The endowments established by Walter and Leonore Annenberg allow the School to provide its graduate students with a generous stipend, full tuition, health insurance, and additional travel and research funding.
All students accepted to the doctoral program, including international students, who continue to make appropriate academic progress receive four years of fellowship support, which currently consists of an academic year stipend of $29,302, plus $5,500 summer research funding, for a total annual stipend of $34,802. A fifth year of funding at the same level is available to students after they successfully defend their dissertation proposal. We also provide full tuition, personal health insurance for all five years, and travel and research reimbursement of up to $1,700 per year.
Please note that the Annenberg School may alter any of the described benefits going forward, but admitted students would remain eligible for the support that was in place at the time of their admission to the school.
Supporting Our Students
Click on the categories below to learn about the different types of financial support provided by the Annenberg School. These apply to both international and domestic students. Full policies can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.
For the first four years of the program, the Annenberg School provides its doctoral student an annual stipend to support their research and teaching fellowships. Each semester, students are assigned to a faculty mentor under whose supervision the fellow will conduct either research or teaching duties. Students will experience both research fellowships and teaching fellowships at least once during their four years. Fellows are expected to devote 19 hours per week to their position. The current academic year stipend for research and teaching fellowships is $29,302.
Students apply each year for an additional summer fellowship of $5,500, for an annual total of $34,802. Activities that would be considered for summer funding may include: conducting research; providing research assistance for an Annenberg faculty member; working with a faculty member on a joint project; or revising a paper for submission to a conference or journal.
Students entering with a relevant Master’s degree who transfer three or more credits (up to the maximum of five credits) will see their financial support reduced from eight semesters to seven.
Annenberg students who maintain a full schedule of courses, are in good standing, and are participating in a program of active scholarship, will receive a waiver of tuition and fees.
All University of Pennsylvania students must carry health insurance, either through the University under the Penn Student Insurance Plan or through an outside provider. All Annenberg doctoral students who are eligible for the tuition waiver may enroll in the Penn Student Insurance Plan, and Annenberg will cover the health premium costs for those students. Students may pay an additional fee to enroll their spouse/domestic partner or children in the plan, and the University also offers grants for Ph.D. students with families to help offset these costs. Learn more about the plan here.
A twelve-month dissertation research fellowship (DRF) is available to students who complete an acceptable dissertation proposal in a timely manner. The DRF provides a $34,802 stipend and covers dissertation tuition and the student health insurance premium for up to twelve consecutive months. These students are also eligible for an additional $1,200 in reimbursement for travel and research expenses.
All Annenberg doctoral students receiving a regular fellowship from the school (research fellowship, teaching fellowship, or dissertation research fellowship) have access to a yearly personal travel and research budget of up to $1,700. The primary purpose of this fund is to provide travel and lodging support for attendance at professional and academic conferences, however these funds may also be used for any legitimate educational and research purpose.
Travel & Research
“When applying to grad school, I never thought to ask about additional financial support for conferences, but my personal travel and research budget has been such a valuable resource. Pre-pandemic, it allowed me to attend a conference in San Francisco without having to ask for additional support for airfare and hotels. During the pandemic, I’ve been able to use it on virtual conferences and things that make working from home so much easier.” —Mary E. Andrews, Doctoral Student
“As an international student with a student visa, the stipend is something you should consider very seriously, as you are unable to earn any income from sources outside of your home university. Annenberg's full economic support for five years makes the possibility of doing a Ph.D. in the U.S. viable for many international students like me. This also means that at Annenberg, you will find an internationally diverse student body, which I believe truly enhances anyone's academic training.” —María Celeste Wagner, Doctoral Candidate
Questions About Funding?
Our Graduate Studies team answers applicants' mostly commonly asked questions.