Ivy League PHD/Doctoral Programs

The title Ivy League itself carries weight for the 8 universities. Getting a PHD degree from these universities with great funding and world-class teaching faculties can take you to a higher role in your career. The admission criteria for the PHD program at Ivy’s are high and the acceptance rate is very low. But, it is worth getting a PHD degree from these high-ranking reputed American universities. The majority of them favor an all-inclusive admissions procedure that draws prospective students from all around the world. The vast cultural diversity gives students the opportunity to connect with and learn from Nobel Prize winners and other well-known figures in their professions. Most employers value an Ivy League degree highly for employment. Benefits of studying at an Ivy League include:

Support for research: Ivy League universities place a strong priority on research. The majority of their study is typically conducted using extremely complex instruments and cutting-edge technologies. The opportunity to investigate the most recent scientific or technological developments in any discipline is made possible by studying at an Ivy League institution.

Funding: To enable students to fully concentrate on their work, the majority of Ivy League offer excellent funding options. Scholarships, grants, fellowships, and all other forms of funding.

Reputation: A degree from one of these universities is well-known and respected all around the world.

Employability: Employing an Ivy League student generally leaves an employer quite impressed. This is so that the student can attend one of these esteemed colleges if they have proven to have remarkable talents and expertise in the field.

Contacts: The diversity of cultures at these colleges guarantees that students have the opportunity to interact closely with subject-matter experts from all around the world.

A PHD is now a common option, and the only thing that can differentiate one from another is the institution that grants the degree. Being accepted into an Ivy League is difficult, but the work is well worth it. An Ivy League degree gives one's professional and personal profile an extra polish.

Which are the Ivy League Universities that offer PHD programs? Is it worth getting a PHD from Ivy League?

Yes, almost all Ivy League universities offer doctoral programs. As the oldest university in the USA, Ivy’s offers a high standard of world-class research PHD programs.

Here is the list of Ivy universities offering PHD/Doctoral programs.

  • Brown University offers 91 PHD programs
  • Columbia University offers 102 PHD programs
  • Dartmouth College offers 19 PHD programs
  • Cornell University offers 106 PHD programs
  • Harvard University offers 104 PHD programs
  • University of Pennsylvania offers 77 PHD programs
  • Princeton University offers 43 PHD programs
  • Yale University offers 54 PHD programs

Princeton University logo
Ranked as:  #1 in Best National University
Tuition:  -
Total Cost:  $112,940 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New Jersey
Acceptance:  5.63%

Princeton University's Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in chemistry stands as a dynamic hub of academic inquiry, firmly rooted in a rich historical tradition while ambitiously looking towards the future. This program is characterized by its collaborative and interdisciplinary research endeavors, which hold the promise of yielding a plethora of novel chemicals, energy sources, advanced catalytic models, and innovative materials. Simultaneously, the program maintains a strong commitment to the foundational goal of chemistry: to explore and understand the properties and interactions of substances, as well as their composition. This program can be completed in 5 years.

From the outset, graduate students are immersed in an environment that not only invites but also encourages the pursuit of personalized academic pathways. This is facilitated by robust faculty mentorship and unfettered access to leading-edge intellectual and physical resources. The cornerstone of the Ph.D. journey at Princeton is the thesis, an extensive work of original research within a chosen area of chemistry. Students embark on their research projects in their first year and, by the second, this endeavor becomes central to their graduate experience. As time progresses, research increasingly dominates their focus, culminating in a final public oral examination. This rigorous assessment not only involves a defense of the student's thesis dissertation but also the presentation and defense of an original research proposal.

The program's ultimate aim is to foster stimulating academic discourse rooted in original inquiry and to encourage the synthesis of information across various fields that resonate with the students' interests.

In addition to the Ph.D. program, Princeton offers a Master of Science degree to a select group of industry-sponsored candidates. These individuals are typically employees of companies affiliated with the Industrial Associates Program. The Master's program offers flexible scheduling options to accommodate working professionals, including full-time study for one term each year over two years, half-time study across both terms for two years, or a combination of full-time and half-time study over the two-year period. Those interested in the Master of Science program should reach out to the department for detailed information on eligibility and application processes.

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Chemistry, Ph.D.

