The Department of Astronomy plans to support all students who are accepted for graduate study. The department does not require or expect a statement of financial need upon application to the Graduate School. Students are accepted and supported purely on the basis of merit. The normal pattern of student support is a combination of a national or a University fellowship, a teaching fellowship, and a research assistantship.
Prospective students are urged to apply for outside fellowships that offer tuition and/or stipend support during graduate school. Among the many fellowships available are the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, the Hertz Foundation, the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, and the NASA GSRP Fellowship. International students should apply for outside funding such as the Fulbright and Knox Fellowships. You may also use this Harvard GSAS search tool for additional opportunities.
Students gain teaching experience during their graduate career by teaching part-time (usually ten hours a week) for a minimum of two semesters. The first two semesters of teaching are part of a student's compensation package. Students who undertake additional teaching (with the consent of their advisor and the Committee on Academic Studies) will normally keep half of their teaching stipend if sufficient research funds are available. Students with active outside awards, which pay their tuition and stipend in full, may keep all of their funds from teaching.