Graduate/Doctoral Student Support

Updated June 14, 2021

The university values the talent and dedication of its graduate students. Graduate students and in particular doctoral students are critical to UB’s success as a major, public research university. As with students at all levels, UB is dedicated to bringing in the very best doctoral students and providing them with transformative academic programs that prepare them for rewarding careers.

UB launched the PhD Excellence Initiative in 2019 to strengthen its PhD programs and address important and timely national issues related to student recruitment, diversity, improving retention and time to degree, and providing exceptional pedagogical and research training that ensure strong program outcomes.

As part of UB’s PhD Excellence Initiative, the university will support the cost of broad-based fees for PhD students who are full time and fully funded, starting in the 2021-22 academic year. The funding will cover UB’s Comprehensive Fee, which supports several university services; the Academic Excellence and Success Fee, which funds academics and research; the Student Activity Fee; and the International Student Fee, if applicable.

In 2019 the university raised the minimum stipend campuswide to $20,000 for full-time, fully funded PhD students on 10-month appointments as teaching, research or graduate assistants. The new minimum stipend levels placed UB’s annual PhD stipends among the top five of AAU public universities.

Raising the floor for academic year stipends and supporting the cost of broad-based fees will enhance efforts to recruit excellent PhD students and ensure that UB’s PhD programs remain among the strongest in the world.  Through UB’s PhD Excellence Initiative, UB will:

  • Continue to recruit the best PhD student to UB.
  • Enhance diversity and inclusion in PhD programs.
  • Align program-level PhD curriculum with intended program outcomes.
  • Enhance PhD degree completion and time to degree.
  • Balance teaching and scholarship for PhD students, as relevant to discipline.

As a next step, and to build on the progress made through the PhD Excellence Initiative, Provost A. Scott Weber has charged Graham Hammill, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School, with leading a collaborative process with the campus community to determine the future direction of PhD education at UB.

Across the university, graduate students who serve as teaching assistants at UB receive a total funding package averaging about $38,000 per year, which includes a tuition scholarship paid by the university, a stipend, and health and retirement benefits. The university believes this represents a significant investment in our graduate students.