Financial Support

The Department of Economics is committed to ensuring students have fellowship support and funding opportunities throughout their program. Students in our program are awarded a financial package that includes tuition, single-person health insurance, living stipend for the first two years, teaching and research assistant stipends and a completion fellowship in the final year of the program.


The PhD funding package includes stipends for living expenses in the first two years of the program and a guaranteed Dissertation Completion Fellowship (DCF) in the final year of study. GSAS provides several research fellowships opportunities and research support for students applying to these and other fellowships. For a comprehensive list of fellowships, both internal and external, refer to the general funding page

Research Assistantships

Research positions are widely available and integral to the program at Harvard. Positions vary in scope, terms and length.  Generally, these are offered directly from faculty members. During the first two years, the department will arrange an RA appointment. These opportunities are intended to connect students with faculty and help engage students. Beyond the second year, RA positions can be full-time and salary is negotiated with faculty. In some cases, faculty will opt to "buy out" the teaching stipend during the third and fourth years. Students who choose to pursue this option can still qualify for the GSAS Supplemental Stipend (TF top-up). 

Teaching at Harvard

Teaching fellows are an important part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and play a critical role in the education of students. As a teaching fellow, you assist in courses under the supervision of faculty.  Duties may include teaching sections, conducting tutorials, recommending grades, and supervising independent study projects. The workload for teaching fellows (TFs) is calculated in “term fifths.” A “fifth” (1/5) is a unit of time that represents 20 percent of a full-time workload. The teaching component of the financial support package consists of the equivalent of the two-fifths (two sections per semester) rate of teaching per term for four terms. 

It is the joint responsibility of the student and their program to identify available teaching opportunities that can be used to fulfill the teaching guarantee of two term-fifths per term. Students may teach in areas outside of their departments and appointments are arranged during the spring semester (for the following year). For more detailed information on policies, refer to the GSAS Teaching Fellows page.

Persons not affiliated with Harvard but have been selected to teach are known as Teaching Assistants or "TAs". As a TA, you will receive a Harvard ID and email address. You can obtain an ID card through the ID office and activate your email address FAS Account Management. You will need your ID and pin number to activate your account. TAs are paid monthly and more information regarding Payroll can be found through Peoplesoft. You can also access My Harvard  for additional resources, including Library, courses, and University events.