Graduate School

Expectations for Doctoral and MFA Student Financial Support

Brown is proud to provide competitive funding and support as part of our commitment to your success and as an acknowledgement of the importance of your research and academic training.

There are a few steps you should take and things to keep in mind to ensure that you are able to receive your funding as expected. 

Please review the Graduate School Handbook for more details.

  1. Final Transcript. Prior to the start of the first term, students must provide the Graduate School with an official transcript showing the undergraduate degree conferred or the completion of all academic work subsequent to the submission of the application. Enrollment may be paused if a student fails to provide an official transcript of degree, study, or other academic work that was presented as a part of the admission application.
  2. Payment Authorization. In order to begin receiving stipend and fellowship payments, students will complete an onboarding process with University Human Resources, including completing an I-9 Form and, for international students, updating their Sprintax Calculus record. Please note that certain steps in these processes will need to be completed in person.
  3. Immigration Status. Students must be in a status that allows for legal employment authorization in the United States as a condition of enrollment. The Graduate School may be able grant exceptions under certain circumstances. Find more information through the Office of International Student & Scholar Services.
  4. English Language Support. International doctoral students for whom English is not a primary language will be asked to complete a language skills evaluation shortly after arrival and before teaching. Students whose English language skills require further support will be enrolled in an English-language training course during the first semester.
  5. Residence Requirement. Students are expected to be present on campus a majority of days per week for each academic term during their residency. Being “in residence" means that you live close enough to Brown to participate readily and consistently in the intellectual life of your graduate group and in activities that your group requires, such as classes, laboratories, teaching obligations, meeting with advisors, workshops, and colloquia. The normal residency requirement is the equivalent of three academic years of full-time study beyond the bachelor's degree. Students who enter a Ph.D. program at Brown already holding a Master’s degree in a related field have a residency requirement equivalent to two academic years of full-time study, contingent upon approval of the program’s Director of Graduate Study. Some graduate student appointments, such as Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, and Teaching Fellowship, may require residence.
  6. Teaching and Research Requirement. Program requirements include teaching and/or research expectations as part of their training and scholarly apprenticeship. Consult the Graduate School Handbook for details and note that some programs may have additional requirements. Students appointed to semester length teaching, research, or proctorship positions are also subject to provisions within the graduate student union contract.
  7. Renewal of Financial Support (if applicable). Funding support is offered only for the period of time indicated on your admissions letter or other document of financial support. All support commitments are contingent upon students remaining in "good academic standing" in their graduate degree program, as well as fulfilling the responsibilities associated with their appointment. For more details, please refer to the Graduate School Handbook.
  8. External Awards. Students receiving external funding (from a non-Brown source) should forward a copy of their award letter to the Graduate School and program administration as soon as possible. In most instances, non-Brown funding will take the place of Brown funding for the award period. External awards may be eligible for supplements and incentives to ensure full doctoral funding levels are provided. Full external funding and university funding may not be held concurrently. 
  9. Outside Employment. Because Brown University funding is intended to enable full-time dedication to the Ph.D., a student is not permitted to accept outside employment that requires more than 12 hours per week while receiving full funding from Brown. Any exceptions require approval from both the advisor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the Graduate School.
  10. Summer Support in Final Academic Year. Students are typically not funded in the summer following their final academic year so that they are eligible to participate in the May degree conferral.
  11. Withdrawing or Rescinding an Offer of Admission. The Graduate School reserves the right to withdraw or rescind an offer of admission under any of the following conditions:
    • any part of your application contains misrepresentations;
    • if you fail to graduate, do not receive an undergraduate diploma (or its equivalent) by the end of the current school year, or otherwise will not hold the academic credentials you presented as part of your application;
    • if you are currently enrolled in a degree program, you show a significant drop in your academic performance between now and your graduation (as determined by the Graduate School);
    • if you accept our offer of admission as well as the offer of admission of another college or university for the same period of enrollment;
    • if you engage in behavior that brings into question your honesty, maturity, or professional suitability; or
    • if you engage in conduct that violates University policy.
  12. Expectations for financial support are subject to change as a result of action by federal and/or state governments or the Administration of Brown University.