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research Assistantships:  733
  • Teaching Assistantships:  655
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Yale University logo
Ranked as:  #3 in Best National University
Tuition:  -
Total Cost:  $89,000 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Connecticut
Acceptance:  6.53%

Yale’s doctoral Program in Film and Media Studies quickly achieved the international stature it enjoys today. Building on a core faculty that had long overseen an impressive undergraduate major, the graduate program attracted incoming faculty who were eager to help shape it. The quality of the students who have applied has been superior, and the large majority of those selected have chosen to study here.

Graduate students have been able to produce such significant research thanks not least to Yale’s unparalleled resources. Specialized librarians and curators keep our students in mind as they collect and make available the massive amounts of material held by the Sterling Memorial Library, the Haas library in the History of Art, and especially the Beinecke rare book library that houses the archives of hundreds of filmmakers, writers, and artists.

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Doctoral Program in Film and Media Studies

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research Assistantships:  1565
  • Teaching Assistantships:  1598
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Harvard University logo
Ranked as:  #3 in Best National University
Tuition:  -
Total Cost:  $101,308 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Massachusetts
Acceptance:  5.01%

The lack of departmental boundaries makes bioengineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences highly interdisciplinary. Students are free to collaborate and interact closely with other labs, centers and schools across the Harvard engineering and medical campuses.

The mission is to identify and attract the most promising students to form a dynamic and diverse community, and to shape them into visionary scholars, innovative educators, and creative leaders. Within the bioengineering program we focus on bioinspired robotics and computing; biomechanics and motor control; cell and tissue engineering, biomaterials and therapeutics. Graduate education is focused on individualized programs tailored to the interests, needs, and background of the student. Students are integral to the interdisciplinary and integrated approach to design, discovery and innovation. As such, students from diverse technical backgrounds are encouraged and welcomed to join us.

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degree in Engineering Sciences: Bioengineering, conferred through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

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Bioengineering PhD - Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

  • GRE Required:  No
  • Research Assistantships:  864
  • Teaching Assistantships:  1388
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University of Pennsylvania logo
Ranked as:  #7 in Best National University
Tuition:  -
Total Cost:  $83,520 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Pennsylvania
Acceptance:  8.98%

The Graduate Program in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania reflects the methodological diversity of the discipline. The department has significant strengths in each of the four major subfields in the discipline: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory.

Courses in each of the four substantive fields clarify important intellectual and conceptual issues and help students learn how to formulate an original research project. Courses in both quantitative and qualitative research methods provide students with cutting-edge tools they can use to conduct their research.

The Ph.D. program includes course work, a teaching requirement, a second-year paper, a preliminary examination, and the preparation and defense of a dissertation. Candidates completing the Ph.D. degree typically pursue careers in academia, government service, and the private sector.

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Political Science, PhD

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Dartmouth College logo
Ranked as:  #12 in Best National University
Tuition:  -
Total Cost:  $116,240 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New Hampshire
Acceptance:  9.22%

At Dartmouth College, a large selection of graduate courses are offered for the Ph.D. program in Chemistry, including many that are either in other departments or are cross-listed with them. During the first nine terms of residence, students are expected to finish at least three graduate-level courses in their primary research area, selected in consultation with their research advisor.

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Ph.D. in Chemistry

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Brown University logo
Ranked as:  #13 in Best National University
Tuition:  -
Total Cost:  $120,726 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Rhode Island
Acceptance:  7.67%

Our recent doctoral graduates represent the breadth and depth of our many research areas as well as our numerous interdisciplinary opportunities. Here a partial list:.

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Cornell University logo
Ranked as:  #17 in Best National University
Tuition:  -
Total Cost:  $60,084 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New York
Acceptance:  10.71%

The research activities of the Weill Cornell Pharmacology Program faculty cover broad areas of modern pharmacological sciences. Faculty carry out research in cancer pharmacology, neuropharmacology, cardiovascular pharmacology, drug metabolism, toxicology, proteomics, molecular pharmacology, receptors and signal transduction, and drug design. A major mission of the Pharmacology Program faculty is to provide research training to Ph.D. students and to postdoctoral fellows that is thorough, intense, exciting and useful for future careers.

A strength of the Pharmacology Program at Cornell is that the research of many of the faculty is focused on therapies for a variety of diseases, and several faculty have clinical responsibilities or close association with clinical faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College and/or Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute. This allows students and fellows in the Pharmacology Program to perform research which will result in better or new therapies for diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, mental illness and heart disease.

