Departmental Financial Aid

Financial Aid from the Program

In this department, all applicants are considered for financial aid unless they indicate otherwise. Announcements of awards are made no later than April 1. Applicants may compete for Graduate School fellowships for entering students. Graduate School fellowships require departmental nomination. Interested students should consult with the director of graduate studies for further details.

The department provides qualified students the opportunity to gain college-level teaching experience as teaching assistants who conduct discussion sections in American and European history. Pending administrative approval and availability of funding, they earn at least $19,026 an academic year and carry nine semester hours. Each appointment is subject to annual review and may be renewed up to a maximum of six years.

General Guidelines
  • Departmental financial aid includes all graderships, teaching assistantships, teaching fellowships, research assistantships, dissertation fellowships, and dissertation research grants that are funded and administered by history.
  • In calculating total years of financial aid, one year of aid is the equivalent of two semesters of .50 FTE teaching assistantships. Graduate School Fellowships are treated the same way. Teaching Fellowships and Dissertation Fellowships are counted at .50 FTE per semester. Summer funding is excluded from calculations of total years of aid.
  • Teaching assistantships will usually be offered only to graduate students who have passed the PhD qualifying exam. The department may offer teaching assistantships to exceptionally promising students with MAs from other institutions. Students at earlier stages in their program may be awarded .25 FTE graderships, or, on rare occasions, research assistantships.
  • When the department offers a student a teaching assistantship in the first series of appointments for the following academic year, the appointment shall usually be renewable, contingent on satisfactory progress as defined in section II below, until financial aid reaches five years. If a student on the alternate list ultimately receives an appointment, when s/he applies for reappointment, s/he must compete with new students for a TAship.
  • Assuming a student continues to make satisfactory progress and performs satisfactorily in the classroom, he/she can expect five years of financial aid from the department. This does not include any departmental support of up to four semesters of .25 FTE aid given to students before receiving the MA degree. After the fifth year of aid, students may apply for up to two additional semesters of departmental financial aid. Since funds for such support are limited, this aid will be provided only on a competitive basis, contingent on evidence to be provided by the student and faculty advisor of satisfactory progress towards completing the PhD dissertation, and it is not to be considered assured.
  • Entering candidates with an MA who have been awarded multi-year Graduate School Fellowships may compete for a sixth year of support in any category of aid. Preference for dissertation fellowships will be given to students who have not previously had fellowship support.
Satisfactory Progress for Renewal of Financial Aid
  • No student in the program who applies for or who is seeking renewal of financial aid will be eligible for aid without completion of a Progress Report on the Graduate Student Progress System (GSPS) with confirmation by his/her adviser that s/he is making satisfactory progress.
  • No student currently receiving aid will be eligible for renewal of a gradership or teaching assistantship unless s/he receives a rating of “satisfactory” on the “Instructor Report on Graduate Student Teaching” form.
  • Any student failing to meet one or both of the criteria outlined in A and B shall be dropped from the roster of those eligible for financial aid. A student who subsequently meets the requirement(s) may petition the Graduate Studies Committee to be reinstated. S/he need not wait to petition until the next regularly scheduled annual assessment.
  • Students applying for a Teaching Fellowship, Dissertation Fellowship, or sixth year of aid must have passed comps and must have provided evidence of satisfactory progress towards completing the dissertation.
  • Students may request permission from the Director of Graduate Studies for a one or two year hiatus in their departmental financial aid because they are receiving financial support from another source, because they are away doing research, or because of a family emergency or health problem. Approved gaps in employment will not prejudice their applications for reappointment.
Reappointment Priorities for Teaching Assistantships
  • Former recipients of multi-year fellowships from the Graduate School and full-year regular appointees with satisfactory progress and satisfactory teaching reports have the highest priority.
  • One-semester appointments, sixth-year appointments, and those selected from the alternate list with satisfactory progress and satisfactory teaching will be considered together with new applicants. Sixth year applicants showing evidence of ability to complete all requirements for the PhD by the end of the 6th year will be given priority.
