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Funding

All students admitted to the PhD program are guaranteed six years of financial support, MFA students for three years, which includes a stipend of at least $15,000, tuition waiver, and comprehensive health insurance. Financial support is distributed through fellowships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships, or graduate instructorship. To receive support, a student must be registered for courses or thesis credits, as well as demonstrating satisfactory and timely progress toward the degree.

First-Year Fellowships

First-year students are eligible for the following awards, which do NOT require separate application beyond the admissions application.

  • College of Liberal Arts Fellowships: Awarded to one or two first-year students in the English PhD program.
  • Diversity of Views and Experience Fellowships (DOVE): The DOVE program assists departments in recruiting and retaining US citizens underrepresented in graduate study. If you believe you qualify, write a statement on how your background, experiences, and achievements will contribute to the University's goal of promoting excellence through diversity and upload it through your admissions application under Statements #2.
  • Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change Scholar Fellowships (ICGC): The ICGC Program promotes graduate study and research committed to the interdisciplinary study of the global south in the context of global change. If you believe you qualify, write a statement and upload it through your application under Statements #2.
  • English Department Fellowships and Klaeber, Allen, and Ruud Awards: Some awards may be for only one semester with a teaching assistantship for the second semester.
  • Canton Fellowship: Provides funding to Cantonese-speaking students from the People's Republic of China enrolling in English literature and/or English writing courses. Write a short statement on how your background and experiences meet the requirements and upload it through your admissions application under Statements #2. Support may be extended past first year.

Teaching Assistantships

First-year students are eligible for the following half-time (20 hours/week) assistantships, which do NOT require separate application beyond the admissions application.

  • Teaching Assistantships in Literature and Language (EngL): Available to all PhD students through their sixth year in the program and MFA students through their third year. On occasion, an MA or seventh-year PhD student may receive a teaching assistantship, though this is not guaranteed as part of admission. Teaching assistants in their first year of teaching will either act as graders or conduct discussion sections for large undergraduate courses; some may teach their own courses in later years. Training is provided by a year-long teacher-preparation program.
  • Teaching Assistantships in Creative Writing (EngW): Available to MFA students through their third year. Graduate students teach an autonomous discussion section of EngW 1101: Introduction to Creative Writing and later teach an autonomous creative writing class.
  • Teaching Assistantships in Composition through the Department of Writing Studies: Graduate students typically teach autonomous composition courses after teaching literature/creative writing recitations or if they have prior experience (such as teaching in an MA program or in high school).

Awards and Support for Later Years

Graduate students beyond their first year will need to apply for the following awards.

  • Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship: University-wide competition for mid-career PhD students to study with faculty at one of the University’s interdisciplinary research centers or institutes.
  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships: University-wide competition for students in the final stages of dissertation writing.
  • Department of English Research Assistantships: Individual faculty members who receive funding for research hire graduate students of their choice on an as needed basis. The availability of these positions varies from year to year.
  • Administrative Fellowships: Occasional job openings in English (e.g. as assistant academic advisor) or in other University offices (e.g. in CLA Administration as administrative fellow). Watch for internal postings.
  • Department of English travel, writing, and research awards: Writing fellowships (two dissertation, two creative) are available for PhDs and MFAs. PhD and MA students may apply for grants to pay for a portion of travel to give conference papers, conduct archival research, or go to a job interview. Short-term research grants of $1000 are available to PhD students to pay for summer travel directly related to scholarly work. Creative writing graduate students may apply for summer support for research and/or travel related to their MFA thesis.
  • Graduate Research Partnership Program: The GRPP program provides $4,000 summer awards for selected English PhD and MFA students, who are advised by a faculty member. Applications are judged on the quality and significance of the work proposed; value of the experience to the student’s academic development; value of the support to the scholarly/creative achievement of the project; and evidence of timely progress toward degree.
  • Samuel Holt Monk Memorial Prizes for Published Scholarship: Awarded to English graduate students for scholarly articles appearing the previous year (between March 24 and the following March 23). Judged on subject importance, writing quality, and publisher significance.
Other Funding Sources
Graduate students can also find support outside the department.
 
  • The Graduate School Fellowship Office (314 Johnston Hall) can provide information on fellowships and scholarships awarded by external foundations and organizations and on miscellaneous funds available within the U of M.
  • Other UMN departments or offices sometimes employ English graduate students as part-time teaching or administrative assistants. Such positions are often listed with the Graduate Assistant Employment Office.
  • The Office of Student Finance (200 Fraser Hall) accepts applications for scholarships, loans, and work-study grants.
  • The Employment Office (170 Donhowe Building) maintains lists of on- and off-campus jobs.