The Department offers financial support in the form of numerous Teaching Assistantships and a limited number of grants, fellowships, and instructor positions. New students should indicate their interest in receiving financial aid in the application materials due January 1. Continuing students interested in being considered for additional financial aid should notify the Department via the Report on Progress form due October 1 and make sure that their files remain up to date.
The Department Chair notifies students of their aid status as soon as possible. For new students, notifications typically occur in February, but can extend to the end of August. Continuing students are notified of their awards between April and August. After April 15 students who have accepted aid may not accept another department's offer without written permission from the Department.
The Graduate Admissions and Awards Committee (GAAC) award teaching Assistantships on a competitive basis. The GAAC is chaired by the Graduate Adviser, and includes several other members of the regular faculty appointed by the Chair on a rotating basis.
Assistantships are normally awarded for the two consecutive semesters of an academic year (fall and spring); occasionally, Assistantships are awarded for single semesters or for one of the summer sessions. Deadlines for application for summer or single-semester Assistantships are announced when these Assistantships become available.
Teaching Assistantships include medical benefits and rebates of tuition and fees (so little or no net tuition is normally paid). There is no state income tax.
The Department Chair assigns teaching Assistants to specific classes and professors shortly before the beginning of each semester. The requests of faculty and students are taken into consideration in TA assignments, as are the needs of the Department. One TA is usually assigned to the Dickson Chair.
Numerous resources and links for TAs and their supervisors are online.
Applying for Additional Teaching Assistantships
All departmental graduate awards are made on a one-semester or one-year basis. Upon admission, some students are assured multiple semesters of Departmental Support* (typically four semesters for Master’s students and six semesters for doctoral students). Such assurances are contingent on the student making normal progress in the graduate program, receiving adequate teaching evaluations, and on the Department receiving adequate budgetary resources from the University.
All students wishing an additional year of support, including those who have been assured multi year support on admission, need to request this support on the Report on Progress form due October 1.
Only under the most exceptional circumstances (such as a truly extraordinary student needing an extra semester in order to complete what the Department deems to be a truly significant piece of research) will students in the Master’s degree program receive more than the maximum of two years (four long semesters) of Departmental Support, or students in the PhD degree program receive more than the maximum of three years (six long semesters) of Departmental Support.
Students who anticipate needing funds for a longer period should begin their search for other support as early as possible. Obtaining fellowships, scholarships, and research funds from outside sources typically involves several months of lead-time for applications to be processed and reviewed.
12 Semester Review of employment: the student's dissertation or treatise committee reviews the status of the dissertation or treatise at the end of the twelfth semester of University employment (Teaching Assistant, Assistant Instructor, Graduate Research Assistant, Academic Assistant, Assistant (Graduate) or Tutor-Grad) and reports that status in writing to the GSC.
14 Semester Limit for employment: graduate students may be appointed as a Teaching Assistant, Assistant Instructor, Graduate Research Assistant, Academic Assistant, Assistant (Graduate) or Tutor-Grad for up to a maximum of 14 long semesters while pursuing a graduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin. Petitions for extension of this limit require a presentation by the student to the doctor’s degree committee, a review of the previous two years of dissertation activity, and an action plan for completion in two semesters. Petitions need to approved by the Graduate Adviser and the Graduate School.
* Departmental support is defined as including most Teaching Assistantships allocated by the Department's Graduate Admissions and Awards Committee, University Fellowships (pre-emptive and continuing) awarded by the Graduate School upon recommendation of the Department, and Write-Up Fellowships awarded by the College of Liberal Arts upon recommendation by the department. Other grants, awards, and research assistantships (including the assistant assigned to the Dickson Chair) are not considered Departmental Support and thus do not count against the funding semester limit. When a Master’s student is admitted to the doctoral program, the student becomes eligible for up to six semesters of support, even if they have already received departmental support in the MA program .
New students are considered by the Admissions and Awards Committee for all fellowships for which they qualify. The Department's Graduate Admissions and Awards Committee recommends candidates for Harrington Doctoral Fellows in November, and Recruiting Fellowships early in the spring semester; awards are usually announced by April 15 by the Graduate School.
These fellowships are awarded to new students entering a graduate program and are nominated by the department’s Graduate Admissions and Awards Committee. Students must be in the top ten per cent nationally; this is demonstrated by GPA, GRE (where available) and other factors, as determined by the Admissions and Awards Committee with the approval of the Graduate School. The number, amount, and duration of the awards are determined by the Department, but typically extend for one or two years.
Harrington Doctoral Fellows
Applicants must not be current graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin (undergraduates at The University of Texas at Austin can apply), but in order to be eligible for the Fellowship they must successfully apply for admission to the doctoral degree program. Fellows may earn a Master’s degree in the process of completing their doctoral work or be admitted with a Master’s degree. The Harrington Doctoral Fellowship may be a one-year, two-year, or three-year award. In the case of a multi-year award, funding after the first year is contingent on the Fellow's making satisfactory academic progress. A multi-year Fellow may hold his/her other fellowship in consecutive years or defer part of the fellowship for later in the degree programs.
