Financial Support

Beyond tuition remission Ph.D. students normally receive the following financial support from the Graduate School.

A full stipend for their first two years.  During this period, students do not teach.

A stipend during four terms of guaranteed teaching, in addition to the teaching salary.

A student who announces her or his intention to complete a dissertation in an academic year is normally awarded a Dissertation Completion Fellowship, which includes a full stipend for that academic year.

In addition, various university fellowships (for example:  Term Time and Merit Fellowships, Fellowships at the Safra Center) are available on a competitive basis.

Finally, the Department currently attempts to award (out of its own funds) a half year's stipend to students who have a completed the topical exam for their dissertation.


While teaching is only guaranteed for four academic terms, the Department is committed to attempting to (and generally succeeds at) making it possible for students to teach beyond the guaranteed terms of teaching.  Students are especially encouraged to design and a teach their own course (a tutorial for about 9 students) in their fifth or sixth year.

During the first year a student teaches in the Department –normally the third year –he or she is required to attend a year long pedagogy seminar.

Travel and Research Funding

The Philosophy Department gives each graduate student up to $5,000 for research.

These funds may be used to support:

  • Travel to a workshop or conference to present or comment on a paper.
  • Travel to a workshop or conference where the subject matter is clearly related to the student’s dissertation research.
  • Travel to a library/institution with a collection related to the student’s dissertation.
  • In exceptional cases, travel to meet with a dissertation advisor. Normally, such meetings are held via Zoom.
  • Support for a foreign language course.

Requests for funds are submitted in advance of travel to and must be approved by the DGS. Requests must indicate how the requested funds fall under the guidelines; they must also include a rough budget.

Your travel funds need to last for the duration of your graduate studies, so please shepherd them carefully. Remember that it costs less to attend several conferences in the US and more to attend one or two abroad. It may also be preferable to use more of the funds after selection of your dissertation topic. In any case, funds for travel to conferences at which one is not presenting or commenting are restricted to students who have or are soon to do a topical.

To stretch your funding, apply for outside funds.

The graduate school has a fellowship for language study for which you can apply (

There are GSC Conference Grants which provide up to $750 to defray the cost of travel to conferences.

GSAS also has professional development awards of up to $2,500 to cover approved expenses for students matriculating in 2015 or later:

These funds are supplements to, not replacements of, Department travel funds; you may apply for them at any point during your career at Harvard, even if you have not yet exhausted your Department travel funds.

Graduate student travel support is not available once one has graduated from Harvard. Neither is it available beyond the year one takes a dissertation completion fellowship. It is suspended when a student leaves the program to attend another school or goes on leave.