As an estimate for planning purposes, the figures quoted here apply to the academic year 2016-17. Tuition is $32,286 for the academic year. In addition, there is a general fee of $2,788. Penn's Student Health Services (SHS) are available to all full-time graduate students who are in good standing through participation in Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP). The premium for compulsory health insurance for full-time students is currently $3878. All students must either use Penn's Health Plan or if you decide to use your own health insurance, your alternative health insurance must meet certain criteria determined by SHS and must be approved by SHS office. The total estimated cost of lodging per academic year is $10,000.
The Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences awards up to ten University Fellowships to first year students every year. These fellowships are awarded on the basis of academic promise, and cover tuition and fees, health insurance and provide a stipend for living expenses.
Students from the United States or holding green cards who are from disadvantaged backgrounds may be eligible for a Fontaine Fellowship, named in honor of Dr. William Fontaine, the first African-American to become a fully affiliated professor at the University. These awards may be renewed for additional years if satisfactory progress is made toward the Ph.D.
Support of students after the first year is provided mainly by research and teaching assistantships. The specific duties of assistants are diverse but in general they require from fifteen to twenty hours of work per week. Research assistants often help in the statistical analysis of economic data, while the duties of teaching assistants span the spectrum from grading and tutoring to being responsible for teaching a section of introductory economics.
In addition to those students who teach on campus, a number of our senior students teach courses part-time at local colleges and universities. This is not only a source of income but it also provides valuable experience for a future teaching career. While the department attempts to fund students making good progress towards the completion of requirements for the Ph.D. degree in their second through fifth years, it is not always able to do so. Therefore, students are encouraged to explore all possible sources of funding. Historically, almost all students have been funded by either the department or from other sources.