New Student Fellowships
Approximately 20 percent of our doctoral students studying on campus receive Cornell University Fellowships (referred to as Sage Fellowships or Cornell Fellowships depending on the field of study). These fellowships typically include full tuition, a nine-month stipend, and Cornell individual student health insurance. A summer stipend may also be provided to students.
How to apply:
Cornell University Fellowships are awarded at the time of admission; continuing students are ineligible to apply. Prospective students apply for fellowships on the admissions application. To be considered for a university fellowship, respond “yes” to the question on the admissions application asking if you wish to be considered for university assistantships and fellowships.
The graduate field to which you are applying will consider your eligibility for fellowships based on your application; no additional information is required.
Admitted Ph.D. students will be notified of any fellowship awards as part of the admissions offer.
The Cornell Fellowships provide one semester, or one academic year of funding, including stipend, tuition, and individual health insurance. This award is taken in the first year, unless otherwise noted by your Field.
These fellowships may be awarded to US students, permanent residents, or international students.
The Sage Fellowships are two-year fellowships—first year and then dissertation year—with four summers of guaranteed funding. These include stipend, tuition, and individual health insurance.
To support students continued academic progress, the following requirements will need to be met before funding is disbursed:
For summer stipends:
- Prior to May 1 of each year, students will be asked to submit their summer academic plans and goals to the Graduate School
- Prior to the second summer fellowship, students must have their full Special Committee assembled
- Prior to the third summer fellowship, students will have passed the A-exam, or filed an exam scheduling form by May 1
For dissertation-year fellowship:
Prior to this second academic year fellowship (usually taken in year five), students must have:
- Successfully completed the A Exam, and
- Applied for at least one external funding award.
This award does not need to have been actually won or received, but it is an important and valuable experience to find and apply for external funding.
Graduate School Fellowships in support of diversity for incoming students
- SUNY Graduate Diversity Fellowship—for recruitment of research degree students; awarded in contract colleges for incoming, new students
- Deans Excellence Fellowship — for recruitment of research degree students; awarded in endowed colleges for incoming, new students
- Deans McNair and McNair SUNY Graduate Diversity Fellowships — for recruitment of research degree students; awarded in contract and endowed colleges for incoming, new students who were McNair Scholars at their undergraduate institutions
- Deans Mellon Mays — for recruitment of research degree students; awarded in contract and endowed colleges for incoming, new students who were Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows at their undergraduate institutions
Recruitment fellowships designed to enhance the diversity of Cornell's graduate student population are available on a competitive basis to U.S. citizens or permanent residents applying for Fall admission. Students who wish to be considered for these fellowships must submit a supplemental diversity essay with their application materials. Students awarded a fellowship in support of diversity will be recognized as a Graduate School Deans Scholar and will be invited to participate in community and professional activities sponsored by the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement and its partners. Students awarded a fellowship may receive a standard offer of admission and subsequently be offered this competitive fellowship in lieu of a standard funding offer.
The supplemental essay should detail how one or more of the following criteria applies to the applicant:
- first-generation college student
- member of an ethnic or racial group historically underrepresented in graduate education (Black/African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Native Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino)
- McNair or Mellon Mays Undergraduate Scholar (the Graduate School will verify your status as a McNair or Mellon Mays Scholar while pursuing a baccalaureate degree at a U.S. institution)
- experiences overcoming any significant challenges in your path toward graduate school (examples include but are not limited to and managing a disability, being of a gender historically underrepresented in your graduate field of study, and being a Veteran)
Success in graduate education requires significant persistence and resilience. Therefore, students should also use their supplemental essay to address how their personal, academic, and/or professional experiences demonstrate their ability to be both persistent and resilient especially when navigating challenging circumstances.
How to apply:
- Prospective students apply for fellowships in support of diversity through the admissions application.
- To be considered, applicants must respond “yes” to the question on the admissions application asking if they wish to be considered for university assistantships and fellowships, including diversity fellowships. Applicants must also submit a supplemental essay that addresses how the above criteria apply.
- The Director of Graduate Studies for the graduate field to which the applicant is applying must submit a nomination to the Graduate School for consideration by the Associate Dean for Inclusion & Student Engagement and the Dean of the Graduate School.
Thanks to Scandinavia Fellowship
Students from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden or Bulgaria are eligible to apply for this fellowship established by Thanks to Scandinavia in gratitude for the humanity and bravery of the people throughout Scandinavia and Bulgaria who protected persons of the Jewish faith during and after World War II. The fellowship includes a nine-month stipend full tuition, and Cornell individual student health insurance. To request consideration for this fellowship, please notify your graduate field of your eligibility and request that they nominate you to the Graduate School prior to the fellowship deadline of February 15.
Ph.D. applicants who are citizens of an African country and not permanent residents of the United States are eligible for this award. The fellowship includes a nine-month stipend full tuition, and Cornell individual student health insurance. To request consideration for this fellowship, please notify your graduate field of your eligibility and request that they nominate you to the Graduate School prior to the fellowship deadline of February 15.