Grad Stipend Information

Please notify the Graduate Student Affairs Officer if you have a problem with your stipend so it may be resolved quickly!

The graduate student stipend is currently payable over a twelve month period, with pay at the end of each month. Your pay comes from several sources depending on your year, project funding, fellowship status, etc.

Funding Sources

There are several funding sources at Berkeley. The most common are:

All funding is taxable, but payments from the campus payroll, which usually involves funds from grants or fellowships, do NOT have withholdings.  In addition, this funding source does not deduct funds for the summer retirement or the mandatory union dues while a GSI.

Electronic Funds Transfer

You should sign up for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) here to ensure you receive your stipend in a timely manner.

If you have have previously authorized EFT, it will remain in effect through new semesters and academic years.

For students who have not signed up for EFT, a check will be produced and held for 21 days at Billing and Payment Services, 140 University Hall. Checks that are not picked up within 21 days will be mailed to a student's local address on file in BearFacts or permanent address if no local address is on file.

Checks will also be produced for students who are not registered. Once a student's registration is complete, these will be available for pick up; if registration occurs more than 21 days after a check is generated, it will be mailed.

Please note: EFT for fellowship stipend payments is separate from automatic payroll deposits for GSI/GSR positions. Each needs to be authorized separately.

Summer Deductions

The year at Berkeley is divided into 3 semesters. The Fall and Spring semesters both consist of 5 months, and the Summer consists of June and July.

During the months of June and July you will notice a DCP (Defined Contribution Plan) deduction on your pay stub. This deduction goes towards a University retirement program which is an alternative to OASDI (Social Security). In general, during the semester you wouldn't have encountered this deduction because you were registered and enrolled in a minimum of 6 units and were exempted from this particular withholding. Since registration is not required in the summer, graduate student employees do not qualify to be exempt from this withholding during the months of June and July. As such, students who do not meet exemption criteria, registered and enrolled in 2 units for summer sessions, will be required to contribute 1.45% of their gross earnings to Medicare and 7.5% of their gross earnings to the Defined Contribution plan (DCP), a tax-deferred University retirement program which is an alternative to OASDI (Social Security). Note: All student employees holding F1 and J1 visas will be exempt from these withholding requirements. Also, funding from grants or fellowships are typically exempt as well.

At some point if you wanted to roll-over or cash-out your retirement savings, you can. However, there are specific details, eligibility, and procedures for this. For information regarding this please contact the College of Chemistry HR/Payroll office. They may appropriately advise and/or point you to the correct resources with central campus HR/Payroll/Retirement offices. Here is a PDF regarding DCP.