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Range of funding for PoliSci Programs


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I just got into UChicago yesterday. They're offering 22K/year for 5 years. Plus, 3K for 2 of the summers during those 5 years.

I have no idea what a normal package is. Can someone give me a range of funding for top political science programs?

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Since a bunch of us were wondering, I just wanted to bump this thread. Nothing substantial to add!

That's... what she said...

Anyone heard re: Berkeley funding? Would it kill them to tell is how much / whether they're paying us?

While you do state the basics there are a number of things you should be aware of when even comparing top programs' packages. For instance, the cost of living varies by various parts of the country. More importantly though you should see how the funding is broken down. You obviously have your stipend, plus summer funding, but you also want to know if travel expenses have to be covered mostly by you when attending conferences or doing research. Is there a possibilty to receive more funding if needed during your dissertation stage? A lot of questions need to be answered to compare them. Is insurance provided as well, etc.

I can tell you just by the stipend, you won't find a program in the Midwest that can really compete with it. For instance, Northwestern's stipend is usually at least 2K less than Chicago. I compare these two just because I know this and I had lived in Chicagoland for a long time.

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Not technically a "top program," but here's my offer from Florida State:

$17,000 during the school year

$3,500 summer stipend after a successful first year

Funding to present research at a conference each year

They offer a fellowship to up to 4 students a year that boosts the stipend by $3,000 and gives you a non-duty research year after comps, plus $2,000 for research expenses.

Hope that helps.

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Not technically a "top program," but here's my offer from Florida State:

$17,000 during the school year

$3,500 summer stipend after a successful first year

Funding to present research at a conference each year

They offer a fellowship to up to 4 students a year that boosts the stipend by $3,000 and gives you a non-duty research year after comps, plus $2,000 for research expenses.

Hope that helps.

This looks very much like the offer from PSU -- 17.5 + summer + health care; more if you get the fellowship.

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So, I got into NYU yesterday, and the package is $23,600 and change. The official letter from the graduate school insists that this will be higher, and is based on last years numbers, so maybe say $24,000, plus one summer at $4000. It's a fellowship, so TAships/RAships provide extra money if you get one/choose to take one.

This is not a huge amount of money for NYC, and I saw somebody say on the results page that they didn't think this was livable in NYC. I wanted to drop a post here and just mention that while lifestyles are different for everybody, my younger brother lives in NYC on about this much per year, and has done for two years now. He has to budget, for sure, but his place isn't a dump, his neighborhood isn't super dangerous, he makes payments on his student loans, and his job requires technical equipment, so he actually makes a couple big ticket purchases a year. While talking to current NYU grad students may be most helpful, I just thought other people would be happy to know that it is POSSIBLE to make it on that much in the city without having absolutely no life.

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I am relatively unfamiliar with the funding scale, but the florida state teaching assistantship money is in addition to the stipend. Is this a big offer? Does this mean I should go even though is ranked pretty low?

Not to quibble, but having received the same offer, I'm fairly confident that the TA money is NOT in addition to the stipend. Nearly $40,000 in Tallahassee would be obscenely huge for a grad package.

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I just got into UChicago yesterday. They're offering 22K/year for 5 years. Plus, 3K for 2 of the summers during those 5 years.

I have no idea what a normal package is. Can someone give me a range of funding for top political science programs?

U Chicago has really upped their offers in the last few years, since only 6-8 years ago, they were closer to the 12k-14k range. The 22k plus 2 summers sounds like a pretty solid deal to me. I think outside of schools like Yale that are closer to the 30k mark, you'll find that most well funded private schools will offer somewhere between 17k-24k, and most public state schools will come in anywhere between 11.5k-17k. But you need to look closer at what obligations come with that funding. And like someone mentioned earlier, think about where you'll be living: 22k goes a lot further in Chicago than 24k does in New York or DC.

Here are some questions you might want to ask:

Are you paid over 9 months or 12?

How many semesters/quarters will you have to TA?

How many years of the 5-year package are fellowship and how many include TA or RA obligations?

How common is summer funding outside of the guaranteed summers?

How are people generally funded after the 5th year? (UC folks routinely take 6-9 years to finish.)

If you bring in full outside funding (NSF, etc.) can you get extra years of funding?

If you bring in partial funding, will they "top you up", and can you buy your way out of TAing?

If you have a spouse or kids, how much would it cost to add them to your insurance?

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So, I got into NYU yesterday, and the package is $23,600 and change. The official letter from the graduate school insists that this will be higher, and is based on last years numbers, so maybe say $24,000, plus one summer at $4000. It's a fellowship, so TAships/RAships provide extra money if you get one/choose to take one.

NYU has recently changed their funding system so that TAing pays in addition to the stipend, and teaching is no longer mandatory. This can mean a fair amount of extra money if you can get a TAship, but it also means that TAing has become more scarce. Another side effect of this is that in many departments, finding 6th year funding is more and more difficult. There's also the fact that NYU has done this to try to fend off graduate students' attempts to unionize.

http://www.2110uaw.org/gsoc/

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/nyregion/28grad.html

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U Chicago has really upped their offers in the last few years, since only 6-8 years ago, they were closer to the 12k-14k range. The 22k plus 2 summers sounds like a pretty solid deal to me. I think outside of schools like Yale that are closer to the 30k mark, you'll find that most well funded private schools will offer somewhere between 17k-24k, and most public state schools will come in anywhere between 11.5k-17k. But you need to look closer at what obligations come with that funding. And like someone mentioned earlier, think about where you'll be living: 22k goes a lot further in Chicago than 24k does in New York or DC.

