Financial Support

Central Campus Fellowships

Fellowship Support

Funds are awarded on the basis of merit and promise of productive scholarship. Types of university awards and funding sources include centrally administered fellowships, department and campus gift and endowment funds, and departmental block grants. Fellowship funds could provide payment of any of the following: tuition and fees, health insurance, non-resident supplemental tuition, and stipend. A fellowship is any payment to a student that is not salary or direct reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses such as travel costs. All fellowships must be processed and disbursed by the Graduate Division.

Except for a selection of continuing fellowships (listed below), graduate students do not apply directly for central campus fellowships. Central fellowship awards are based on nomination by departments and selection by a central faculty fellowship committee. Departments may also award department-specific fellowships to incoming students based on their application materials or to continuing students based on nomination. Please contact your department’s graduate program assistant or graduate advisor for information about fellowships available to you.

For other fellowship opportunities, see Extramural Funding or Other UCSB Fellowships and Funding, as well as the International Doctoral Recruitment Fellowship (IDRF) for international students. 

Central Awards by Student Application

Continuing graduate students may apply directly to the following central awards. Applications are typically due in March for the following academic year.


All students who receive central fellowships administered by the Graduate Division must:

  • Maintain continuous enrollment
  • Be registered full time (enrolled in a minimum of eight units per academic quarter)
  • Devote full time study to the field in which they receive the award
  • Maintain good academic standing (students who are not in good academic standing because their cumulative GPA is below 3.0, they have excessive units of unfinished coursework (12 or more units of Incomplete (I), No Grade (NG), or No Record (NR)), or are not meeting departmental standards of scholarship, may not hold centrally administered fellowships.)
  • Maintain good academic progress (students must meet time-to-degree standards for advancement to candidacy and degree completion)

P3 class level students, or those who will achieve P3 status during the fellowship term, are not eligible for central fellowship funds, though they may receive Block Grant funding as long as they remain within the time to degree standards for their academic program. A student enrolled for more than nine quarters since advancement to doctoral candidacy is P3 class level (for more information see Graduate Class Level).

Students in joint doctoral degree programs are eligible for central fellowships, but must be registered at UC Santa Barbara during the quarter(s) in which they receive UC Santa Barbara funding.

In order to receive summer fellowship funding, students must meet the following registration requirements. Registration in at least eight units in spring quarter is sufficient for a graduate student to receive summer funding. For students not enrolled in the preceding spring quarter, eligibility to receive fellowship funding during the months of July, August, and early September requires registration in at least eight units in the upcoming fall quarter or at least four units in Summer Session.

Please note: eligibility for need-based financial aid is affected by awards students receive from the Graduate Division, academic departments, or outside agencies. A reduction in the student's original need-based aid eligibility will occur if the student receives additional awards during the year, including graduate student academic appointment fee remission. For further information regarding financial aid support, refer to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Terms and Conditions of Fellowships

All domestic students are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the March 2 deadline for the upcoming year. Information from the FAFSA is used to compile a need analysis, which is used to determine fund sources for support packages.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents are only eligible for non-resident tuition fellowships for their first three quarters at UC Santa Barbara. During their first year students should establish California residency. For detailed information, please consult the Office of the Registrar's Establishing California Residency for Fee Purposes. You may also refer inquiries to the Residence Deputy at

Students must register each term they receive fellowship support. Students are not allowed to be on Leave of Absence or in Filing Fee status when receiving a fellowship.

Students receiving a central fellowship must report immediately, in writing, to the Graduate Division any change in academic or financial status. Changes in status include (but are not limited to) change of major/program, withdrawal, and multiple awards. Central fellowships do not automatically transfer from one major/program to another, and receipt of additional support funds might affect award of UC funds.

Fellowships are awards that enable students to spend the majority of their time studying. It is anticipated that additional financial need should be minimal. The supplementation policy is designed primarily to ensure that excess service as an academic apprentice will not impede fellowship holders' graduate studies and to allow a distribution of University support funds among highly qualified students.

