Graduate Financial Aid
Financial Aid Form - Current Students Only (Editable MS Word Format)
Applicants for admission who indicate that they would like to receive financial aid are automatically considered for all fellowships. The number and value of the fellowships available vary from year to year. The department makes several awards to outstanding members of the entering class. If such a student does superior work during the first year, he or she may expect to have continued fellowship aid, and a graduate teaching assistantship during the second and third years. A student who enters without fellowship aid, but who performs in a superior manner during the first year, may receive aid in the second and third years, although competition is stiff for such funds. Approximately 80% of all students in their second and third years hold teaching assistantships; some are given the opportunity to hold graduate instructorships and teach their own courses as they complete their Ph.D. dissertations. Dissertation research support is also available both internally and from outside funding sources. The University has a fellowship office to guide graduate students in preparing applications for outside research support. The department does not have the financial resources except in rare cases to offer financial aid beyond four years of graduate study. No financial aid is available for students seeking the M. A. as their final degree.
The most important fellowships awarded annually by the Department are:
- President's Fellowships, awarded by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to exceptional students, and renewable for three succeeding years.
- Philip Francis duPont Fellowships, available in all fields of history.
- Virginia Fellowships, offered by the Carter G. Woodson Institute in Afro-American and African Studies, to advanced graduate students for dissertation work in African or Afro-American history.
- Foreign Language and Area Study "National Resource Fellowships," available for students working in South Asian history or Eastern Europe/Russia.
- Quinn Foundation Fellowships for an outstanding student in his/her last year of the Ph.D. program.
- National Science Foundation Fellowships for the study of the history of technology and/or the environment.
The department is also home to a number of Jefferson Scholars. Additional fellowship information can be found on the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Fellowship Web Page.
Students applying for financial aid may expect to learn the results of their fellowship applications by April 1. Though successful applicants have until April 15 to accept or decline an award, a prompt reply will be appreciated by those next in line. Some formal fellowship offers come only from the Dean of the Graduate School, but the Department will try to advise successful applicants in advance concerning the amount of the award for which they have been nominated. Applicants who have not been notified of a fellowship award by the end of April can usually assume that the department has not been able to offer them such assistance for the coming year, although applicants considering awards from other universities are welcome to contact the department's Director of Graduate Studies for an informal assessment of their position here.
The most common source of financial support for graduate students beyond the first year is teaching assistantships. The department regards these as both a source of financial aid and an opportunity to learn from working as an apprentice to a faculty member. Usually the assistant has full charge of three discussion sections of a large lecture course and in addition meets with the faculty member in charge of the course for supervision and discussion. Teaching assistantships pay approximately $4500 per semester, and include tuition remission and health insurance. Instructorships, which entail complete responsibility for an undergraduate course, are reserved for advanced students.
The department also employs graders in classes larger than forty students but not large enough to merit teaching assistants. Graderships also afford some teaching-related experience, supervised by an experienced faculty member. The Director of Graduate Studies makes these appointments at the beginning of the fall and spring terms through informal procedures based on faculty requests.
The Department also encourages its graduate students to qualify for the Federal College Work-Study Program and coordinates work assignments made under this program with students' academic programs as far as possible. Under this program, graduate students may serve as paid research assistants to faculty members. Application and inquiries should be made directly to the Office of Financial Aid to Students, Michie North Building, 918 N. Emmet St. (telephone 982- 6000). History graduate students also frequently find work in the University Library. Application should be made to the Office of the Librarian, Alderman Library.
The Office of Financial Aid to Students also administers a number of loan programs for which graduate students are eligible. Since many loan and aid programs have early application dates, sometimes as early as March 31 for the following academic year, students should not wait to hear from the History Department about fellowship offers before writing to the Financial Aid Office but should set the process in motion as soon as they apply for admission if they might be interested in Work-Study or guaranteed student loans. Aid application papers can then be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid as soon as admission is granted.