Financial support is available from a variety of sources for students pursuing PhD degrees in physics.

Departmental Support

Graduate students typically enter with teaching assistantships or fellowships and choose their research advisor during their first year in the program. Students with prior graduate work (e.g., latter years of diploma) can transfer up to half of the course requirements for the PhD degree, thus reducing the time for the degree.

Continuous financial support is available for students. Annual stipends range from $18,500 to $25,000 and are adequate to provide complete living expenses for a single graduate student. Tuition and fees are waived. Graduate students who are supported by a teaching assistantship or a fellowship also receive free health insurance.

To give an applicant full consideration for departmental support via graduate teaching or research assistantships, we must have all application materials by February 15. Typically, admission decisions are made and offers are sent out by March 15.

Fellowships available at UA

The UA Graduate School offers a number of fellowships and other financial support, including Graduate Council Fellowships, McNair Graduate Fellowships, and NAA License Tag Graduate Fellowships, as well as frequent awards from its Research and Travel Support Fund. More information about these fellowships can be found at the Graduate School financial support website.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a Robert E. Gross Lockheed Fellowship in Physics.

External Fellowships and Grants

The Alabama Space Grant Consortium offers graduate fellowships with an annual stipend of $37,000/-,  renewable for up to 3 years, with applications due in March.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program offers a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, with applications due in October. Graduate students are limited to only one application to the GRFP, submitted either in the first year or in the second year of graduate school

The NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program awards $30,000 per year  for up to three years to support graduate students in basic and applied research in Earth science and space science, including astrophysics. More information and application instructions can be found at by searching for NESSF.

The National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship offers a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with full tuition and all mandatory fees. Applicants must be US citizens or nationals, and be either enrolled in their final year of undergraduate studies, or have completed no more than two years of graduate study in the discipline in which they are applying. Applications are due around December of each year.

The Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship awards a four-year fellowship with an annual stipend of $36,000 plus tuition and fees for graduate students conducting research with a strong computational aspect.  Applicants must be seniors or first-year graduate students. Applications are due in January.

Other Federal grant opportunities for STEM graduate students are available at

Private fellowships/grants include:

Information on other federal and external grants/fellowships is available at the UA Graduate School.

For More Information

For more information about these and potentially other funding opportunities, contact us at