Financial support for new PhD students in Physics and Geophysics

The total annual support package for students holding assistantships in the Department of Physics varies depending on the program and whether or not the student holds a major scholarship. At this time, the minimum funding for a full-time first-year PhD student in Physics is approximately $26,234 for students who request and receive funding from graduate teaching and/or research assistantships. (PDF, 40.8k)

If requested, basic financial support from the Department and from students' research supervisors includes:

  • Graduate Teaching Assistantship (TA) and/or Graduate Research Assistant Fellowship (GRAF), usually granted over 4 terms each year, September-December, January-April, May-June, July-August.

Please note that students are responsible for paying their tuition and other fees.

Typical Funding, 2016-2017

Typical funding for full-time PhD students is below and is determined by whether or not a student has a scholarship. Not all major scholarships are listed; please contact us about top-ups if your scholarship is not listed below.

 If a Student comes with-->

no scholarship1 QE II3 Golden Bell Jar2 NSERC PGSD3 NSERC CGSD
teaching assistantship (TA) and/or graduate research assistant fellowship (GRAF)
26,234 12,850 9,232
15,000 22,500 21,000 35,000
President's Doctoral Prize*

10,000 10,000

first-year stipend

26,234 27,850 31,732 35,617 45,000

In their first year, international students will be reimbursed by their supervisors for the international student Differential Fee.

 If a Student comes with-->

Alberta Innovates3 AI + PGSD AI+CGSD  
teaching assistantship (TA)4,564 4,617

scholarship - NSERC
21,000 35,000  
scholarship - Alberta Innovates 31,500

AI top-up to NSERC
12,000 12,000  
President's Doctoral Prize*
10,000 10,000  

first-year stipend

36,117 43,000 57,000  

1Students will receive a 12 hr/wk TA in fall and winter semesters
2Students are offered a 6 hr/wk TA in fall and winter semesters
3Students are offered a 3 hr/wk TA in fall and winter semesters

*The President's Doctoral Prize of Distinction consists of a payment of $10,000 in Year One, with an amount equal to all unreduced instructional tuition (this year, $5,700) and fees in up to three subsequent years in which an eligible award is held.

The commitment for financial support from the Department is for a student's first year of residence. Students can, however, expect support through teaching and/or research assistantships to be extended through the normal duration of their programs as long as they are making satisfactory progress toward their degree and in their tasks as a graduate assistant. For an PhD student, the maximum period of guaranteed financial support is 5 years for students entering with only an undergraduate degree, 4 years for students entering with a graduate degree or post-graduate studies.

We encourage students to apply for all scholarships and fellowships for which they are eligible.

  • Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada apply for NSERC scholarships in October, through their home departments.
  • International and Canadian students doing research in nanoscale physics, biophysics, or energy can apply for Alberta Innovates graduate student scholarships before being admitted to University of Alberta. The application deadline is in January.
  • Students applying to our graduate programs will be automatically considered for a Queen Elizabeth II (QE II) graduate scholarship; this scholarship is open only to citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

Information on this page is subject to change without notice.