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JackJo21

Range of funding for PoliSci Programs

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Here's a summary of my 2013 offers:

 

Berkeley 25k + 3k for 4 summers

Columbia 24.5k + 3k for 4 summers

Stanford 29k + 3500 for 2 summers

Yale 28k + summer funding (I don't remember details)

Princeton 28k + 2k for working on a project of "mutual interest" for the first 2 years.

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Here's a summary of my 2013 offers:

 

Berkeley 25k + 3k for 4 summers

Columbia 24.5k + 3k for 4 summers

Stanford 29k + 3500 for 2 summers

Yale 28k + summer funding (I don't remember details)

Princeton 28k + 2k for working on a project of "mutual interest" for the first 2 years.

Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for sharing.

Berkeley gives that much to political science grads?? I was told that the Sociology grads only receive 15k, why this huge difference?? 

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Berkeley gives that much to political science grads?? I was told that the Sociology grads only receive 15k, why this huge difference?? 

My understanding is that grad students get half of the full-time-equivalent GSI salary (~$17k), plus additional money from the research funds of the American faculty to make Berkeley more competitive.

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Here's a summary of my 2013 offers:

 

Berkeley 25k + 3k for 4 summers

Columbia 24.5k + 3k for 4 summers

Stanford 29k + 3500 for 2 summers

Yale 28k + summer funding (I don't remember details)

Princeton 28k + 2k for working on a project of "mutual interest" for the first 2 years.

 

Thank you AmericanQuant for sharing this information.

 

Without detailing which program you selected, may you describe how comfortable your living style is given the financial offer you chose?

 

I'm specifically interested in how you handle common expenditure categories (e.g. rent, utilities, groceries, credit/debt), and should there be enough funding left over, how capable you are of making non-essential purchases (e.g. lifestyle, clothing, restaurants etc.).

 

The numbers provide a solid baseline, but anecdotal descriptions may also clarify just what this funding will be like.

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Thank you AmericanQuant for sharing this information.

 

Without detailing which program you selected, may you describe how comfortable your living style is given the financial offer you chose?

 

I'm specifically interested in how you handle common expenditure categories (e.g. rent, utilities, groceries, credit/debt), and should there be enough funding left over, how capable you are of making non-essential purchases (e.g. lifestyle, clothing, restaurants etc.).

 

The numbers provide a solid baseline, but anecdotal descriptions may also clarify just what this funding will be like.

 

First, there are large differences in the costs of living among those programs that need to be taken into account.  Of the 5, Yale's seems the most generous, but if you don't want to live in New Haven, you might not find the $$ persuasive.

 

I am confident that one could live on all of the stipends, but I think the culture of consumption in Berkeley or Manhattan might make you want to spend more than if you're living a less urban existence at Princeton, Yale or Stanford. Given that Columbia and Berkeley also have lower stipends, one might be more hesitant to go there, especially if one doesn't have savings or parents to fall back on.

 

Everyone I know at the school I chose (one of PSY) feels fine with their finances and lives comfortably, but I still think stipend should play some role in your choice.

Edited by AmericanQuant

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Here's a summary of my 2013 offers:

 

Berkeley 25k + 3k for 4 summers

Columbia 24.5k + 3k for 4 summers

Stanford 29k + 3500 for 2 summers

Yale 28k + summer funding (I don't remember details)

Princeton 28k + 2k for working on a project of "mutual interest" for the first 2 years.

I would caution people that most Big 10 schools have much lower stipends than these (in the range of $13K to $18K). Midwestern schools also have much lower costs of living, but it can still be a challenge to make ends meet.

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Also note that some offers are full fellowships (you don't have to do anything for the money), while others are TA-ships (meaning all or part of the money comes from working as a TA or RA). Different schools may have different names for this, but it's something to pay attention to. For example, a 25k offer contingent upon 20 hours of work per week may be less desirable than a 20k fellowship, depending on your situation. 

