The department offers a financial package that funds the five years that a student is in the graduate program. This support package combines Research Fellowships and Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) positions for a total of 5 years of support. Both Research Fellowships and GSI Positions include tuition coverage in the Fall and Winter terms, a stipend or salary, and health insurance.
As a Research Fellow, students engage in their own research and research in collaboration with their faculty mentor in Psychology. As a Graduate Student Instructor, the student is employed to work with a faculty member in teaching a course. The financial offer is equivalent for all students admitted into any of the six areas of psychology with a few differences for students in the Clinical Science Area.
The graduate program is composed of two phases:
- Precandidacy: The first two years when a student is taking courses and acquiring specific intellectual and research skills necessary to become a candidate for the Ph.D.
- Candidacy: Years 3–5 when a student is conducting their dissertation research and strengthening other skills.
Similarly, the support package is in two phases. During the first two years in the graduate program, a student is supported as a Research Fellow for 1.5 academic terms, and a GSI for 2.5 academic terms. The second term in the first year is split between teaching and Research Fellowship. During the first two summers students are supported as Research Fellows. Support for subsequent years in the program is contingent on having achieved candidacy.
During years 3–5, students begin their dissertation research and have the opportunity to expand their teaching experiences with three additional terms of GSI support. Most students will be a GSI during the third and fourth years. In the final year, students are supported as a Research Fellow for two academic terms to facilitate the completion of their dissertation by the end of the fifth year. During the third and fourth summers students are again supported as Research Fellows.
Clinical Science Program
The Clinical Science Program requires students to complete a 1-year, full time internship typically during the 6th year of study. While on internship, financial support is split between the internship site and the department. More information is available to students in years 3 and 4 as they prepare to apply to external internship sites.
Additional Funding Sources
While support is guaranteed as described for 5 years, all eligible students are expected to apply for funding from the National Science Foundation during their senior undergraduate year or first year of graduate school and other sources of funding throughout their graduate career. If a student receives funding from an external foundation or institute (NSF, NIMH, etc.), the department can combine funds in a way that will enhance the overall support package, and potentially reduce the teaching requirement.
NSF fellowships give three years of support, provide a larger stipend, and can reduce the teaching requirement to two terms. Information and application forms may be obtained from the National Science Foundation Fastlane website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Students who have entered the Biopsychology program are encouraged to apply for NIH or NIMH predoctoral fellowships. Further information can be found at the National Institutes of Health website.
An undergraduate who is seriously contemplating study at the doctoral level is well advised to explore the many sources of individual fellowship support available to outstanding students. No later than the end of their junior year, students should consult counselors at their undergraduate colleges or universities regarding fellowships available from both federal and private sources. Students who receive an individual fellowship may use it at any university to which they have been admitted. Many of these fellowships provide several years of support.
Rackham Funding Sources
The Graduate School has several funding resources including Emergency Funds, Research grants, Conference Travel grants, Professional Development grants, and multiple competative fellowships for PhD students.
Other Funding and Awards
The Psychology Department coordinates a diverse array of funding opportunities for students in the form of awards, fellowships, and grants. These vary from relatively small supplemental funding to research awards to comprehensive fellowships both within and external to the university. For a complete list of recent awards, please visit the Doctoral Student Awards & Funding Opportunities section of our website.
Graduate Student Instructors
Please check the UMJobs website for Psychology GSI job postings.
In UMJobs, click on "Graduate Student Appointments," then sort by "Department" column to locate "LSA Psychology" job postings. Open the posting and read instructions carefully.
To be considered for a position, an applicant MUST complete 2 applications:
- Apply on UMJobs website (U of M application)
- Complete the Psychology GSI Application Form (link is provided in job posting)
Note: Students hired for GSI positions must attend REQUIRED TRAININGS (see job posting for details).
For more information, interested students should consult with Psychology Student Academic Affairs, the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, or the Office of Financial Aid.