Financial Support

Group of students outside the Annenberg School for Communication Walnut street entrance

All Annenberg students who continue to make appropriate academic progress and meet all necessary funding conditions will receive four years of fellowship support, full tuition, and personal health insurance. In addition, each student receives an annual budget for attending scholarly conferences to present research, as well as opportunities for additional funding in the summer. Fifth year dissertation fellowship and tuition support is also available for those students who qualify.

This page contains a summary of the financial support provided by the Annenberg School. Full policies for all funding categories can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook. Please note that the Annenberg School reserves the right to alter any of the described benefits at any time, though admitted students would remain eligible for the support that was in place at the time of their admission to the school.

Research and Teaching Fellowship Stipends

The school provides four years of research and teaching fellowship support, enabling students to develop exemplary research and teaching skills. Every semester, each fellow is assigned to a faculty mentor under whose supervision the fellow will conduct research or teaching duties. Students should have both fellowship experiences at least once during their duration of support. Fellows are expected to devote 19 hours per week to their position. The current academic year stipend is $29,302, and rises to $33,302 when summer support is added.

Tuition and Fees

Annenberg students who maintain a full schedule of courses, are in good standing, and are participating in a program of active scholarship, will receive a waiver of tuition and fees. The duration of support depends upon the number of course units transferred for credit. Students entering with an undergraduate degree receive eight semesters of support, while students entering with a relevant Master’s degree who transfer three or more credits (up to the maximum of five credits) are eligible for seven semesters of funding.

Student Health Insurance

All University of Pennsylvania students must carry health insurance, either through the University under the Penn Student Insurance Plan, or through an outside provider. All Annenberg students who are eligible for the tuition benefit may enroll in the single Penn Student Insurance Plan, and Annenberg will cover the cost of the single health premium for the plan. The premium for 12 months of coverage is currently about $3,600.

Summer Research Fellowship

In order to provide graduate students with summer financial support and additional academic and professional training, Annenberg students are eligible for $4,000 in summer fellowship funds. All Annenberg graduate students who held a Research Fellowship or Teaching Fellowship in the previous semester are eligible for a Summer Fellowship. Activities that would be considered for summer funding may include: providing research assistance for an ASC Graduate Group faculty member; working with an ASC Graduate Group faculty member on a joint project or activity; revising a paper for submission to a conference or journal; writing a grant proposal; conducting new research or data collection; etc. Please note that summer funding is not guaranteed.

Travel and Research Support

All Annenberg doctoral students receiving a regular fellowship from the school (research, teaching, or dissertation) have access to a yearly personal travel and research budget of up to $1,700. The primary purpose of this fund is to provide travel and lodging support for attendance at professional and academic conferences at which a student has some formal role (e.g., presenting a research paper or poster; acting as a discussant, group chair, or panel moderator; performing administrative duties, etc.). However, funds may also be used to support other legitimate educational and research purposes.

Dissertation Tuition and Fellowship

A twelve-month Dissertation Research Fellowship (DRF) is normally available to students who complete an acceptable dissertation proposal in a timely manner. The award of a DRF is subject to available funds and approval by the Dean. The DRF provides a stipend and covers dissertation tuition and the student health insurance premium for up to twelve consecutive months. This dissertation tuition and fellowship support currently amounts to $33,302.

Dissertation Budget

Annenberg students on DRF status are also eligible to apply for up to $1,200 in dissertation budget funding. If funds are awarded, students will be reimbursed for the expenses identified in their dissertation budget as they are incurred.