Date: November 13, 2020
TO: Deans and Directors
FROM: President Andrew Hamilton and Provost Katherine Fleming

Dear Colleagues,

We wish to update you on progress related to our mission of cultivating the next generation of new scholars and scientists at NYU through our doctoral programs. This effort, initiated in the interests of supporting all doctoral students in all fields, is the result of leadership and discussion undertaken by colleagues from across the University, including the Stipend Committee of the Doctoral Affairs Council (chaired by Professor Joel Steckel) and Deputy Provost Cybele Raver.

The Committee engaged in a review of support for doctoral students across NYU’s schools and colleges, and found a patchwork of approaches and levels of support. Graduate education will always be organized at the school and program levels. However, given the foregoing, the Stipend Committee took on the task of determining whether it might be beneficial to set a University-wide minimum financial aid package for all doctoral students.

After extensive deliberation and consultation, including assessing funding packages for full-time PhD students across 13 programs, the Committee has recommended, and we endorse, an important new step in doctoral education at NYU: establishing a University-wide* minimum stipend that is competitive with other high-ranking research universities. It is our intent that all schools will meet the goal of being able to offer all doctoral students a financial aid package that includes full tuition remission and a guaranteed minimum stipend of $32,000 for four years by AY2023 (contingent on satisfactory academic performance and progress).

Doing so will put NYU among the small set of highest-caliber research universities that have established similar practices and will make us more competitive in attracting the next generation of scholars. It will help demonstrate our commitment to graduate education and research.

Our next steps include:

  • Arranging discussions between schools and the budget office as part of the annual budget cycle to enable us to move forward in a financially sustainable way
  • Conveying our decision to faculty, students, those involved in graduate studies now, and prospective applicants

We look forward to putting this on the agenda at an upcoming Deans+ Meeting to discuss with you.

* with the exception of Tandon, which follows a different funding model