PhD Excellence Initiative

Parham Rohani working with wires in an engineering lab.

About the PhD Excellence Initiative

UB is committed to recruiting the very best PhD students and providing them with transformative academic programs that prepare them for future success. UB’s PhD Excellence Initiative seeks to ensure that our PhD programs remain among the strongest in the world by examining issues related to PhD programs at UB including:

  • Recruiting the best PhD students to UB.
  • Providing exceptional educational and research training.
  • Enhancing the diversity of PhD programs.
  • Improving retention of students and time-to-degree.
  • Assuring that UB is nationally recognized to offer top-ranked PhD programs that prepare students for real opportunities and challenges they will encounter as future scholars and researchers.
  • Ensuring program outcomes align to PhD recruitment.

In addition, the university will support the cost of broad-based fees for PhD students who are full time and fully funded. Covered fees include the comprehensive fee, academic excellence and success fee, student activity fee, and the international student fee, where applicable.

Program Outcomes


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Graduation cap and tassle icon.

$10 million dollar investment in 2019 to ensure competitive stipends for all full-time fully funded PhD students.

Instituted a process to reevaluate and adjust PhD stipends every three years to remain competitive.

$2 million dollars in recurring funds to support the cost of broad-based fees for full time, fully funded PhD students.

Development of a master's pipeline programs to recruit underrepresented students to PhD programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Graham Hammill, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School, talks with UBNow about the PhD Excellence Initiative and how it will enhance graduate education at UB.