Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems has awarded grants to four New York State companies through its Innovation Fund. Since 2014, the SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund has helped companies overcome barriers to the commercialization of potentially transformative products…
Strengthening the Graduate Student Experience, Together
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Last semester, our community began our collective work to reimagine and redefine what academic excellence means at Syracuse University. Many of you participated in the academic strategic planning process and contributed important feedback and ideas on how we can get to where we want to be. This included robust conversation around the graduate student experience.
While we continue to advance the next iteration of the academic strategic plan this semester, we will take steps now to strengthen how our graduate students experience Syracuse University. As such, together with Graduate School Dean Peter Vanable, we will implement the following actions:
- Raise Stipend Levels: As shared in December, beginning in the 2023-24 academic year, the minimum stipend levels will increase from $16,980 to $20,000 for master’s students with full 20-hour academic year assistantships and from $16,980 to $22,000 for Ph.D. students. Additionally, I am pleased to announce that all schools and colleges will also increase assistantship stipends by at least 5% on average, inclusive of increases to the minimum for the 2023-24 academic year.
- Guarantee Four Years of Funding: Beginning in the 2023-24 academic year, Syracuse University will assure at least four years of academic year funding for Ph.D. students through teaching assistantships, fellowships and, where appropriate, research assistantship support on faculty funded grants. Such support, together with a continued focus on growth in assistantship stipends and summer funding opportunities, will help to ensure that our Ph.D. programs continue to attract outstanding students.
- Nearly Double Summer Funding: The University will provide permanent base funding to the Graduate School to support 40 additional pre-dissertation fellowships on a go forward basis. This brings the total commitment to 70 summer fellowship slots, inclusive of the existing summer dissertation fellowship program that has been in place for several years.
- Increase Summer Fellowship Stipends: The University will provide base funding to the Graduate School to increase the summer fellowship stipend to $4,500, up from $4,000, representing a 13% increase for summer fellowship stipends.
These enhancements build on changes made in recent years and months. Together with the Graduate Student Organization (GSO), and with the support of many faculty members, we have made great progress to increase support of graduate students, including the following:
- Premium Health Care Plan for Graduate Assistants and Fellows: Graduate students have stronger and more affordable health care benefits than ever before. The platinum level plan is highly subsidized by the University, reducing graduate assistants’ and fellows’ annual premium costs by nearly $1,800. Additionally, all full-time graduate and law students have access to affordable vision and dental benefits.
- Increased Child Care Subsidies: To meet the needs of graduate students who either have children or plan to become parents, the University doubled the support for qualifying graduate students from $500 per child to $1,000 per child under age 6, raising the maximum subsidy per family to $2,000. Later this semester, we’ll also be announcing a new parent accommodation policy to provide time for graduate students who become parents to bond with their child.
- Prioritizing the Whole Experience: In partnership with the GSO and faculty, the University has taken several steps to prioritize and elevate the whole student experience. This includes increasing our focus and resources on wellness and student life; establishing the Office of Professional and Career Development to nurture career readiness, both in academia and industry; establishing a digital platform to assist with off-campus housing searches; and establishing the Graduate Faculty Council to enable faculty to provide guidance and counsel on important issues related to graduate student success.
Our graduate students play an important role in our community. Not only are they training to be the next generation of educators, scholars, researchers and administrators, but they’re also helping to teach and support our undergraduate students. It is my hope that these new actions, combined with previously achieved progress, will provide our graduate students an even stronger environment in which they can thrive, excel and succeed.
We will continue to work closely with the GSO and other graduate students to ensure they feel and are supported, valued and empowered.
Vice Chancellor, Provost and Chief Academic Officer