The goal of the Pharmacology Program is to produce scientists who possess knowledge of pharmacology, as well as a foundation of understanding of biochemistry, molecular biology, chemical biology, and cell and organ physiology. Students and postdoctoral fellows also have ample opportunities to improve their scientific communication skills, both by writing research papers and by presenting their research data at laboratory meetings, at the Pharmacology Program Retreat, and at national scientific meetings. Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows have the option of teaching, but this in not a required part of the program.

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Ph. D. Program in Pharmacolog

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Columbia University in the City of New York logo
Ranked as:  #18 in Best National University
Tuition:  -
Total Cost:  $102,388 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New York
Acceptance:  6.66%

The CAMPEP-accredited Program is designed to prepare students for professional careers in the field of Medical Physics. The Columbia University in the City of New York offer a full-time and part-time MS degree, as well as a Certificate of Professional Achievement in Medical Physics.

The 36-point CAMPEP-accredited program educates, trains, and prepares future medical physicists. It is registered with the State of New York, is administered by faculty from the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science in collaboration with faculty from the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Mailman School of Public Health, leads to a Master of Science (MS) degree, and provides preparation toward certification by the American Board of Radiology.

The Program consists of a core curriculum of medical and nuclear physics courses, a laboratory course, anatomy, two practicums, a tutorial, one elective, and a seminar.

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Medical Physics Doctoral Program

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What are the Executive Doctorate programs offered by the Ivy League?

Executive programs are for developing research abilities and analytical thinking. The Ivy League does have executive doctorate programs to offer. Some of the Executive PHD courses offered by the Ivy League are Human Resource Management, Entrepreneurial Studies, Health Policy (Management), Management, Marketing, Organizational Behavior, Strategy, Technology and Operations, Accounting and Management, Business Economics, etc.

One of the best Ivy League schools, i.e., Harvard Business School, does offer some excellent executive PHD programs. For example, HBS offers Executive PHD Courses in Organizational Behavior for 4-5 years with a cost of $52,456. Wharton (UPenn) also offers an executive PHD program in Accounting with a tuition cost of $45,062.

How much time does it usually take to complete one’s PHD?

In usual scenarios, it can take about 3-6 years on average to complete one’s PHD. The duration depends on your chosen course if it is a Physics PHD, it will depend on the timeline needed for the completion of a certain project. Depending on the thesis's subject, the tools at hand, and the researcher's temperament, even in less time than three years. Some of the PhDs that usually take the least time are done in the fields like Law, Counseling, and Healthcare. The completion duration depends on various factors.

  • The program design
  • The subject area you're studying
  • The institution offering the program

The usual time span of 3-6 years can be either minimized or exceeded depending on the subject, the project, guidance, and the institution. Hence it is important to choose a University that specializes in publishing the research, has a good stipend rate, and assures the returns on time and monetary investment made into the program.

You can complete the PHD programs from Stanford in just 3 years, 4 years at Yale, and 5-6 years of coursework required at Harvard University to get a PHD degree.

Can I get a part-time PHD program from the Ivy League?

There are only countably many Ivy league universities that offer part-time PHD programs for students to enroll in. This includes Columbia university, which offers a Doctor of Science in Engineering (EngScD) program which can be earned part-time, and the Hybrid Doctor of Nursing Practice program offered by Yale university which can be completed part-time or full-time.

How much does the PHD programs at Ivy League cost?

You can expect to pay an average annual tuition fee of $20,000 to $60,000 per year for a PHD at an Ivy League university. Most of the Ivy Leagues provide stipends and financial support to students once they are enrolled or after completing certain milestones in their PHD work. This will lead to more funding for their project and will minimize the fees or give benefits on the cost of their PHD endeavors.

The fees will vary from courses undertaken for the PHD program as well as the project.

Cornell University offers PHD at the least tuition fee of around $30,000 per year for its course, while Harvard has tuition fees of around $60,000 per year. But most of the fees paid are earned back in the course of PHD through the stipend earned via assistantships and fellowships.

Cornell has assistantship and fellowship programs that pay an average stipend of around $32,000 for about 9 months of work to its PHD scholars. This will nullify the cost of tuition fees previously paid. The stipend does depend on one's performance and the progress in the project undertaken for PHD.

Some of the variations when it comes to different fields and their variable tuition rates are given below in the table.

FieldTuition Rate
Biomedical & Biological Sciences$20,800
Computer Science$29,500
Electrical & Computer Engineering$29,500

Which is the cheapest Ivy League that offers PHD?

