Financial assistance is available in the form of Departmental Teaching Assistantships and Graduate School Research Assistantships. These assistantships are limited in number, and are awarded to applicants on a competitive basis. Although Departmental Assistantships are available in principle to both MA and PhD students, in practice they are usually awarded to students in the PhD program. Graduate School Assistantships are awarded only to PhD students. Assistantships are not normally available for students entering in the Spring Semester. Students who are not awarded an assistantship in their entering year may apply for one in subsequent years.
All assistantships must be renewed annually. Renewal is contingent on satisfactory performance of assistantship duties, as well as satisfactory academic performance. Assistantships are normally renewable for up to five years for PhD students and two years for MA students. The Department typically has 15–18 students on assistantships at any one time. In the past four years (2010–2014), the number of Departmental Assistantships available to entering students has varied from 1 to 3, and the number of Graduate School Assistantships awarded has varied from 2 to 5. Because Graduate School Assistantships cannot be passed on to another applicant if the original awardee turns them down, the total number of enrolled new students on assistantship during this period has varied from 1 to 5.
Students with Departmental Teaching Assistantships usually assist faculty members in large, introductory courses for their first two years. During their first semester, they are also required to attend a teaching assistant orientation, and take our Teaching Philosophy course (PHIL 7010). After students have passed their written qualifying examinations, they may teach courses on their own, as the instructors of record. They are assigned a faculty teaching mentor to whom they may turn for information and advice. Further details about Departmental policies governing teaching assistantships are available in our Graduate Student Handbook. Further details about University policies governing teaching assistants are available from the Center for Teaching and Learning.
International applicants who are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission must have a score of 26 or higher on the TOEFL iBT or 7.5 or higher on the IELTS to be assigned instructional duties. Applicants admitted with lower scores must take supplemental language courses before they can be assigned instructional duties. For further information on the University policy governing language proficiency for teaching assistants, please see the Center for Teaching and Learning website page on TA Policy.
In addition to these Departmental Teaching Assistantships, there are several types of Research Assistantship available through the Graduate School, for entering PhD students only. The Department must compete for these every year, and will automatically select the most highly qualified applicants to put forward as candidates. Successful candidates will serve as research assistants to faculty members for two years, and then will have a Departmental Teaching Assistantship for the remainder of their eligibility period. More information about Graduate School Assistantships can be found here.
Departmental Teaching Assistantships require an average weekly workload of 18 hours. In return for this work, Teaching Assistants currently receive a yearly stipend of $16,452. Graduate School Assistantships have variable workloads and stipends, depending on the exact type of assistantship. More information can be found here. Assistantships of all types include a tuition waiver. The University also pays part of the premiums for the mandatory health insurance. Students must pay University mandated student fees out of their stipend. These fees are currently $1123 per semester. More information about tuition and fees can be found here.
The application form for Departmental Assistantships is currently under revision. Please contact the Graduate Coordinator if you wish to apply for a Departmental Assistantship. The due date for these applications is January 2, 2015. All applicants for Departmental Assistantships will automatically be considered for Graduate School Assistantships as well.