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Full Support for All Graduate Students

Communication Studies MA students receive two years of full support, while our PhD students receive four years of full support. In the past, this meant summer research support as well as academic year funding. Academic year funding mainly takes the form of teaching assignments, while summer support is based on a combination of fellowship support and teaching assignments. 

Full support involves a 50% appointment as a graduate instructor or teaching assistant for a normal academic year. Tuition benefits are included in the benefit; however, students are required to pay the relevant fees (health care, transportation, etc.) required of all graduate and professional students.

Teaching (Graduate Instructor)

Most students teach one class per semester to fulfill their 50% appointment. The first class taught for all entering students is most often public speaking. Students then typically gain the opportunity to teach other courses in the curriculum.

Teaching Assistantships

A graduate student may be assigned a teaching assistantship as part of their 50% appointment. A 50% teaching assistantship appointment requires the graduate student to help an instructor in two classes, normally, a large lecture and/or writing intensive class. The department tries to make available to all graduate students at least one teaching assistantship per academic year beyond their normal 50% appointment, if requested.   

For nine months of half time service, the current stipend is about $15,400. If students serve as a 50% graduate student and a 25% teaching assistant, the stipend approaches a little more than $19,000 for nine months.

Research Assistantships

Whether any research assistantships are available varies from year to year, depending on grant money secured by individual faculty.

Conference Travel Awards

The communication studies department provides a generous amount of conference funding for graduate students in residence whose original research has been accepted for presentation at a conference or conferences. It is currently $1,000 per academic year.

Fellowships For Incoming Students

The College of Liberal Arts offers one-year fellowships for outstanding incoming graduate students. Likewise, the University awards a Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) fellowship, both of which pay for an entire year and offer generous research support as well. First-year prospective graduate students are nominated by their chosen major field in early February. Only a relatively small number of departments receive these fellowships, for incoming students with exceptional test scores, grades, and academic achievements.

Other Fellowships

Many fellowships are open to U of M students beyond their first year of graduate work. Each year, several students receive additional support, including from the university-wide fellowships listed by the Graduate School.

Other Sources of Financial Aid

Because we provide full funding, students do not typically require additional financial aid support; however, graduate students are eligible for loan assistance. All inquiries should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Aid.