Graduate students in Columbia's Music Department who remain in good academic standing are fully funded through the fifth year (or fourth year, if you are granted Advanced Standing). Some support through the sixth year may be available, but is not assured. See the GSAS web page on Financial Aid for all details about graduate funding.
Students on fellowships will be expected to meet the deadlines established by GSAS for completing all M.A. requirements within four semesters, and those for the M.Phil. within eight semesters from initial registration. Financial support is not usually available beyond the sixth year.
From the second year on, fellowships are awarded in the form of instructional appointments. Continuation on fellowship is contingent on two things: (1) satisfactory academic progress (including meeting the above deadlines), and (2) satisfactory performance in assigned instructional appointments.
Experience in the classroom is integral to the Teaching Fellows program, which seeks to offer a kind of professional "apprenticeship." An important corollary of this is that any student who comes to Columbia on fellowship without fluent English is required to take and complete successfully in the first year the International Teaching Assistant Program, offered in Columbia at no cost to the student.
THE FIRST YEAR
Each year a limited number of first-year students are appointed GSAS Fellows. They have no instructional obligations. They receive a stipend, and their tuition and health fees are covered by GSAS.
THE SECOND THROUGH FIFTH YEARS
All students on fellowship in their second through fifth years will be required to hold an instructional position or the equivalent in the Music Department. Financial aid will come in four components: (1) a salary from the instructional or equivalent position, (2) tuition, (3) health fees, and (4) a fellowship supplement bringing the salary up to a set minimum.
Dissertation Fellowships are available to students in their fifth and (sometimes) sixth years of registration.
It is important for you to understand thoroughly the procedures involved. Even though you hold a continuing fellowship, you must apply each year for both the fellowship and an instructional assignment, following standard procedures.