The tuition fees for the PHD program depend on the selected course for PHD. However, the major aspect while taking a look at the tuition fees is not how much one needs to pay but what are the output and stipend like. Since most PHD programs in Ivy Leagues provide scholarships, assistantships, and stipends. Cornell University has the lowest tuition fees among all of the Ivy Leagues, however, Harvard is more monetarily beneficial since it provides fellowships and assistantships that cover and nullify the fees paid as a return on investment. In most cases, the stipends that students receive through Harvard's fellowship stipends cover-up about 70%-99% of the fees paid.

UniversityAvg Tuition Fee
Harvard UniversityUpto $60,000
Cornell UniversityUpto $25,000
Yale UniversityUpto $50,000
Columbia UniversityUpto $60,000
University of PennsylvaniaUpto $40,000

Which is the Fastest PHD degree one can get?

Accelerated PHD programs are founded on the idea that you could conceivably complete your degree in three or even two years rather than taking 6 years to acquire a doctorate. They are only provided in subjects that don't call for as much education, study, or internship time. The most common themes for expedited doctoral degree programs are those that deal with business or education.

For instance, Columbia University's PHD in Computer Science offers a fast-track Ph.D. to MS graduates with a minimal GPA of 3.3. Each Spring or Fall, the 30-credit PHD program begins with courses from Columbia Video Network's 4000 level and one-on-one research counseling. It only takes two years to complete specialties in areas like machine learning, network security, robotics, and computational biology.

The average PHD program can be completed in up to four years, but depending on the subject, it may take up to eight to ten years.

What are the eligibility criteria for PHD programs at Ivy Leagues?

The prerequisites for Ivy League PHD programs may range between institutions and academic fields. Due to the strong demand, admission to select programs at particular colleges may be extremely competitive. For specific topics, some of these colleges can have minimum work requirements. Any accomplishments, whether academic or extracurricular, will help one stand out from the competition.

The overall list of documents needed to be accepted is shown below:

  • Transcript of grades
  • Scores on standardized tests
  • Language proficiency in English Test results
  • Reference Letters
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose

What are the admission requirements for a PHD program at Ivy League?

As the PHD programs are evaluated based on research goals and your intellectual ability, for admission the Ivy League universities ask for your GPA, GRE, CV, Essay, Letters of Recommendation, Interview, and previous research experience.

The GPA score is suggested to be a minimum GPA of 3.5. Ivy Leagues asks for a high GRE score in verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections, but there is even a program offered by these universities that don't require GRE.

Are there NO GRE PHD Ivy League colleges?

Almost all the Ivy League universities offering PHD programs don’t accept GRE scores for many of its PHD programs. Here is the detailed list of programs offered by Ivy Leagues that have waived off or eliminated GRE scores for their doctoral programs.

Brown university: Brown University has eliminated GRE scores for its 24 doctoral programs. The PHD programs for which the GRE is no longer required include American Studies, Biotechnology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Comparative Literature, Computational Biology, Computer Science, Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, English, French Studies, German Studies, Hispanic Studies, Italian Studies, Mathematics, Modern Culture and Media, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry, Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, Neuroscience, Pathobiology, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, Religious Studies, Slavic Studies, and Theatre and Performance Studies.

Columbia University: Columbia University has excluded GRE scores for most of its PHD programs. The programs that don’t require GRE are Architecture, Art History and Archaeology Applied Physics, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Astronomy, Classical Studies, Chemical Physics, Astronomy, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Classics, Earth and Environmental Sciences, East Asian Languages, and Cultures, Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, English and Comparative Literature, French, Germanic Languages, History, Historic Preservation, Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Religion, Slavic Languages, Statistics, Theatre and Performance, and Urban Planning.

The PHD programs that require GRE offered by Columbia University are Anthropology, Italian, Political Science, Sustainable Development, Sociology, Economics, and Mathematics.

Cornell University: Cornell University doesn’t accept GRE scores only for some of its PHD programs, which include Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Theoretical & Applied Mechanics, American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering.

Dartmouth College: Except for the Computer Science PHD program, Dartmouth has made GRE scores optional for its doctoral programs.

Harvard University: The PHD programs offered by Harvard University that don’t require GRE includes, Anthropology, Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, Archaeology, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning, Astronomy, Bioengineering, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Biological Sciences in Public Health, ​Biophysics, Comparative Literature, Computer Science, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Engineering and Applied Sciences, English, Environmental Science & Engineering, Film and Visual Studies, History of Art and Architecture, Human Evolutionary Biology, Materials Science & Mechanical Engineering, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neuroscience, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Quantum Science and Engineering, and Virology.

