Financial assistance is available in the form of Departmental Teaching Assistantships and various types of funding from the Graduate School. Both assistantships and Graduate School funding are limited, and are awarded to applicants on a competitive basis. Prospective students should apply for a Departmental Teaching Assistantship by submitting the Prospective Students Application for Assistantship form. This form can be filled out online and emailed to the Graduate Coordinator or their office assistant. Prospective students will automatically be considered for Graduate School funding if they have a completed assistantship application on file by the deadline of January 15 at 4:00 pm.
Although Departmental Teaching Assistantships are available in principle to both MA and PhD students, in practice they are usually awarded preferentially to students in the PhD program. Assistantships are not normally available for students entering the program in the Spring Semester. Students who are not awarded an assistantship in their entering year may apply for one in subsequent years.
All Departmental Teaching Assistantships must be renewed annually by submitting the Application for Assistantship form by 4:00 pm on January 2. Students who entered the program without an assistantship but now wish to apply for one should also submit this form. 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 students on assistantship at any one time. Only 2–4 Departmental Teaching Assistantships are available to entering students each year.
Students with Departmental Teaching Assistantships usually assist faculty members in large, introductory courses for their first two years. Work as an assistant includes grading, leading discussion sections and keeping records for the course. During their first semester, teaching assistants are also required to attend an orientation run by the Graduate School, and to take our Teaching Philosophy course (PHIL 7010). Students who already have an MA in philosophy, or who have passed their written qualifying examinations, may teach courses on their own as the instructors of record. Students teaching courses on their own are assigned a faculty teaching mentor to whom they may turn for information and advice.
International applicants who are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission must have a speaking score of 26 or higher on the TOEFL, and 8.0 or higher on the IELTS to be awarded a Departmental Teaching Assistantship and assigned instructional duties. Applicants admitted with lower scores must take supplemental language and culture 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 webpage on TA Policy.
Departmental Teaching Assistantships require an average weekly workload of 18 hours. In return for this work, Teaching Assistants receive a stipend, which for 2019–2020 is $20,031for PhD students and $18,852 for MA students. Assistantships also include a tuition waiver. In addition, the University pays part of the premiums for the mandatory health insurance. Students must pay University mandated student fees out of their stipend. Fees for 2019–2020 are $1145 per semester. More information about tuition and fees can be found here.
Further details about departmental policies governing teaching assistants are available in our Graduate Student Handbook. Further details about University policies governing teaching assistants are available from the Center for Teaching and Learning. Students are responsible for knowing these policies, and for filing required forms by the stated deadlines.