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Student Funding, Housing, and Benefits


The first year of student funding is provided by the Neurosciences Graduate Program. This includes full payment of tuition and fees and a stipend of $36,000/year for the 2022-2023 academic year. Beginning Winter Quarter (January 1) of the second year, your thesis advisor assumes responsibility for providing full financial support. Before joining a lab, you should make sure your thesis advisor is able to cover your stipend and fees for the duration of the thesis project.

Earnings from employment (teaching assistantships, instructors, readers, tutors, etc.) may be used to bring stipends up to but not above the standard support level. In general, students are not expected to hold any outside employment while registered as full-time students receiving financial support.

All first year students receive a $1,500 start-up fellowship to help cover the costs of moving.The program also provides up to $1,200 per student for first year students to attend the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting and a $500 bonus for first-years to purchase educational supplies.

Outside Funding

All students are encouraged to apply for outside sources of funding, such as fellowships. This can be a plus on your academic record and make more laboratories available for your thesis research.

Any student who is awarded an outside fellowship as the primary investigator (not assigned to an institutional training grant), will be given a $3,500 annual bonus in addition to their stipend (for the life of the fellowship as long as you are a current student). If the outside fellowship is received in the first year, the Graduate Program will provide the bonus. Thereafter, it will be provided by the thesis advisor with his/her approval.

Many fellowships and scholarships are available, most notably through the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health (NIH). An extensive list of UCSD and national fellowships are listed on our Fellowships page. Information about other funding sources is available from the Graduate Division on the UC San Diego Graduate Funding Blog.

Health Benefits

Health, vision and dental coverage is included in the fees paid by the program or your PI. For more information, please visit the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) website

Counseling services are available without charge from UCSD’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).


Two years of graduate and family housing is offered through UCSD. For more information about the UCSD housing communities, application, and availability, please visit the UCSD Housing, Dining & Hospitality website. In addition to campus housing, many of our students live throughout San Diego. Popular locations include UTC, Hillcrest, North Park, University Heights, Normal Heights, and Little Italy. Check out Off Campus Housing Services to search property listings, find roommates, or post available rentals.

California Residency

All students (except international admits) are expected to establish California residency prior to the start of their second year. Students who do not establish residency will be responsible for their "Non-resident Supplemental Tuition" for approximately $16,000/year.

You should begin the process to establish residency immediately following your arrival to California. To qualify for residency, you must demonstrate that you have resided in California for at least one year. Residency is established by severing residential ties with other states and creating them with California: getting a California driver’s license and registering your car with the state; establishing a residence; registering to vote; and/or paying California taxes.

First year non-resident students will receive a listing of what to collect and/or establish within their first year in California to satisfy all reclassification requirements thorugh emails from the Residency Deputy and Program Administrator.

For more information about establishing residency in California, check out these resources.