Teaching Fellowships
  • Teaching Fellowships are intended to give ABDs the opportunity to plan and teach independent classes. N.B.: The funding for such positions generally comes from departmental and A&S cost savings. The department does not receive the same amount each year. Some years, it has not been sufficient to award any teaching Fellowships. Moreover, these funds often are released at different times of the fiscal year. As a result, competitions can be at unpredictable and unusual times.
  • The appointment procedure for Teaching Fellows follows the general outlines for financial aid. Post-comps graduate students apply to be Teaching Fellows before the February 1 application deadline. These applications are considered by the Graduate Studies Committee, which will rank, on the basis of merit and seniority, potential Teaching Fellows for the following academic year and submit this list, along with its other financial aid recommendations, to the department for approval. The chair will then appoint Teaching Fellows from the list in order of ranking, as positions become available.
  • Sometimes funds become available for Teaching Fellowships after February 1. When this occurs, the chair will circulate a memo describing the openings and establishing the deadline for applications. When time permits, the Graduate Studies Committee will assess the applications and make recommendations to the faculty. Between semesters, the chair will appoint an ad hoc committee to make recommendations to him/her. The director of graduate studies will usually chair this committee.
Scholarships, Fellowships, and Research Grants
  • The History Department has a few endowments designated to fund graduate student scholarships, fellowships, and research grants. Donors have established purposes for which each may be used. Some must be granted only to students who have passed the PhD comprehensive examination, while others can be awarded only to students in certain fields of history. The annual income from the endowments varies according to University investment returns. Fellowships and grants may not be awarded every year to permit sufficient funds to accumulate. Fellowships and grants will not be awarded if the faculty determine there are no meritorious proposals. Proposals should be as explicit and persuasive as possible; budgets should be detailed and avoid excessive requests.
  • Within the flexibility permitted under the various restrictions, the department has established the following priorities:
    • Contingent on the availability of funds, the department will award at least one dissertation fellowship each year. Students must have passed their comprehensive examinations to be eligible. Students must also apply for funding from an outside granting agency. They must submit a copy of their proposal(s) to the Graduate Studies Committee, along with other appropriate material. Applicants for the dissertation fellowship generally should have completed much of the research for the dissertation and be well into the writing process. Preference in awarding the fellowship will normally be given to students expecting to complete the PhD in the year for which the dissertation fellowship is granted.
    • The department tries to help post-comps doctoral students defray some of the research-related expenses necessary to complete their dissertations. The extent of such support depends on the availability of funds for that year. Applicants must have passed their comprehensive examinations. They must also compete for funding from an outside granting agency. They must submit a copy of their proposal(s) to the Graduate Studies Committee along with other appropriate material.
    • The department cannot help defray expenses related to research for MA theses.
    • The department is unable to provide any funds for graduate student travel to conferences.

At a meeting on 4/29/08, the faculty voted to approve a policy allowing graduate students who receive financial aid from the department to take one undergraduate course per year as part of their nine-hour-per-semester enrollment requirement.

Please be aware: such courses cannot be counted on a student's Program of Study; these would be used in most instances to take necessary languages.

Keep in mind: fee remission eligibility from the Graduate School is limited to five years (10 semesters).

In order for such a course to be approved for the fee remission, a student's adviser must write a memo to the Graduate School, informing that office that the course is allowable as a prerequisite.

As a reminder:

Masters students must have 30 hours of graduate credit for the degree; 20 of these must be history hours. The MA degree must be completed in two years for the student to be considered as making satisfactory progress, and to receive financial aid.

PhD students must complete 72 hours beyond the BA, which can, and usually does, include the 30 hours taken for the MA. The department's usual expectation is that PhD student take the comprehensive exams by the end of the third year of course work to be considered as making satisfactory progress, and to receive financial aid.