Supporting Our Graduate Students
Basic Page Sidebar Menu Penn Provost
As some of the top students in the world, you could have chosen to continue your education anywhere.
We are grateful you chose Penn’s exceptionally collaborative community for your academic pursuits. We believe in the environment we’ve built here at Penn, and we are committed to continuous improvement. Together, we have accomplished so much toward enhancing our graduate student support programs, including:
- Consistent increases to the minimum stipend for funded Ph.D. students:
- Each year since 2005, Penn has increased the minimum stipend by an average of 3.7 percent, with higher increases over the past four years (4 percent or more)
- In November 2022, we announced plans to raise the minimum stipend to $38,000 (up from $30,547) beginning this academic year (2023-24); this is the largest one-time increase in the University’s history, determined after extensive collaboration across our nine schools and with GAPSA.
- Generous funding packages for Ph.D. students, which provide:
- Scholarships covering tuition and fees
- Stipends for four years or more
- Medical insurance
- Fitness center memberships
- For the current academic year, the total value of this package is $88,244. And this amount—plus yearly increases on the stipend—is guaranteed each year for either four or five years, depending on the program’s design.
- 50% reimbursement to Ph.D. students who elect to participate in the voluntary Penn Dental Family Practice Student Insurance Plan:
- Those who participate are reimbursed $222 of the $444 plan cost,
- $2,000 need-based grants to subsidize health insurance for PhD students beyond their funding years.
- Robust benefits for graduate students with children:
- Need-based Family Grants of up to $10,000
- Dependent Insurance Grants of $1,000 per dependent
- Subsidized Emergency Backup Child Care
- Parent Accommodation and Family Leave of Absence policies.
- A Graduate Emergency Fund to assist graduate students experiencing urgent financial needs due to unanticipated expenses or hardship,
- A University-wide Ph.D. Leave of Absence policy, which includes one semester of medical coverage for students on medical or family leave,
- A Graduate Student Mental Health Task Force to review the recommendations of the Graduate Student Mental Health and Well-being Project of the Council of Graduate Schools and the JED Foundation and assess the best ways to support our students in the years ahead,
- The President’s Ph.D. Initiative – This 6-year, $30M initiative to support doctoral education at Penn was established in the 2020-21 academic year, and continues to support Presidential Ph.D. Fellows.
- The creation of several additional fellowships and grants:
- The Penn Global Dissertation Grant
- The GAPSA-Provost Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Innovation
- The President Gutmann Leadership Award
- The Provost’s Graduate Academic Engagement Fellowship at the Netter Center (PGAEF@NC)
- The PhD Career Exploration Fellowship
- Support for GAPSA’s Research Student Travel Grant
Deciding whether you want to be represented by a union is one of the biggest decisions you will make during your time at Penn, and we encourage you to learn as much as you can about unionization so that you can make an informed choice. For other examples of our accomplishments together, visit https://valuing-grad-students.upenn.edu.