Physics & Astronomy Department
Vanderbilt University
PMB 401807
2401 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-1807

(615) 322-2828
(615) 343-7263

Financial aid for graduate students in Physics and Astronomy

All stipend information given below applies to the academic year 2011-2012. Except for highly unusual circumstances, Vanderbilt University will pay full tuition and health insurance.

Teaching Assistantships (9 months) and Summer RA support

A majority of entering graduate students receive teaching assistantships. Typical duties include teaching two, three-hour introductory laboratories per semester, or grading for an introductory course each semester. The stipend has been set at $20,000 for the nine-month academic year.

Students who are on nine month teaching assistantships are eligible for summer research assistantships for the three summer months, provided that they are in good academic standing and that they find a research advisor willing to support them on an external grant.

A limited number of summer research stipends are available on a competitive basis to entering graduate students, 1st, or 2nd year students from the departmental graduate program committee. The stipends in summer 2011 were 2-month awards in the amount of $4,000.

Research Assistantships (12 months)

Research assistantships are available to support a student while working with a research group. The stipend is $24,500 for twelve months. The duties are arranged by the research group providing the support.

A position is available that is 50% TA and 50% RA (100% RA after the first year) for a combined theory/experiment thesis in the area of microelectronics reliability, on the bridge between physics and engineering. Opportunity to start summer of 2012 as full time RA. For more info contact Prof. S. Pantelides (, 615 294 6589)

McMinn Fellowships

William A. and Nancy F. McMinn have endowed graduate student fellowships for outstanding students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. These fellowships provide up to $10,000 per year in addition to the regular teaching/research assistantship stipend. The fellowships are renewable for up to five years as long as the student remains in good standing. All students who apply for admission are considered for all special awards and fellowships.

Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowships
(12 months)

GAANN fellowships provide full tuition and a 9-month stipend of up to $21,826 (actual stipend amount depends on level of financial need). The recepients must be US citizens or permanent residents to be eligible. See GAANN Information.

Vanderbilt University Honor Fellowships and Scholarships

The Graduate School holds an annual competition for honor fellowships used to recruit our best applicants to Vanderbilt. All students who apply for admission are considered for these fellowships. All nominees must be seeking the Ph.D. degree.

UGF: University Graduate Fellowship $10,000 annual stipend
HSV: Harold Sterling Vanderbilt Graduate Scholarship $6,000 annual stipend
PGF: Provost's Graduate Fellowship for Students from Traditionally Underrepresented Backgrounds $10,000 annual stipend

The UGF, HSV, and PGF are for up to five years. The awards will be in the form of an annual topping-up supplements to the student’s base stipend.

No individual will be awarded both a UGF/HSV and a PGF.

Copyright 2010, Vanderbilt University