Supplementation Limits Chart

Supplementation Limit
Supplementation of Extramural Awards There is no limit on fellowship stipend from Extramural sources. However, the addition of campus sources of support cannot cause the total stipend provided to the student to exceed the Total-Maximum-Fellowship-Stipend shown below, without explicit approval from the Graduate Dean.
Total Maximum Fellowship Stipend
(all campus sources)
$33,000 for the 9-month (Fall, Winter, Spring) period;
$44,000 for the 12-month (including Summer) period.
Maximum Fellowship Stipend -
Academic Year
(all campus sources)
$11,000 per academic quarter (Fall, Winter, Spring)
Maximum Fellowship Stipend -
(all campus sources)
$11,000 (Summer)
Maximum Summer Support
(all campus sources)
$11,000 summer quarter fellowship stipend (referenced above); or 100% employment; or the equivalent of 100% employment in combined fellowship and partial employment
Supplementation of Central Awards
Supplementing Central Awards is subject to the limits described above. Additionally, please refer to the student's specific central fellowship offer as it may have limitations on employment during the fellowship tenure (often maximum average of 35% for the Academic Year while on fellowship).


The Financial Support unit of the Graduate Division processes all fellowship funds to graduate students (payment of tuition, fees, non-resident supplemental tuition, health insurance, and stipends). Departments notify the Graduate Division of awards through the use of two forms:

  • Fellowship Reporting Form I for block grant awards and Graduate Division matching fellowships
  • Form 2 for awards funded through departmental, extramural, gift or endowment fund sources

Please note that all fellowship payments to students must be handled in this way. The University may not use the University Check Request Form 5 for any type of fellowship or financial award payment to students.

The Graduate Division ensures that the funds are disbursed to the student, charged to the correct account, and reported to all necessary offices.

Students who receive a fee fellowship (payment of tuition, fees, health insurance, and/or non-resident supplemental tuition) have that fellowship credit applied to their BARC account. Students who receive a stipend as part of a fellowship package will receive that payment through the Billing Office. Students can arrange to receive their stipend via direct deposit and the eRefund System. International students may be required to provide tax and visa related information to the Accounting Office via GLACIER, a secured web-based tax compliance system, in order to receive their stipend. For complete information, please see GLACIER.

Before a stipend payment can be disbursed, there are three very important criteria that must be met:

  1. The student must be registered in at least the minimum units required for the quarter in which the payment has been prepared
  2. The student's fees must be paid (either by the fellowship or loan, or by the student) for that quarter
  3. The student's BARC account must be clear of all other charges due

Students may refer to the Fellowships section of MyBARC, for details about their stipend disbursements.

Departments frequently award fellowships that include the full payment of tuition, fees, and health insurance. After those awards are made and reported to the Graduate Division, many students secure academic appointments that include fee remission benefits. When this occurs, the Graduate Division will automatically adjust the departmental fee payment award so that the student's tuition and fees will not be overpaid.

When a department establishes financial award packages, the Graduate Division encourages provision of payment of tuition, fees, non-resident supplemental tuition or health insurance, before awarding any stipend. Award letters should be specific and indicate that the award will be used to pay all tuition/fees/non-resident supplemental tuition/health insurance, and any balance of funds will be provided in the form of a stipend. Also, department letters should be very clear regarding the difference between tuition and fees and non-resident supplemental tuition. If the student is a non-resident, and tuition and fees will be paid by the award but non-resident supplemental tuition will not, that should be made clear to the student to prevent any misunderstanding.

For Internal Revenue Service and California Tax Board resources, please see tax resources.


All candidates for centrally administered fellowships for new students are nominated directly by the department. Awards are made by multi-disciplinary faculty committees and Dean of the Graduate Division.

In support of the campus goals of excellence and diversity, all nominations for central fellowships require strong evidence of the student's ability to contribute to the UC Santa Barbara academic community and research environment. All applicants for fellowships should provide evidence of present and future ability and accomplishments in their grade point average, research experience, and GRE scores as applicable, as well as in letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and personal statement.

