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Graduate Funding

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PhD Students

All PhD students in CEE who are in good standing relative to their PhD program requirements are funded to the department’s PhD standard. This funding is at least equivalent to Stanford’s 20-hour-RA salary plus tuition to cover the department’s required enrollment (summer enrollment requirements vary by department. It is 3 units over summer for CEE PhDs).  Arranging for this funding is the responsibility of the department and the faculty PhD advisor, and can include fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships.

Often, our PhD students apply for and may receive individual fellowships which can reduce the department’s or advisor’s cost of funding.  In these cases, the guarantee of funding to the student will include the fellowship award and additional support from the department/advisor to reach the department-standard level.  For educational purposes, departments and advisors may encourage their students to apply for such fellowships and provide resources to strengthen their applications; however, no department or faculty member may require students to obtain external individual funding or to “self-fund” as a condition of admission, entry to or continuation in the Ph.D.

MS and Engineer Students

CEE strives to support Master's students where possible. In most cases, any student financial support awarded would be included in your admissions letter. Students with additional financial needs should consider other avenues including several listed on this page.

School of Engineering and Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability Fellowships

The School of Engineering and the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability generously funds graduate fellowship opportunities to outstanding students in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. This funding opportunity is intended for outstanding candidates in graduate study leading to the PhD. To be considered for assistance as an entering student, it is necessary only to submit the application for admission to our PhD program with supporting documents. Recipients are notified at the time of admission.

Stanford Graduate Fellowships (SGF)

This prestigious, three-year university award is intended for outstanding candidates in graduate study leading to the PhD. The fellowship is selectively awarded to entering and current graduate students who are pursuing (or plan to pursue) a PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering. The award provides a quarterly stipend and tuition for 8-10 units per quarter for 12 quarters. The selection process is demanding, requiring nomination and confirmation by both department and university committees.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars Fellowships

Join dozens of Stanford Engineering and Doerr School of Sustainability students who gain valuable leadership skills in a multidisciplinary, multicultural community as Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS). KHS admits up to 100 select applicants each year from across Stanford’s seven graduate schools, and delivers engaging experiences that prepare them to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders ready to address complex global challenges. As a scholar, you join a distinguished cohort, participate in up to three years of leadership programming, and receive full funding for up to three years of your studies at Stanford. Candidates of any country may apply. KHS applicants must have earned their first undergraduate degree within the last seven years, and must apply to both a Stanford graduate program and to KHS. Stanford PhD students may also apply to KHS during their first year of PhD enrollment. If you aspire to be a leader in your field, we invite you to apply. The KHS application deadline is in October for the following year. Learn more about KHS admission.

External Fellowships

We strongly suggest that graduate students apply for fellowships from outside Stanford University. Below are some of the national fellowships available for graduate students interested in Civil & Environmental Engineering:

Wade Scholarship Program
Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships for Minorities
Hertz Foundation
National Science Foundation
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship
You can also find a longer list here

Vice Provost for Graduate Education Fellowships

Stanford’s Vice Provost for Graduate Education (VPGE) provides several fellowships for incoming and current students. A full list of their fellowships and eligibility requirements can be viewed here.

Research Assistantships

Research assistants typically receive 8-10 units of tuition coverage and a monthly stipend (paid semi-monthly and subject to state and federal tax withholding), in exchange for 20 hours of work per week. Research assistantships that provide less stipend and tuition coverage, and that require fewer hours of work per week, are also possible. For the PhD program, incoming students may be awarded Research assistant positions based upon the information provided in their admissions application. Research assistantships are on rare occasion provided to Master of Science students typically in their second year of studies. In most cases, assistantships are awarded by individual faculty who have the necessary research funding.

If you are interested in research assistantships, you will have to ask individual professors whether they offer research assistantships (RAs). RAship positions on campus are very competitive, and there is no guarantee you will be able to get one.

Teaching and Course Assistantships

Teaching/course assistantships are offered primarily to continuing students and to a limited number of entering graduate students. TA/CAs typically provide recipients with tuition coverage of between 5-10 units and a monthly stipend (paid semi-monthly and subject to state and federal withholding). TA/CA-ships are offered by individual faculty who have been allocated the necessary funds to hire a TA/CA. TA/CAs must attend the TA Orientation offered by the Center for Teaching and Learning.

You can try applying for course assistantships from CEE and any other departments on campus. You can start by looking at the open CA positions in the Doerr School of Sustainability listed here. For other departments that are in Humanities and Sciences or School of Engineering, please check individual department pages for information. CAship positions on campus are very competitive, and there is no guarantee you will be able to get one.

Graduate Student Loans

US citizens and permanent residents can apply for need-based loans. Information on student loans and application packets is available at the Financial Aid Office website.

International students may be eligible for private student loans in some cases. Here is a link to loan information and another link specifically for international students. 

Graduate students can learn more about financial programs at: or by calling the Financial Aid office at: 650-723-3058.

Other Resources

  • FastWeb (Financial Aid Search Through the WEB) — an online searchable database of more than 180,000 private sector scholarships, fellowships, grants and loans for graduate and postdoctoral students.

Coterm Funding

The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering generally does not provide department funding for the coterm program. We encourage all CEE coterm applicants to review the below websites for more information on funding and financial aid opportunities:

Engineering Coterminal Fellowship program
Eligibility: Students must be admitted to an engineering coterm program.

Coterm Funding Opportunities

Coterm Financial Aid