Here are some questions you might want to ask:

Are you paid over 9 months or 12?

How many semesters/quarters will you have to TA?

How many years of the 5-year package are fellowship and how many include TA or RA obligations?

How common is summer funding outside of the guaranteed summers?

How are people generally funded after the 5th year? (UC folks routinely take 6-9 years to finish.)

If you bring in full outside funding (NSF, etc.) can you get extra years of funding?

If you bring in partial funding, will they "top you up", and can you buy your way out of TAing?

If you have a spouse or kids, how much would it cost to add them to your insurance?

Funding is an incredibly important factor in my decision so this is a very helpful post; thank you. Does anyone have any suggestions how to go about negotiating for a more attractive funding package? I don't want departments to think I'm all about the money but every little bit helps, especially if it's guaranteed up front.

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Don't be bashful about asking. The worst thing they can say is no. Remember two things. 1) they know just how little they are paying you and 2) they all went through it too. The best thing to have is another offer in hand that you can point to.

edit: i wrote that quickly on my phone, so let me add a bit. clearly don't just call and say "i want $5k more" or whatever. but use the two points to get a bit of sympathy. "I really like your program, but this other program is offering me $x more. is there any way to make up the difference with a little added to my fellowship and some summer money" they all know that its tough to live on $14k or $17k or $22k or whatever they are offering per year. No one is going to think you are all about the money because you tried to sweeten your package a bit. Anyone who is capable of getting into one of these programs but is all about the money could probably be making more than any package working somewhere else and probably by at least a factor of 2. if i was applying for jobs instead of Ph.Ds right now, i'd be asking future employers for more than triple the money MIT offered me.

Edited by jsclar
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NYU has recently changed their funding system so that TAing pays in addition to the stipend, and teaching is no longer mandatory. This can mean a fair amount of extra money if you can get a TAship, but it also means that TAing has become more scarce. Another side effect of this is that in many departments, finding 6th year funding is more and more difficult. There's also the fact that NYU has done this to try to fend off graduate students' attempts to unionize.

http://www.2110uaw.org/gsoc/

http://www.nytimes.c...ion/28grad.html

Thanks for posting this. I had heard about the unionizing thing. While long-term I care about the political implications, I have to admit I don't really care why they changed the system. Maybe that's wrong, but I'm just glad the opportunity exists. I am interested in the fact that this has led to more trouble getting a TAship and/or 6th year funding. Are you a current student there, and if so would you be willing to talk via PM about it?

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Stanford:

$28,000/year (5 years)

$3,500/summer (1 year)

$1,000 in discretionary funds

5 years health insurance

Includes TAing 5 classes between 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years.

My goodness that is one impressive offer!

Congrats to you, Stanford is an excellent program and I am sure your research into the Middle East will prosper very well there, or anywhere you decide going.

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Thanks for posting this. I had heard about the unionizing thing. While long-term I care about the political implications, I have to admit I don't really care why they changed the system. Maybe that's wrong, but I'm just glad the opportunity exists. I am interested in the fact that this has led to more trouble getting a TAship and/or 6th year funding. Are you a current student there, and if so would you be willing to talk via PM about it?

I'm not at NYU, but several friends of mine are. None in poli sci, though, but a lot of the funding issues are common to the graduate school as a whole...

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I posted this in the main thread, but here's the UCLA offer:

Tuition remission, fee waivers, and $24,000 first year. Years 2-5 I'm guaranteed a TAship, starting at ~$17k and rising to about $20k by the end of the program. Notably, there's no mention of health insurance, though apparently there is provision for housing assistance.

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So, I got into NYU yesterday, and the package is $23,600 and change. The official letter from the graduate school insists that this will be higher, and is based on last years numbers, so maybe say $24,000, plus one summer at $4000. It's a fellowship, so TAships/RAships provide extra money if you get one/choose to take one.

This is not a huge amount of money for NYC, and I saw somebody say on the results page that they didn't think this was livable in NYC. I wanted to drop a post here and just mention that while lifestyles are different for everybody, my younger brother lives in NYC on about this much per year, and has done for two years now. He has to budget, for sure, but his place isn't a dump, his neighborhood isn't super dangerous, he makes payments on his student loans, and his job requires technical equipment, so he actually makes a couple big ticket purchases a year. While talking to current NYU grad students may be most helpful, I just thought other people would be happy to know that it is POSSIBLE to make it on that much in the city without having absolutely no life.

I lived in NYC for many years. It is absolutely possible to live on that amount of money (especially since you could earn more through TAing). It would probably be a culture shock for someone who's never lived in a densely populated urban area before, but if you're a fast learner and creative (which you probably would be since you got into NYU :) ) it's absolutely doable. One thing about NYU - it is not possible to live anywhere near the campus for that amount of money unless you share an apartment with several people. Brooklyn is a great option for NYU students - relatively close and really fun, although prices are rising there, too. If anyone wants any more specific info on NYC, please feel free to PM me.

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