Doctoral Financial Support

The Department of Geography at SDSU has a number of research and teaching associateships available to support students admitted to the joint doctoral program. All students applying to admission to the joint doctoral program will be considered for financial support. As teaching associates, doctoral students perform both research and teaching duties in the department. These may include working on ongoing faculty research projects, assisting in lab sessions, performing teaching assistant duties on faculty led courses, and teaching their own courses (only after receiving university teaching training and after at least one year in the program).

The department supports the majority of admitted joint doctoral students with a teaching associateship package that includes:

  • Salary and full benefits plus fee/tuition waivers for 4 years. Salaries are for a 9-month academic year, though checks are distributed over a 12 month period
  • Full benefits for four years. If enrolled and funded, Ph.D. students typically receive faculty benefit packages that include: medical, dental, eye care, 401k, and life insurance. Changes in coverage and providers can be made once each academic year. For more information regarding benefits, please visit the Human Resources Benefits Page Leave geography site
  • Full benefits and fee/tuition waivers for one academic year while in residence at UCSB
  • Annual Conference Travel Funding (contingent on availability of funds)

Roughly 90% of joint doctoral students receive an associateship. Assuming reasonable progress towards completing degree requirements, joint doctoral students receive funding for a minimum of four years. A 5th year of funding is sometimes made available on a competitive basis and based on funding availability. Students wishing to apply for a 5th of year of funding are required to have advanced to candidacy by the end of their 4th year in the program.

Only a few students are admitted with the understanding that they have external financial support and related work obligations. Additional salary support may be available in the summer in conjunction with externally funded research projects conducted by SDSU faculty.

US students entering SDSU with out-of-state residency are required to establish State of California residency immediately upon starting the program. For more information about establishing residency, please see the Office of the Registrar.

Teaching and research duties are assigned for 20 hours a week for 17 weeks in both the fall and spring semesters.