Some of the PHD programs offered by Harvard University also have the option called ‘GRE score is Optional’, which means you may submit GRE scores if you wish.

Optional: American Studies, Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics, Biostatistics, Celtic Languages and Literature, Chemical Biology, Chemical Physics, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Classics, Earth and Planetary Sciences, History, History of Science, Immunology, Middle Eastern Studies, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Population Health Sciences, Psychology, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology, and Statistics, Systems, Synthetic, and Quantitative Biology​.

University of Pennsylvania: UPenn has made GRE scores optional for all of its PHD programs. Students who have taken the GRE exams and wish to submit the GRE scores can submit them.

Princeton University: The PHD programs offered by Princeton University that don’t require the GRE include, Anthropology, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Applied and Computational Math, Architecture, Art and Archaeology, Astrophysical Science, Biophysics, Chemical & Biological Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chemistry, Classics, Comparative Literature, Computer Science, East Asian Studies, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, English, French and Italian, Geosciences, German, History, History of Science, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Mathematics, Molecular Biology, Music Composition, Musicology, Near Eastern Studies, Neuroscience, Operations Research and Financial Engineering, Philosophy, Physics, Public and International Affairs, Psychology, Quantitative & Computational Biology, Religion, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Sociology, and Spanish and Portuguese.

Yale University: The PhD programs offered by Yale University that don’t require GRE includes, African American Studies, African Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Applied Physics, Archaeological Studies, Astronomy, Biochemistry, Quantitative Biology, Biophysics and Structural Biology, Classics, Comparative Literature, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Computer Science, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Biomedical Engineering, English Language and Literature, European and Russian Studies, Germanic Languages and Literatures, History, Immunology, Investigative Medicine, Law, Linguistics, Mathematics, Medieval Studies, Microbiology, Molecular Cell Biology, Genetics, and Development, Music, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Neuroscience, Nursing, Physics, Plant Molecular Biology, Psychology, Philosophy, Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Religious Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese, Statistics and Data Science, Translational Molecular Medicine, Pharmacology and Physiology, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

What kind of Assistantships and Fellowships are offered for PHD programs at Ivy Leagues? Are there a fully funded PHD program offered at Ivy Leagues?

The concept of fellowships and assistantships is to provide stipends to students and funding for their projects. These are of utmost importance and taken very seriously during the PHD course. Such forms of funding are acquired by different means like making progress good enough to raise funding or in some cases by being an assistant to the professors or even teaching lower courses at times. Harvard has the most prestigious forms of fellowships established by former Harvard president Lawrence Summers, alumni, and donors to support students committed to careers in public service. These tend to cover the entire tuition fee leading to no least to no money being spent on getting the PHD. The fellowship pays a stipend amount of $50,000/year for 3 years.

The good news is that while the costs of PHD programs at Ivy League universities may appear hefty, it's uncommon for students to cover the entire expense of their degree. Ivy League universities offer PHD candidates significant financial aid packages. Many will even pay for your tuition in full and provide a stipend to help with living expenses. Certain funding packages could also come with extras like health insurance. Indeed, receiving complete coverage for their PHD fees is quite typical at Ivy League universities. About 97% of PHD’s at Cornell University, for instance, receive full funding from a combination of scholarships, assistantships, and stipends.

A typical funding package includes:

  • Scholarships for tuition and the Harvard University Student Health Program covered in full for years G1 through G4 and the dissertation completion year, with the option of a partially subsidized dental plan.
  • During the G1 through G4 years, a combination of stipends, teaching fellowships, and/or research assistantships.
  • After the first four academic years, faculty grants or GSAS summer research assistance.

PHD students in the sciences often receive full financing up until the end of their programs of study, though funding packages vary by program.

Ivy League fellowships cover full tuition costs and living expenses. Taking the example of Cornell university which offers fully funded merit-based fellowships for 95% of its PHD students.

Most Ivy Leagues provide generous stipends and compensation for students doing their PHD. This depends on the kind of funding the project receives and their progress with the given project that they are assisting or working on. In reality, full financial support for PHD expenses is quite typical at Ivy League institutions. About 97% of PHDs at Cornell University, for instance, receive full funding from a combination of scholarships, assistantships, and stipends.

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