Graduate Students in the program are provided with departmental financial support (a stipend and waiver of tuition) during their first year, and acquire continuing financial support via faculty research grants and limited teaching thereafter. The stipends generally increase annually to keep up with the cost of living. For the Fall 2016 admission, the yearly stipend is $29,000. In addition, the Department may offer enhanced stipends to particularly well-qualified applicants. After a student attains Ph.D candidacy, the 12-month stipend increased to $29,700 for the 2016-2017 academic year.
After the first 9 months, subsequent stipends are provided by the research groups, which depend on the availability of external funding and tuition waivers provided by the university. The current funding is provided through grants from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Robert A. Welch Foundation, NASA, the Office of Naval Research, National Institutes of Health, and others.
At present, all physics students working on theses are fully supported and have tuition waivers, allowing students to devote full-time effort to their studies and research. Also, graduate students assist in the undergraduate laboratory and course offerings of the department. Total time spent in these activities typically does not exceed five hours per week during four semesters of graduate study.
Visit the Rice University Office of Research and Graduate Studies pages for more information about financial support and health insurance available.