 

For UCSD in 2013, there were two basic packages of funding for polisci: 

 

25k: 1st year fellowship, years 2-5 require 20 hrs/week TAing

22.5k: 1st year 10 hrs/week TAing, years 2-5 require 20 hrs/week TAing

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Other thoughts:
-Some programs deduct fees from the amount they officially give you. This will make your effective stipend lower than the stipend they report to you.
-You might consider as well whether your school is on the semester or quarter system. If it's a quarter system, you may have a shorter summer with less time to allocate to profitable pursuits. Trade-off is you get more faculty time, but something to think about.

I think Michigan's stipend is at 18600 w/ 3000 summer funding for all five years (21,600/year total) without any fee reductions. It goes up by a modest amount (2%) each year. Teaching commitments are years 2-5, though most people seem to be able to pick up fellowships from the school so that they don't teach that whole time (particularly if you're a US citizen). Comfortable enough for Ann Arbor.

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Also note that some offers are full fellowships (you don't have to do anything for the money), while others are TA-ships (meaning all or part of the money comes from working as a TA or RA). Different schools may have different names for this, but it's something to pay attention to. For example, a 25k offer contingent upon 20 hours of work per week may be less desirable than a 20k fellowship, depending on your situation. 

 

For UCSD in 2013, there were two basic packages of funding for polisci: 

 

25k: 1st year fellowship, years 2-5 require 20 hrs/week TAing

22.5k: 1st year 10 hrs/week TAing, years 2-5 require 20 hrs/week TAing

 

To the best of my knowledge, all of the schools I listed posted TA requirements on their websites.  Here's my recollection of them. In each term, you're only TA-ing one class. 

 

Berkeley: TA each semester years 2-5 (i.e. 8 semesters)

Columbia: 6 semesters

Princeton: "9 precepts." It's been described as like 3 semesters of TAing.

Stanford: 5 quarters (though it can be reduced to 3 with RA or fellowship support)

Yale: 4 semesters (years 3 and 4)

 

This was just what I remember. YMMV.

Edited by AmericanQuant

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To the best of my knowledge, all of the schools I listed posted TA requirements on their websites.  Here's my recollection of them. In each term, you're only TA-ing one class. 

 

Berkeley: TA each semester years 2-5 (i.e. 8 semesters)

Columbia: 6 semesters

Princeton: "9 precepts." It's been described as like 3 semesters of TAing.

Stanford: 5 quarters (though it can be reduced to 3 with RA or fellowship support)

Yale: 4 semesters (years 3 and 4)

 

This was just what I remember. YMMV.

 

Sounds about right!

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In the last two years there has been a new trend of grad students here taking out loans to cover living expenses. That's worrying given our grim job prospects in academia, but it is increasingly common for our graduates to find careers in the private sector.

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According to the website, Columbia's stipend is $24,335+ summer funding, though it doesn't specify how much summer funding is.

 

Doesn't seem huge for NYC, but also doesn't seem outrageouly low. Also, the website specifically mentions funding for years 6 and 7 (which is possible, but not guaranteed), so that might be a good thing especially for people hoping to do extensive fieldwork.

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I do agree that people should be made aware of these things, although I wouldn't necessarily consider the spreadsheet data reliable, bc people with debt are far more likely to access the page etc. in the first place. I also think we should compare this data to the general populace debt, and am not sure whether people are only reporting thier grad school data.

 

IMO, most stipends posted here will be enough if you live frugally, and don't take too long to finish your PhD. I know that in many European countries, stipends are even lower, but because loans are not as readily available, people still graduate debt-free (or close to it). I lived on less than 1100 US$ a month (incl. rent) in one of the most expensive cities of the world, and managed fine.

 

Going in with an open eye, and having a good idea about cost of living, as well as keeping an eye on your finances is definitely important!

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In the last two years there has been a new trend of grad students here taking out loans to cover living expenses. That's worrying given our grim job prospects in academia, but it is increasingly common for our graduates to find careers in the private sector.

