All applicants to our program are automatically considered for financial assistance from the department as part of the admissions process. The typical admissions offer comes with the guarantee of a multi-year position as a teaching assistant, which covers nearly the entire cost of tuition, and provides a monthly stipend and annual health insurance coverage. Our standard funding packages are competitive with those of our peer institutions, and there are many opportunities for students to earn more generous packages through fellowships. Fellowship stipends range from $20,000 to well over $30,000 for a nine-month appointment.
Once students are admitted, both internal and external funding opportunities arise. The department has numerous research assistant opportunities that not only provide additional funds, but also introduce students to the faculty’s research projects and provide a valuable opportunity to learn by doing. Our more advanced students may be funded as assistant instructors, giving them the chance to teach their own course. Various centers on campus have funds from the federal government to offer very generous Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships, or provide research travel funds. And the department sponsors numerous mentoring and professional development activities aimed at helping students apply for and receive external fellowships and grants. Our students have won support from the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, and many other prestigious organizations.
We use an annual funding competition to track students’ progress through the program, to reward our best students and identify potential problems early. Unless a student is failing to make satisfactory progress toward the degree, our goal is to fully fund all ongoing students. Indeed, in most years all the students who apply are funded.