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Graduate Financial Support

Departmental Support Policy

All admitted graduate students are guaranteed support for up to fifteen quarters (five academic years). Financial support is contingent upon full-time registration (twelve units or more per quarter), making satisfactory progress toward degree completion, and being in good academic and employment standing. A typical funding package consists of tuition, health insurance, and student fees, plus a combination of student employment and/or stipend that equates to the salary of a 50% TA or GSR position over nine months.

Note: Employment during Summer Session does not count towards these limits, but employment for the Colleges or elsewhere on campus during the academic year does count toward the above department support limits.

International students, if admitted at the doctoral level, must advance to candidacy by the end of their third year. Departmental funding is dependent on meeting these expectations.

Time to Degree Policy

  1.  All applicants admitted to the graduate program will be officially entering the PhD or DMA program with the prospect of completing a doctoral degree. 
  2.  Each graduate program has area-specific requirements constituting a “preliminary exam” that takes place during fall of the student’s second year. The purpose of the preliminary examination is to evaluate a student’s potential to succeed in the program and their command of content presented in the first year of course work. If the participating professors unanimously agree that the student has not passed the exam, then the student will be allowed to finish the second year and to submit MA completion requirements but will not be allowed to continue with the doctoral program. 
  3.  All students are expected to advance to candidacy (i.e., qualify) by the end of their third year of graduate study. 
  4.  Departmental funding is dependent on meeting all of the above expectations. Students who do not comply with the above policy may be ineligible for their final three quarters of support.
  5. If final approval from all members of a student’s qualifying or dissertation committee is not obtained, students will either not be allowed to continue in the program or will be placed in a one-quarter probationary period and asked to redo aspects of the completion requirements. If a student fails to gain final approval during this probationary period, they will not be allowed to continue in the program and will receive no further funding or support.

UC San Diego Time to Doctorate Policy

The time period in which doctoral students, under usual circumstances, are expected to complete the requirements for the degree is five years. In addition, the Department of Music Time to Doctorate policy includes maximum registered time in which a student may advance to doctoral candidacy (four years), maximum time during which a doctoral student is eligible for support (six years), and maximum registered time in which a student must complete all doctoral requirements (six years).

 Departmental Funding

Tuition and Fee Remission

Students who are appointed as an academic graduate student title (TAs, GSRs, Associate-Ins) at 25% or above for the entire quarter are eligible for payment of graduate student health insurance (GSHIP) and partial fee remission that covers Tuition (formerly the Education fee), the Student Services fee (formerly the Registration fee) and effective Fall 2023, 100% of campus-based fees.

A complete list of graduate student tuition and fees can be found on the Graduate Division website.

Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition

Non-California residents are required to pay Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition each quarter, which is charged in addition to the tuition and fees that all students pay (see Grad Division’s website for details: 

  • For domestic non-California residents, the Department covers the cost of Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition for one year. These students must establish California residency after their first year at UCSD.  If a student fails to establish (or elects not to establish) California residency after one year, the student will be responsible for paying the Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition.
  • For international students, the Department covers the cost of Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition for the first nine quarters of enrollment (or through the quarter of advancement to candidacy, if that happens before the ninth quarter). After the student advances to candidacy, Grad Division waives the Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition for the next nine consecutive quarters (regardless of leaves or other absences).  If an international student fails to defend their dissertation within those nine quarters, the student will be responsible for paying the Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition each subsequent quarter.

Stipend Support

Stipends are a one-time or a fixed regular sum paid (subject to income tax) to support a student's cost of living without the obligations of employment. Stipend payments are disbursed at the end of the month (for example, a September stipend will be disbursed on October 1). More information about stipend disbursements can be found on the Student Financial Services page.

Note: Depending on a student's residency status, stipends also refered to as fellowships may be taxed differntly. For additional information, see Taxation of Fellowship Payments to Internationals page.

Travel/Research Grant

The Department of Music administers and allocates funds for graduate students’ research and travel-related expenses.  Each student may apply for up to a maximum of $1,500 per academic year, with a lifetime total of $4,500 combined travel and research funding during their entire program.  

These funds are available to students who are currently enrolled in the program, in good academic standing, within their normative time, and compliant with all required university trainings.

A completed application must be submitted and approved prior to your trip. If you have any questions about the application and/or proper use of funds, please consult the Graduate Coordinator before submitting the application.

The funds can be used to reimburse the cost of:

  • City-to-city transportation (airfare, train, mileage reimbursement if you drive your own vehicle)
  • Specific ground transportation for minor travel needs (home-to-airport, airport-to-hotel, hotel-to-conference, etc.). This must be a formal type of ground transportation with receipts (taxi, airport shuttle, Uber, Lyft, subway).
  • Lodging 
  • Conference registration fees

Funds cannot be used to fund personal living expenses or the costs of food/meals. The use of these funds is governed by UC policy and these funds cannot be used to hire people from outside the university.

To apply, complete the following form:

Graduate Travel/Research Grant Proposals


 To read the full policy, view our Graduate Student Travel and Research Grant Funding policy

Additional Funding Opportunities