Computational Media Funding

The Department of Computational Media offers graduate students a range of financial assistance options that help with tuition and living expenses while they complete their advanced degrees. Graduate students may receive financial support through academic student employment (such as teaching assistantships, graduate student instructor positions, and graduate student researcher positions), fellowships, and/or traditional financial aid.

PhD students typically receive full funding for five years, provided they are making satisfactory progress in both academics and research. M.S. students are typically self-supported and should assume they will not receive any form of financial support from the department.

Below are some of the more common types of financial support graduate students receive. A full list of financial support information (including fellowship, childcare, and financial aid) is available here.

University Fellowships

University fellowships and funds are awarded on the basis of merit and promise of productive scholarship. Types of awards and funding sources include centrally administered fellowships and departmental block grants. Fellowship funds can provide for any of the following: payment of fees and/or nonresident tuition or provision of a living stipend. A fellowship is any payment to a student that is not salary or direct reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses such as travel costs. University fellowships are normally processed and disbursed by the Graduate Division.

Students must be registered in the appropriate quarter to receive any financial support funds from the Graduate Division or the department. New students may not receive any University funds until they are registered in courses and fall quarter begins.

External Fellowships

We encourage all graduate students and prospective graduate students to apply for fellowships. You can apply for fellowships even before you are admitted to a graduate program. A detailed list of fellowships can be found in the Graduate Division website. Please note that some of the fellowships have citizenship requirements. Make sure that you carefully read the eligibility criteria before applying, and contact the program officer if you have any questions.

The program faculty and the Baskin School of Engineering can support you in building a highly competitive application for fellowships. Please contact the Graduate Director of the program if you intend to apply for an external fellowship either during the application process or after you have been admitted to UCSC.

Teaching Assistant (TA)

A Teaching Assistant (TA) is a registered graduate student in full-time residence, chosen for excellent scholarship and for promise as a teacher, and serving an apprenticeship under the active tutelage and supervision of a regular faculty member. TAs are hired on a quarterly basis beginning approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of the quarter. 

TAs who work 10 hours per week or more are eligible for remissions on their in-state fees (CA tuition, student services fee, and GSHIP). After fee remissions, students employed as Teaching Assistants are only required to pay a portion campus fees per quarter. Departments will cover this amount as a courtesy if funds are available. TA fee remissions do not cover out-of-state Non-Resident Tuition, unless guaranteed in an admission funding package.

Graduate Student Researcher (GSR)

A GSR is a full-time registered UCSC graduate student appointed to assist in performing research under the direction of a ladder-rank faculty member or authorized Principal Investigator. GSRs are hired on a quarterly basis. The general and individual quarterly GSR calls are sent by the BSOE Payroll Analysts, approximately 8 weeks prior to the start of the quarter. Responses to hire GSRs are due from faculty approximately 4 weeks prior to the start of the quarter. Once funding has been approved for a GSR hire, the student will be contacted by BSOE Payroll to complete paperwork.

GSRs qualify for full fee and tuition remission if they are appointed for at least 25% (10 hours per week), in all GSR appointments combined, over the three months of the quarter. Full fee and tuition remission includes the payment of tuition, fees, health insurance, and non-resident tuition (if applicable).