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Financial Support

Symbolic Systems does not provide financial support to master's students. In some cases, students are able to obtain financial support through research and teaching assistantships, or hourly employment. In addition, the Stanford Financial Aid Office might be able to help graduate students cover the cost of attendance from a variety of loan sources. Pease refer to the Financial Aid office website for information about funding and the student budget.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program  

Join dozens of Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences students who receive up to three years of funding and valuable leadership skills as Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS). KHS admits up to 100 select applicants each year from across Stanford’s seven graduate schools, and delivers engaging experiences that prepare them to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders ready to address complex global challenges. As a scholar, you join a multidisciplinary and multicultural cohort, participate in up to three years of leadership programming, and receive full funding for up to three years of your graduate studies at Stanford.

Candidates of any country may apply. KHS applicants must have earned their first undergraduate degree within the last seven years, and must apply to both a Stanford graduate program and to KHS. If you aspire to be a leader in your field, we invite you to apply. The KHS application deadline is October 11, 2023. Learn more about KHS admission.

Teaching and Research Assistantships

Students may also apply for any available positions as Teaching or Research Assistants. Assistantships, when available, are usually arranged quarter by quarter, and are not usually available for the entire duration of a student's degree program.

  • Research Assistantships: students may ask individual faculty whether they have funding that could support a Masters' student in Symbolic Systems to do work in that faculty member's research group. Your chances of securing funding with a faculty member who can support M.S. students will improve substantially if you first  take a course taught by the faculty member and/or do research with them for credit only. If you prove yourself to be a valuable team member, you may eventually work into a funded position. See also the following:
    • CURIS - Website containing a year-round index of current research projects with Computer Science faculty who are looking for undergraduates and masters students. Database including masters-level RAships is available to students logged in with a SUNET ID.
  • Teaching Assistantships: students may apply for Course Assistant and Teaching Assistant positions on campus. 
    • Find Grad Teaching Opportunities (list of TA positions in departments and programs that that recruit students from other departments to fill their positions)
    • Symsys 1 (Minds and Machines) hires 5 to 7 Symbolic Systems students per year as TAs. Contact the instructor(s) of the course at least one quarter prior to when it is offered to inquire about these opportunities.
    • Computer Science - Course Assistants (CAs) (website for applying for CS Dept. TAships, open to Symbolic Systems students, but priority goes to CS students)

Cost of Attendance and Tuition

Symbolic Systems MS students are required to enroll in at least 8 units per quarter. Coterminal students may finish the program in 3 quarters, while external students usually take up to 6 quarters or two academic years. Read more about graduate tuition rates and the Student Budget.