Financial Aid

The department provides support through Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships or Fellowships for PhD students making satisfactory progress toward the degree. Most first-year students are supported as Graduate Teaching Assistants, who teach laboratory or recitation sections or grade papers. Research Assistantships are often offered to students in their later years. These are generally funded by external research grants and depend on the choice of research and advisor. There are also a number of Departmental and University Fellowships which may be granted to outstanding candidates. We encourage women who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents to apply for a Violet M. Diller Fellowship. All graduate students have the opportunity to teach during their graduate career.

The level of graduate student stipends depends on achieving academic milestones. The stipend level increases in the academic term after a student passes the PhD Qualifying Exam and again after the student passes the Oral Exam. Students who are required to pass the OEPT, but have not yet passed, receive the lowest level stipend, regardless of other achievements.

Students who do not require financial support from the University because they will be supported by external fellowships, employers or foreign governments should contact the Department’s Director of Graduate Studies prior to applying to the program.

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Typical budget for a physics graduate student on assistantship.

The first paycheck is delivered 23 days after start of employment. Before the first paycheck, a student will typically have the following expenses and must thus arrive on campus with sufficient funds:

Typical Budget
Moving expenses to Cincinnati Moving expenses 600
1st housing charges Rent*, rent deposit, damage deposit 1400
Utility deposits Gas & electric, cell phone, internet service, cable TV 300
Goods Pots, lamps, toiletry kits, alarm clocks 300
3 weeks grocery Food, toiletries, condiments, vitamins 250
Academic expenses Books, ITIE fee, 1st term’s health insurance, supplies

*Assuming living with roommates to share rent costs.

After the first month, living expenses become more stable: typically $600 per month for rent, $250 per month for utilities, $350 per month for food and toiletries, $50 per month for entertainment, $100 per month for clothing. A student needs to save about $120 per month so that upcoming terms’ fees and books can be paid.