Financial Support

We provide five and a half years of financial support to all students (including international students) maintaining satisfactory academic progress. With the approval of the dissertation committee, this support can be extended for an additional semester  (the end of the sixth year). The Department provides a competitive stipend and coverage of all fees and non-resident tuition. Graduate student fees cover the cost of comprehensive health and dental insurance throughout the doctoral program.   Support for the graduate program is provided by training grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), federal, state, and private funds as well as university and extramural fellowships.  Students may also be appointed as Graduate Student Researchers (GSR) and Graduate Student Instructors (GSI).

The MCB Department administers four NIH training grants (T32) in the following research areas:  Molecular Basis of Cell Function (David Bilder / Elçin Ünal, Co-Program Director; NIGMS GM007232); Genomics (Daniel Rokhsar/ Michael Eisen, Co-Program Directors; NHGRI HG00047); Immunology and Pathogenesis Program (Ellen Robey/ Gregory Barton, Co-Program Director; NIAID AI100829); and Genetic Dissection of Cells and Organisms (Jasper Rine/ Iswar Hariharan, Co-Program Directors). 

California Residency

U.S. citizens who are not residents of California are expected to take the steps necessary to gain residency during their first year. Some examples of what is required to obtain residency in California include: Registering to vote and voting in California elections; filing California state income taxes; registering your car in and obtaining a driver's license from the State of California; designating California as your permanent address and establishing and maintaining active bank accounts in California and closing all out-of-state accounts. Nonresident tuition for the period during which students are establishing California residency (first year) is also covered by the department.  Residency is handled by the Office of the Registrar and further information can be obtained at their website:


Berkeley and Chancellors Fellowships – awarded to outstanding applicants to doctoral programs in all fields;

The University allocates a small number of fellowship nominations to each department, which enables Ph.D. programs to nominate outstanding candidates applying for admission for a fellowship award. Each department nomination is read by two members of a 25-30-member faculty review committee that is appointed by the Academic Senate. The University Faculty Review Committee meets after the initial review to discuss scores and then submits a final ranking to the Graduate Division based on that discussion. The awarding is based strictly on the University Faculty Review Committee’s final ranking. The Graduate Division administers the fellowships competition for the Graduate Council, and the awarding decisions of the University Faculty Review Committee are final and cannot be appealed.

Fellowship Amount (Berkeley, Chancellor’s)

Two years of funding: $34,000 annual stipend ($29,000 academic year, $5,000 summer) plus tuition/fee coverage. MCB students that are awarded a Fellowship receive a supplemental award from the department to ensure they receive the current $41,000 annual stipend (as of the 22-23 academic year). The Department guarantees that all students receive the same base level of funding throughout their studies. 

All prospective students are urged to apply for any extramural predoctoral fellowships for which they may be eligible, including those from the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, Department of Defense and, private and corporate fellowships. 

International Applicants

The Curci International Graduate Student Fellowship is available for promising international students. This fellowship covers all tuition and fees, including non-resident tuition and healthcare, plus the annual MCB stipend. International students will be considered at the time they apply for admission to MCB.