Financing a Graduate Education
All doctoral students entering graduate programs at Caltech are offered a financial aid package that will pay for their tuition and fees, as well as provide a monthly stipend or salary. The financial aid is in the form of a combination of fellowships, teaching and research assistantships. Some students will have external scholarships or fellowships that pay all or part of the costs of a graduate education. Unlike undergraduate education, we do not expect or desire that students go into debt in order to finance their education. However, each year, a few terminal Master's students are admitted without financial aid in order to give them the opportunity to study at Caltech. With this opportunity comes great financial responsibility.
Student Financial Responsibilities
All graduate students are responsible for paying their student account bills on time and must pay the balance each term in order to be eligible for continuing registration. If the student has a financial aid package that is sufficient to pay the tuition and fees, students will only be billed for any charges such as their portion of the insurance premium, dining, or housing charges that they make to their account.
When graduate students are admitted without financial aid, they will also be billed for tuition and mandatory fees. In addition, students that are admitted without a financial aid package must have the resources to pay for the cost of living during their studies. The tuition and fees are usually not set until after the admission deadline but can be estimated from the previous year. Please refer to the Estimated Budget for the current tuition and fees and an estimate of the minimum cost of living.
Sources of Financial Support
Graduate students without financial aid packages should come prepared to pay for their entire graduate education. Although graduate students worldwide often obtain part‐time outside employment to supplement their income, this is not allowed at Caltech. Graduate study at Caltech is full time (including the summer term) and students should be prepared to be fully and completely engaged in their studies. In many graduate schools, there are opportunities for obtaining teaching assistantships or research assistantships. These opportunities are limited at Caltech, particularly for students in an MS program who have a full course load and a limited time to complete their degree program. Graduate students may be eligible for loans; the Caltech Financial Aid Office can provide information about loan programs and eligibility. The Graduate Office does not have scholarship or loan programs that students can apply to and cannot provide financial aid counseling.