Financial Support

Students who are admitted to graduate study for the Ph.D. in Physics at Washington University generally receive a complete financial support package including a tuition scholarship that pays full tuition, together with a stipend for the 9-month academic year. Such financial support is guaranteed by the department for the first five years for students who are making satisfactory progress towards the Ph.D. degree. Thus, graduate study in Physics generally does not require additional student loans, working part-time, or any other outside means of support.

University Fellowships

University Fellowships provide full tuition and stipend support for Fellows during their first four semesters. During their second and third semesters, Fellows typically devote about 15 hours per week to a Mentored Teaching Experience. Summer support may be provided by a Hughes Research Fellowship or by one of our research groups.

Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships are given to continuing students who are in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress toward their degree. These externally funded assistantships provide full tuition and stipend support for students, who devote the majority of their time to a Mentored Research Experience.

Arthur Holly Compton Graduate Fellowships

Each year the Physics Department will be able to award one Arthur Holly Compton Graduate Fellowship to a particulary outstanding first-year student. The Compton Fellows receive a substantially enhanced stipend during their first academic year (including summer months).

The Compton Fellowships are named for Arthur Holly Compton, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for fundamental research that he carried out on this campus while he was a Professor of Physics at Washington University.

McDonnell Graduate Fellowships in the Space Sciences

Nine-month academic year stipend plus tuition remission, for students interested in working in the space sciences or astrophysics. Renewals for a second and third years are contingent upon satisfactory progress and continued involvement in the space sciences or astrophysics. For one 3-month summer McDonnell Fellows have the option of engaging in research with one of the space sciences or astrophysics research groups.

Mr. and Mrs. Spencer T. Olin Fellowships for Women

These fellowships are awarded as a result of an annual competition open to all women who intend to commence graduate studies at Washington University the following fall. Olin Fellowships carry stipends for four years and full tuition. Women wishing to become candidates for the Olin Fellowship competition are asked to complete a separate Olin application in addition to their application for admission. Applicants must be graduates of a baccalaureate institution in the United States. For more information, call (314) 935-6818 or visit the Olin Fellowship website

Chancellor's Graduate Fellowships

These fellowships are designed to facilitate training for students who will contribute to diversity in graduate education and who are interested in becoming college or university professors. Students will be selected who, in light of all pertinent qualifications, experiences and attributes, would contribute to the diversity of graduate education at Washington University. For more information, call 314-935-6821 or visit the Chancellor's Fellowship website

Arthur L. Hughes Fellowships

These fellowships were named in honor of a distinguished former chairman of the Department of Physics. A limited number are awarded annually to first-year graduate students who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance and who show unusual promise as prospective Ph.D. candidates in physics. The Hughes Summer Fellowship provides summer employment as a Research Assistant for entering graduate students, either up to two months of the summer prior to the first academic year or during the summer following the student's first year in our graduate program.

McDonnell International Scholars Academy

The McDonnell Academy affirms the United States’ interest in attracting talented international and domestic students for advanced educational experiences and allows the university to learn more about the global community. To ensure the highest quality, the Academy is focused and small, involving a limited number of Scholars and Partner Universities. The Academy provides scholars tuition and a living stipend. For more information, visit the McDonnell International Scholars Academy website.