The Department of Philosophy offers admitted PhD students a five-year financial aid package with an annual stipend, plus tuition and health care benefits. Students must be in good academic standing in the program to receive the aid.

Teaching or research assistantships or fellowships (or a combination of them) provide the stipend. The tuition benefit covers the cost of tuition for up to 14 credits per semester. The health care benefit pays for medical and dental insurance for an academic year.  Various fellowships administered by the Graduate School, and other University programs are available to incoming, intermediate, and advanced students on a competitive basis.

Following the second year, students in good standing receive summer research funding to prepare for their three-paper examination (oral preliminary exam).

Teaching Assistantships

The teaching assistantship is the most common form of support for our graduate students. In their first semester, first-year students typically hold a quarter-time teaching assistantship and a quarter-time departmental fellowship, progressing to a half-time teaching assistantship in their second semester. From the second year on, students who are teaching assistants usually hold half-time appointments. In their capacity as assistants, half-time teaching assistants work approximately 20 hours per week during the term of appointment. As a teaching assistant, students in their first several years of the program conduct discussion sections in an introductory course taught by an instructor or serve as graders for a more advanced course. Advanced students have opportunities to design their own course and teach as graduate student instructors.

Research Assistantships

Some students are appointed as research assistants to assist individual faculty members with their own research endeavors—for example, a book publication or grant research.

Summer Research Fellowships

The Department of Philosophy awards multiple summer research fellowships to graduate students at all levels of study in the program. These are competitive; selections are made by the Department of Philosophy Awards Committee.


Department of Philosophy First-Year Fellowships

The department awards prospective and continuing graduate students fellowships without teaching responsibilities. These fellowships are intended for diversity recruiting and outstanding new students.

Swenson/Kierkegaard Graduate Student Fellowship

This endowment provides a semester of financial support without teaching responsibilities to one or two graduate students at the dissertation writing stage of their career. Lillian Swenson, wife of David Swenson, the Department Chair from 1935-40, founded the endowment, by a bequest in memory of her husband's lifelong dedication to the study of the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard.

Tom Lapic Fellowship in Philosophy and Social Justice

This endowment provides summer fellowship funds for graduate students pursuing the study of ethics and its relevance to public practice. Tom Lapic, who was committed to social justice, civil liberties, and honesty and integrity in politics, died in the plane crash of October 25, 2002 that claimed the lives of Senator Paul Wellstone, Senator Wellstone's wife and daughter, and two other campaign aides. Trudy Lapic, Tom's wife, founded the endowment to honor her husband's ethical values, beliefs, and ideals. The Graduate School matches the interest on new principal for this fund from its 21st Century Graduate Fellowship Match.

Douglas E. Lewis Fellowship

This fellowship awards a philosophy graduate student who has had a paper accepted for publication in a journal, or a paper submitted to a journal that has been designated as "revise and resubmit." The fellowship was established to honor the service of Douglas E. Lewis who served as a professor of philosophy from 1964-2013. His passion to understand--that special "love of wisdom"--and his committed engagement with philosophical ideas has been a source of intellectual provocation and inspiration to generations of students, both undergraduate and graduate.

Norman Olav Dahl Graduate Fellowship in Philosophy

This fellowship provides summer funding to a full-time graduate student working towards a graduate degree (ABD status), in good standing, who demonstrates exceptional potential in their field. The fellowship was established to honor the service of Norman Olav Dahl who served as a professor of philosophy from 1967-2013 in ancient and moral philosophy. Alumni and friends established this fellowship to honor and respect Norman's contribution as a philosophical educator.

DOVE Fellowship

The DOVE (Diversity of Views and Experiences) Fellowship seeks to assist graduate programs to promote a diversity of views, experiences, and ideas in the pursuit of research, scholarship, and creative excellence. This diversity is promoted through the recruitment and support of academically excellent students with diverse ethnic, racial, economic, and educational backgrounds and experiences. Programs are encouraged to consider students from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the graduate programs. Ten fellowships are awarded annually by the Graduate School to first-year graduate students from underrepresented groups (US citizens and permanent residents). Prospective students must be nominated by their chosen major field early in the spring semester for entry in the following fall semester.

ICGC Fellowships

The Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC) is an interdisciplinary program that promotes graduate study and research on issues of peace, global change, social power, and justice. The program provides fellowships for students in their first and fourth years, while the Department provides support in the form of assistantships for the other years.

Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship is available to PhD candidates who have completed all degree requirements except the dissertation. Candidates must be nominated by their graduate program.

Other Resources