Stipend & Salary


Minimum Funding Levels

The current minimum funding levels guaranteed for PhD students at SIO are:

  • Pre-candidacy = $30,000/yr or $2,500/mo
In-candidacy = $31,000/yr or $2,583.33/mo

During the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters, students must be registered in a minimum of 12 units to receive funding.
Don't forget to do so by the deadline!

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Pay Dates

Stipend and salary payments are issued on a monthly basis on the 1st of the month following the pay period. September stipends are issued on October 1st, for instance.

There are two exceptions to this rule:

  • When the 1st falls on a weekend or a holiday, employees are paid on the Friday before the 1st
  • Paychecks for December earnings are not issued until January which is the beginning of a new tax year, even if the 1st falls on a weekend.
The monthly pay dates can be found at the bottom of the payroll calendars.

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Direct Deposit

In order to receive payments and reimbursement promptly, you should sign up for direct deposit. Three different offices handle direct deposit, so it is best to sign up for all.

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Payroll & Timesheets

If part of your stipend or salary is supported by a GSR appointment, you may need to submit timesheets. Policies, procedures, and due dates vary by research division. Please contact the HR/payroll representative within your business division with any question.

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Detailed tax information for graduate students can be found here. Generally, US resident have more control over tax withholding, while international students will have automatic withholding of their taxes. This means that if you are an international student, your taxes will be automatically subtracted from your pay/stipend and you will have to file a tax report with the IRS at the end of the year to receive any amount due to you.

The International Students & Programs Office also offers workshops and information to international students for tax preparation.

It is not uncommon for students to have to make estimated tax payments, depending on how you are paid. Make sure you inquire!

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Teaching Assistants enhance the learning experience of UCSD students by complementing the activities of the course instructor. TAs receive training under the mentorship and supervision of the instructor. Graduate students enrolled full-time (twelve units or more) may be appointed up to 50 percent time (twenty hours/week) Teaching Assistants, Readers, or Tutors during the academic year.  TAs with a standard 50% time appointment should normally work between 16 and 20 hours per week (8 to 10 hours for TAs with a part-time 25% appointment).

A TA may not be employed as a substitute instructor, where the effect is to relieve the instructor of his or her teaching responsibilities. (This is specifically prohibited by University Policy.) However, in the event of an emergency, the Department Chair may ask the TA to substitute for the instructor.  A TA may decline to substitute for the instructor if doing so would interfere with their studies (e.g. a class), or if they feel unprepared to lecture.

Students can apply for a TA position online before the deadline in mid-July. In total, there are 65 TA positions that can be filled. TAs are then selected from the applicant pool based on instructor requests, graduate student preferences, and financial support circumstances. TAs are expected to be present and available for the entire quarter. Here is the list of SIO courses and ESYS courses.

For more information, please visit this Teaching Assistants page.

Contact information:

TA Application, Eligibility and approval, evaluations and training: Please contact Joshua Reeves

  • Assignments and Payroll for Biology TA's contact the Division of Biological Sciences, TA Coordinator at 858.534.9766
  • Assignments and Payroll for SIO TA's Contact the Earth Sciences and Environmental Systems Programs, Assistant Director at 858.534.8157

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