Financial Support

Students in good standing in the Ph.D. program in Applied Physics generally receive full support during their graduate studies.

This includes tuition plus a stipend for both the academic year and the summer. Support may be in the form of fellowships, teaching assistantships, or research assistantships that are available through the Graduate School, the field of applied physics, corporations, and government agencies.

Application for financial aid is made at the same time as application for admission. Every effort is made to notify students of admission decisions by the end of February. Cornell fellowship awardees are also typically notified by this time.


Fellowships usually provide a generous stipend and full tuition. Cornell fellowships awarded to applied physics students during their first one or two years of study are based on scholastic ability and promise of achievement. Other fellowships are awarded by the field of applied physics, Cornell research centers, corporations, and government agencies. Corporate and government fellowships provide a generous and prestigious source of support for applied physics students, and applicants are encouraged to apply for these outside fellowships.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching assistantships are normally awarded to first-year applied physics students on the basis of their scholastic records and interests. Teaching assistants are responsible for teaching and related activities, and are compensated with a stipend for the academic year and full tuition.

Graduate Research Assistantships

Graduate research assistantships (GRAs), which are provided by government- or corporate-sponsored research programs, are, along with fellowships, the standard form of support for students after their first academic year of study (although GRAs may be offered earlier). Students selected for GRAs receive full tuition and a stipend for the academic year and the summer. They are required to work with a research group on specific projects; their thesis research topic eventually develops as a result of these activities.