Procedures for nominating students for diversity fellowships are the same as for other fellowships. All diversity fellowships are first and foremost merit-based. Students who are deemed to be academically meritorious are considered for awards based on merit, potential for success, experience of disadvantages, and contribution to diversity and equal opportunity in the academic community through their teaching, research, or service. Applications for diversity fellowships should present evidence in their statement of purpose and personal statement of how they would qualify in at least one of the following ways:

  • Low socio-economic status (such as, but not limited to, low parental income while the student prepared for and attended college; parental occupation in non-professional area; the financial need to be employed while attending school; incurring large indebtedness from school loans; financial responsibility for immediate or extended family)
  • Experience of a condition impeding advancement to graduate study (such as but not limited to the absence of a family member who had attended college; matriculation in a school or schools with poor financial or curricular support; having a physical or learning special need; the necessity to work long hours while attending school; language background at home other than English)
  • Commitment to advancing economically or educationally disadvantaged segments of society (such as, but not limited to, academic research interests as they affect economically or educationally disadvantaged segments of society; expressed interest in the use of the doctoral degree toward advancing economically or educationally disadvantaged segments of society; prior experience working with or serving economically or educationally disadvantaged segments of society)

Examples of Diversity Fellowship Criteria

For fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences: Candidates whose research emphasizes issues such as diversity, multi-culturalism, and communities underserved by traditional academic research. Research which considers issues such as race, ethnicity, and/or gender as they relate to traditional academic fields is of particular interest. This includes research in such areas as community development, social justice, educational reform, economic development, public health and safety, and the dynamics of multi-cultural communities. Within these general parameters, research that invigorates traditional disciplines by challenging conventional paradigms or by using innovative methodologies such as interdisciplinary and comparative approaches is of special interest.

For fellowships in Math, Engineering, Life Science, and Physical Science: Candidates who have participated in teaching, mentoring, or outreach programs which promote educational opportunities for underrepresented students in higher education. For example, individuals who have volunteered in K-12 outreach programs or have served as mentors or tutors in programs designed to increase gender and racial diversity in mathematics, engineering, and the sciences are of special interest.

Fellowships for New Students

Central Awards by Departmental Nomination

Central fellowship awards are based on nomination by departments and selection by a central faculty fellowship committee. Procedures are outlined in an annual memo from Graduate Division to departments each fall. The annual memo specifies categories of awards, departmental nomination procedures, selection timelines and is available for review by departments on GradNET.

Departmental Awards for New Students

Departments may model awards after the packages listed above to provide additional fellowship opportunities to students. A departmental package may include a full or partial stipend. Full tuition fellowship awards to top students are preferable to small partial awards to all nonresidents. All awards to students must be confirmed in writing to the student. If awards span more than one year, funding for all years of the award must be clearly outlined in the award letter. If your department chooses to supplement a centrally administered fellowship with departmental resources, please see the Graduate Division Supplementation Limits Chart  for guidelines and restrictions.

Occasionally, departments experience a higher than usual take-rate of their offers to outstanding doctoral students. The Graduate Division may consider supporting an over-commitment of block grant funds, but only to the most outstanding new recruits. Written requests to cover an over-commitment of funds by the Graduate Dean are required prior to the over-commitment and should include a justification based on the take-rate ratios used in making the offers, and an explanation of the student's credentials warranting the request. Overcommitted offers made to students without Graduate Division pre-approval will not be guaranteed. Detailed procedures are provided by the Dean of the Graduate Division in the annual block grant memo to departments.

Cross-Divisional Fellowships for New Students by Nomination

Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Fellowships provide graduate support for students in science and engineering who are re-entering education and/or parents of young children.

Clare Boothe Luce Fellowships provide graduate support specifically for women in Engineering, Physics, or Earth Science.

Fellowships for Continuing Students

Central Awards by Departmental Nomination

Central fellowship awards for continuing graduate students are based on nomination by department and review by a central faculty fellowship committee. Procedures are outlined in an annual memo from Graduate Division to graduate departments. The annual memo specifies categories of award, departmental nomination procedures, and selection timelines and is available for review by departments on GradNET.

Block Grant and Departmental Awards

Every academic year, a lump sum of fellowship funds is allocated to departments in the form of a block grant. Block grant allocations are made in the fall for the following academic year. Departments may use these funds to recruit excellent new students and to support continuing students. Departments may model awards after the packages listed above to provide additional fellowship opportunities to students. A departmental package may include tuition, fees, and health insurance, a nonresident tuition fellowship, and full or partial stipend. Students should consult their academic departments for specific information regarding the process by which they might be considered for such fellowship support.

Gift and Endowment Funds

Many departments have endowments designated for graduate student support. Students should contact their departments for more information about designated endowment funds.