Financial Aid and Assistantships

Apply today!

Join a community of scholars and researchers working together to solve pressing global problems. We are accepting applications for the 2020-2021 academic year.

We are committed to recruiting the very best PhD students and preparing doctoral students for career success. UB features:

  • World-class faculty experts mentor PhD students in a dynamic research and learning environment. Students can focus on their research and scholarship alongside renowned faculty while preparing for the careers and professions that await them after graduation.
  • A city on the rise. Buffalo, N.Y. offers affordable housing, arts, culture and community. Learn more about Buffalo.

PhD Funding Opportunities

  • Academic year stipends of $20,000 for all full-time, funded PhD students on 10-month academic teaching assistant, research assistant or graduate assistant appointments.
  • UB’s stipend levels are among the top five of public Association of American Universities (AAU) member institutions.
  • Additional Fellowship Opportunities:
    • Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program: To be eligible for a Schomburg Fellowship, candidates must contribute to the diversity of the student body, and can demonstrate that they have overcome a disadvantage or other impediment to success in higher education. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to receive Schomburg Fellowships.
    • Presidential Fellowships: To be eligible for Presidential Fellowships, candidates must meet the criteria listed on the Presidential Fellowship page. Both domestic and international students are eligible, if they meet these criteria. For any questions regarding funding for academic year 2021–2022, contact the director of graduate studies or department chair.


Every year, a limited number of Teaching and Graduate Assistantships are made available to PhD students in the Department of Economics. These assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis to both incoming and current students for the forthcoming academic year.

Teaching Assistantships

A Teaching Assistantship is an instructional position. TAs may serve as the second instructor for a class or discussion section, or (advanced students only) may take full responsibility for an undergraduate course, including all assessments and the submission of final grades.

Graduate Assistantships

A Graduate Assistantship is a non-instructional position. GAs may be assigned duties in support of an individual faculty member’s research activities or, in some cases, may be asked to assume the duties normally assigned to Teaching Assistants.

Summer Assistantships

Summer Teaching Assistantships are normally available for advanced students in addition to the academic year assistantships.

Assistantship Guidelines

  • Assistantships are awarded through a competitive process which seeks to support students entering the program and current students most likely to successfully complete the PhD program. All aid is subject to the availability of university funding.
  • Assistantship positions carry the protections of a union contract through the Graduate Student Employees Union.
  • TAs and GAs are required to spend no more than 20 hours per week on their assigned tasks. 
  • TAs and GAs receive a stipend and tuition remission for their services. However, students are still responsible for university fees
  • TA and GA positions are part-time university jobs and satisfactory performance in the work is expected and will be taken into account in financial aid renewal decisions. 
  • Aid renewal is not guaranteed. Aid renewal eligibility extends to the end of the fourth year of the program.
  • For the purposes of consideration for renewal of financial aid, all PhD-level courses given in the department will be included in the calculation of GPA, while all language instruction courses will be excluded. Inclusion of other courses in the calculation of GPA for the purpose of awarding financial aid will be at the discretion of the Economics faculty or its designee, the Graduate Studies Committee.
  • Eligibility for a student entering the second year depends substantially upon performance in the courses taken in the first year of the program, with a 3.5 GPA in course work as the reference point.
  • Eligibility for a student entering the third year depends substantially upon performance in first-year and second-year courses and passing of preliminary examinations. Again, a 3.5 GPA is the reference point for course grades.
  • Eligibility for a student entering the fourth year depends substantially upon grades, performance in preliminary and field examinations, selection of a dissertation committee, completion of an acceptable thesis proposal and a satisfactory presentation of a paper on the dissertation topic.
  • Students taking a larger number of courses will not be prioritized over students taking fewer, as long as they take at least 19 units of credit in their first year and at least 18 units thereafter.

How to Apply

All PhD applicants, both domestic and international, are automatically considered for an assistantship if they submit their PhD application before the Feb. 1 deadline. No special forms or additional application materials are required. 

All international students are strongly encouraged to take the SPEAK test. Students on or seeking financial aid must pass the SPEAK test by the end of May in their second year in the program in order to be eligible for continued or new financial aid consideration.

The Kogut Brothers Award

Joseph W. and Kenneth P. Kogut Brothers of New York Mills Economic Development Award, was established in 2007 by Frederick J. Kogut and Nina F. Kogut-Akkum. The purpose of this award is to provide financial support outside the required curriculum to UB undergraduate or graduate students engaged in efforts related to improving the economic development of Africa and/or upstate NY, or any other activity related to the Peace Corps. 

Other Funding Sources

The department funds approx. 8-10 PhD students per year. All master's students and any PhD students who do not receive departmental funding are still eligible for College of Arts and Sciences and university-wide funding. For more information on this and other philanthropic scholarships and awards, please visit UB’s scholarship portal at

Did You Know?

Domestic students pursuing STEM degrees are eligible for a variety of regional and national scholarships from organizations like the National Science Foundation.