Harrington Doctoral Fellows are appointed for 12 months and receive a stipend of $25,000 in addition to full tuition and required fees, student medical insurance, and an allowance of $2,000 for travel, equipment, books, or other professional expenses. Summer enrollment is not required. Fellows may enroll in summer school if desired, and they will have their tuition and required fees paid but will not receive an increase in their stipends.
To be considered for a Harrington fellowship, students must have all materials submitted to the Department by December 1.
Individual faculty may apply to the Graduate School for Research Internships, which provide one year of funding for a graduate student to work on a research project, and does not require teaching. As with Research Assistants, the supervising faculty member is responsible for recruiting and choosing recipients of the award.
Awards for Continuing Students
Continuing students do not apply directly for these fellowships, but are nominated by members of Departmental faculty. The Department's Graduate Admissions and Awards Committee recommends candidates for University Fellowships early in the spring semester; the Graduate School usually announces awards by April 15. University Fellowships for continuing students include One Year Continuing Fellowships, Harrington Dissertation Fellows, Tuition Fellowships, and Bruton Fellowships.
One-Year Continuing Fellowship
These fellowships are awarded on the basis of accomplishment, need, and especially the student's description of plans for scholarly endeavors. Continuing students do not apply directly for these fellowships, but rather are nominated by members of Departmental faculty.
This fellowship entitles students to pay in-state tuition, and provides funding to help pay most or all of the in-state tuition bill. Continuing students do not apply directly for these fellowships, but rather are nominated by members of Departmental faculty.
Continuing students do not apply directly for these fellowships, but rather are nominated by members of Departmental faculty.
Harrington Dissertation Fellows
Applicants must be candidates for a doctoral degree. The Harrington Dissertation Fellowship is a one-year award.
Harrington Dissertation Fellows are appointed for 12 months and receive a stipend of $25,000 in addition to full tuition and required fees, student medical insurance, and an allowance of $2,000 for travel, equipment, books, or other professional expenses. Summer enrollment is not required. Fellows may enroll in summer school if desired, and they will have their tuition and required fees paid but will not receive an increase in their stipends.
Department faculty manage a variety of Research Assistantships associated with various ongoing projects. Sole responsibility for choosing students for these positions resides with the respective faculty. Students may serve multiple years subject to faculty discretion.
The Chair may appoint Assistant Instructors (AIs) to teach lower division courses. Graduate students who perform this task have outstanding teaching qualifications, including excellent prior teaching evaluations as a TA. These appointments meet special, critical teaching needs of the undergraduate program which cannot be addressed by regular faculty, and involve special funding.
An AI must have completed a Master’s Degree or an equivalent thirty (30) semester hours of graduate coursework, and must formerly have been a TA for at least one semester. Every beginning AI must take a course (398T) in teaching methodology. With permission from the Department Chair and the Graduate School, an AI may substitute prior teaching experience at a regionally accredited college or school for 398T and the TA experience. Having taken 398T does not ensure that a student will be offered an AI position, and indeed students need to be aware that such positions are only intermittently available. Since 398T is only occasionally offered within the Department, students interested in teaching should take the course when it is offered.
Funds from the Erich W. Zimmermann Professorship in Geography are available on a competitive basis for graduate students in Geography at the University of Texas. The fellowship is named in honor of Professor Donald D. Brand (1905-1984), distinguished Southwestern and Latin American geographer, archaeologist, and historian, and founder of UT's Department of Geography. For more information see the Brand Fellowship Web Page.
The Robert E. Veselka Endowed Fellowship for Graduate Research Travel - and in Memory of Stephen T. Moore provides funding for Master’s thesis or doctoral fieldwork. The fellowship application procedures are announced early in the spring semester, and recipients are determined by the GAAC.
The Office of Graduate Studies provides small grants to students for attendance at major professional meetings (normally the Annual Meeting of the AAG). Application forms are available from the Graduate Coordinator; deadlines vary from year to year, but usually are in January. The Department strives to provide additional support for attendance at the AAG and SWAAG annual meetings. Other forms of financial support for attending professional meetings may be obtained from Area Studies programs or other interdisciplinary institutes on campus.
Graduate Travel Award for Teaching Excellence
This is granted to students with outstanding success in teaching. Evidence for success primarily includes survey results from semester teaching evaluations, and is evaluated by the GAAC. Additional awards are provided for graduate student achievement and leadership.
Note : The Catalog of the University ( General Information, The Undergraduate Catalog, The Graduate Catalog, and The Law School Catalog) is the document of authority for all students. The requirements given in the catalog supersede information issued by any academic department. The University reserves the right to change the requirements given in the catalog at any time. Please be aware that different admissions procedures apply to foreign applicants, U.S. applicants, and former University of Texas students applying for readmission.