to share a new framework that offers a stable approach and commitment to Ph.D. and MFA funding. Following a series of discussions over the past year, we have reached an agreement that will work toward ensuring year-round financial support for all Ph.D. and MFA students within normative time to degree up to six years.


Key Points
:

Guaranteed Funding Implementation – Because this is a large investment, this framework will be phased in over a series of incoming cohorts. While this is a huge step toward meeting the needs of our graduate students, the framework will not have an impact for everyone at this time. However, because of our students’ hard work and advocacy, this serves as the first of more substantial funding changes in the future. We will continue to work to increase support for our graduate students.

Summer Support – UCI’s move towards universal summer funding is independent and irrespective of any union contract. While some departments already offer summer funding, we want to ensure that all of our Ph.D. and MFA students have this support.


Details for Ph.D. and MFA Students
:

• For cohorts entering in Fall 2023 forward, Ph.D. and MFA students will be guaranteed support at a minimum level of .5FTE TA for Ph.D. and .25 FTE for MFA during the academic year for normative time to degree up to six years.

• For cohorts entering in Fall 2024 forward, Ph.D. and MFA students unable to secure substantial outside employment in the summer will be supported with limited summer funding. Schools will phase in summer funding levels to match academic year funding by Summer 2026.

• For cohorts entering in Fall 2025 forward, students will receive a fellowship of at least $2,000 within the first week of entering a Ph.D. or MFA program to help with housing, moving, equipment, or other expenses related to transition into graduate study.

We recognize that guaranteed funding is essential to graduate student success and would like to acknowledge the advocacy of Associated Graduate Students leadership in continually raising issues related to student support. We look forward to implementing this new framework.


Sincerely
,

Hal Stern
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Statistics

Gillian R. Hayes
Vice Provost, Graduate Education
Dean, Graduate Division
Robert A. and Barbara L. Kleist Chair in Informatics