That's the case here.  Even with a reasonable cost of living, getting a stipend, and a fellowship, I take out a few "oh sh*t" loans here and there.  I'm post-comps now so I don't have fees like everyone else.  I'm trying to save so I don't need loans anymore.  I had about $4000.00 in medical debt because of an emergency surgery my first year and that's when my problems began.  That was WITH insurance.  Our insurance is now pretty much nill and I'm kind of paranoid.  We also don't get paid in the summers.  Even well-funded students use loans to make it through summers.  Some people making less take summer classes just to get by.

 

Almost everyone I know has taken out grad debt, which for me isn't really that worrying as I came out with almost no debt from u-grad (about 13k) compared to most here.  However, I wish it was possible to have no debt!

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Hey everyone. The numbers floating around for UCLA are slightly incorrect. Last year's offers were largely 24 k for ONE YEAR of fellowship, not two! This has been misinformation that even some graduate students within the program have. I have attached a screen shot of the acceptance letter below.

The breakdown was $24,000 first year for a fellowship (no teaching responsibilities). This money IS subject to taxation.
Then guaranteed TAship for years 2-5 starting at 17.7k+ and rising
 

The first three summers you are also given a 6k stipend. You have to apply for the a summer research mentorship but even if you don't get it the department will support you.

 

Health insurance IS included.

Also, word around the department is they are not offering that summer deal again or it might be changed. That part is total hearsay though.

http://i.imgur.com/EFYakv0.jpg

Edited by stich09

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Isn't 16k ridiculously low in LA?

 

I didn't even look at the offer I posted. It's actually 17.7 k. And yes. That is low. Plus summer for that year it's 23.3 k for 12 months in LA. You can do it, just don't be living in Weyburn or Hilgard after your first year (those are the nearby graduate housing facilities).

Edited by stich09

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Hey everyone. The numbers floating around for UCLA are slightly incorrect. Last year's offers were largely 24 k for ONE YEAR of fellowship, not two! This has been misinformation that even some graduate students within the program have. I have attached a screen shot of the acceptance letter below.

There was some slight variation in the funding packages given, so 24k for two years was not "incorrect" per se. Some students also didn't get funding.

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Is this for this upcoming year or for the current first year of the program? As far as I know not a single first year candidate has two years of fellowship. Or if they do they are one or two people out of the 19 who ended up at UCLA.

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Is this for this upcoming year or for the current first year of the program? As far as I know not a single first year candidate has two years of fellowship. Or if they do they are one or two people out of the 19 who ended up at UCLA.

I don't have any information except that I was given an offer for two years of fellowship funding two years ago. The numbers floating around in this thread that you referred to are probably those I provided, and they were accurate.

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The standard UCSD package this year seems to be:

Year 1: Approximately $16k of support (includes a 25% Grader/TAship and stipend) plus all fees and non-res tuition (if applicable)  + $5k Summer stipend after first year

Year 2-5: Approximately $21k of support (includes a 50% Grader/TAship and stipend)

 

The TAship includes a partial fee and res tuition waiver, according to the website, so you still have to pay some fees and non-res tuition, at least in year two. After proceeding to candidacy, non-res tuition seems to be waived.

 

The package seems relatively low for San Diego, although you might be able to pick up additional RA/TA assignments over the summer, which would make it stretch further, I believe.

 

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The standard UCSD package this year seems to be:

Year 1: Approximately $16k of support (includes a 25% Grader/TAship and stipend) plus all fees and non-res tuition (if applicable)  + $5k Summer stipend after first year

Year 2-5: Approximately $21k of support (includes a 50% Grader/TAship and stipend)

 

The TAship includes a partial fee and res tuition waiver, according to the website, so you still have to pay some fees and non-res tuition, at least in year two. After proceeding to candidacy, non-res tuition seems to be waived.

 

The package seems relatively low for San Diego, although you might be able to pick up additional RA/TA assignments over the summer, which would make it stretch further, I believe.

 

Unfortunately, we don't proceed to candidacy until the end of the third year when we finished the dissertation prospectus. So two years of tuition...

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