Graduate Funding and Enrollment

Enrollment and Student Status

Enrollment is the official recognition of a student’s relationship with the university.  Enrolling is the basic authorization for a student’s access to campus resources including campus labs, assistantships, fellowships, travel grants, etc. each semester.

Doctoral students must be enrolled until they finish their degree unless requesting a non-student status. Further details on enrollment can be found on the Enrollment in Your Program page.

Graduate Funding

Graduate funding is a source of financial aid for enrolled doctoral students. To receive graduate funding, including assistantships, fellowships, stipends, and travel grants, a student must be enrolled for the semester in which they will receive the funds.    

Ph.D. students are fully funded to pursue their degrees through a combination of competitive internal and external fellowships and research and teaching assistantships. Funding packages include tuition, health insurance/health fee, and a living allowance or stipend.

Cornell offers limited financial assistance for research master’s and professional degree programs. The terms of these awards can vary by program. For further details, please reach out to the specific program.

Funding and Non-Enrollment (M or B Exams, Graduation, Leave of Absence, or Withdrawal)

During periods of non-enrollment, such as a leave of absence, withdrawal, an individual does not retain student status; student access is deactivated, and graduate funding is ended. Without enrollment, students are ineligible to receive fellowships, assistantships, travel grants, or other forms of financial aid.

Students are not allowed to enroll or receive funding (such as assistantships, fellowships, travel grants, etc.) for any term following the date they pass their M or B exam. When a student and their committee determine the M or B exam date, it is important to notify all relevant members, including the graduate field administrator and the staff member administering the student’s appointment, so that the student may be well informed for the end day of their current appointment. Funding and enrollment are prohibited in future terms after a passed M or B exam.

Students are not allowed to enroll or receive funding for any term or period following the date of a leave of absence or withdrawal from the program.  

Enrollment and Employment Limitations

All enrolled students are limited to 20 hours of combined assistantship, hourly student appointments, and/or outside employment per week. Further limitations may apply to students based on their funding source. Full employment limits can be found on the Employment policy page.

Funding and Satisfactory Academic Progress

All funding is conditional upon a student remaining in good academic standing, making satisfactory academic progress toward the degree, and performing satisfactorily in all assistantship responsibilities. Advanced doctoral students who require more than the allowed seven years to complete their degree shall not be funded as a TA after the 14th semester. Academic progress requirements can be found on the Requirements page.