The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) awards various types of fellowship aid to PhD students.  All newly admitted PhD students will receive a 5-year fellowship offer, which may be a combination of a non-service fellowship, teaching fellowship or doctoral research fellowship, depending on the department of admission.  Review detailed information about the fellowship awards and the policies and privileges associated with each fellowship by clicking any of the links below.

Cost of Attendance * Medical Insurance * Employment Policy *
Academic Progress * Privileges

Cost of Attendance

For a breakdown of the tuition and fees for an academic year at Boston University as a student in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences as well as an estimated cost of attendance, please check the GRS Financial Aid page.

Medical Insurance

As part of your fellowship award, the University will cover your individual participation in the Boston University Basic Student Health Insurance Plan. Students who opt to purchase the Boston University Student Plus Plan will be responsible for payment of the additional premium amount by the Fall payment deadline . Please refer to Student Health Services for more information. Students also have the option to purchase Dental Care through the University, which is not included in the fellowship award. The University will not cover any medical or dental insurance costs for dependents. Family coverage is available at an additional cost to the student.

Students who are required to have medical insurance are automatically enrolled in the Boston University Basic Student Health Insurance Plan. If a student wants to waive the insurance, a medical insurance waiver form must be completed and filed. For more information about insurance coverage and deadlines for enrollment/waivers, please consult Student Health Services.

Employment Policy

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences policy limits the amount of additional paid work that may be assigned to doctoral students in any semester when they are appointed to a (Teaching, Graduate Research, Trainee, or Non-Service) Fellowship. Under this policy, such fully funded students may be employed as graders or other similar positions for additional payment only under the following conditions:

  1. The assignment provides the student with an opportunity for professional growth in teaching and/or in expert knowledge of course topics or research;
  2. The assignment does not exceed five (5) hours/week averaged over the semester;
  3. The total additional payment for the semester does not exceed $1,500; and
  4. The payment is set up as a weekly salary.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Fellowships will continue for the duration of the five-year commitment if the student is making satisfactory academic progress each year, confirmed by the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Financial Aid Office.

The GRS minimum standard for satisfactory academic progress is:

  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Have no more than 2 failing grades (grades of C+ or lower, incomplete grades older than 12 months, and W grades)
  • Pass qualifying exams and other milestones on the schedule specified by the program


The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences provides special privileges to all eligible GRS Fellows/Assistants. To receive the privileges listed below, the student must be officially registered and settled for the current semester, and must also have completed and submitted all supporting documentation for stipend payment (i.e. form I-9, visa updates, Patent Policy agreements, etc). Please note that until this is done, privileges cannot be granted.

  • Barnes & Nobles at Boston University: Fellows/Assistants received a 10% discount privilege in accordance with those extended to faculty. Students must go to the 5th floor of the Bookstore with their activated Terrier Card to receive a Bookstore discount card.
  • Boston University Libraries: 24-hour loan for periodicals and when you are actively writing your PhD dissertation, permission to apply for a study carrel.