Section 16. Financial Support

As suggested below, financial support comes in many forms.  In whatever form, support is linked to a student’s progress toward the completion of the program in which he or she is enrolled.  Normally, departmental support will not be continued beyond the fifth year for students in both the MA/PhD program and the PhD program.

For up-to-date, extra-departmental financial support information, consult the Graduate Division’s website for financial support,  Here you can find links to national fellowship competition announcements, campus competitions and deadlines, links to funding sources and databases, access to the IRIS database, including search capability.

16.1.    Out of State Tuition

Some campus fellowships pay out-of-state tuition during a student’s entering year, and the English department can also occasionally fund a very limited number of partial tuition fellowships for first-year students.  Incoming students are expected to take immediate steps to establish residency so that they will not be required to pay tuition after the first year.  New residency laws stipulate not only continuous residence in California for a period of one year, but also financial independence from parents.  Students wishing to establish residency are urged to see the Campus Residency Deputy in the Registrar’s Office as soon as possible.

16.2.    Departmental Fellowships

Because departmental funds for fellowships are extremely limited, awards tend to be offered to incoming students of unusual promise. Applications for fellowships are reviewed by the Graduate Committee, whose recommendations are then sent to the Department Chair for final acceptance. Fellowship applications are evaluated on the basis of the student’s past academic record, Graduate Record Examination results, the writing sample, letters of support, and professional promise. In addition to fellowships awarded by the department, a number of other fellowships administered centrally by Graduate Division are available to incoming students on a competitive basis and on the nomination of the department. These include the Chancellor’s Fellowship; Humanities Special Fellowship, the Regents Special Fellowship, Doctoral Scholars Fellowship, Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship, and Graduate Opportunity Fellowships. The last three named are merit-diversity fellowships. All applicants for admission are automatically reviewed as possible candidates for these awards; no special application is required.

Graduate Student Fee Fellowship
This fellowship is awarded to continuing students based on both merit and financial need, and provides up to three quarters of fee payment in an academic year for eligible students. International students may also apply for this fellowship (for in-state fees only). A special financial need determination form is required of international students who apply for this fellowship. Apply in spring of the previous year for a three-quarter fellowship. The English Department administers these fellowships.

English Department Travel Grants
Applications are considered based on a number of factors including number of prior travel grant awards (limit of 2 awards in 3 consecutive years) and availability of funds within the specified time-frame. Priority will be awarded to applicants that will be presenting at a conference. Competition is open to PhD English students who entered with an MA or have completed the MA requirements. Awards are limited to one per student. Students must be in registered status at the time of the application. Allowable expenses are the actual cost of the airline ticket or equivalent ground transportation to and from the conference, conference fees, lodging and other travel expenses. Applications will be accepted for each pool until the funds are expended. Award will be in the form of a stipend of $350 California or $500 other U.S. locations. See the Staff Graduate Advisor for application details.

16.3     UCSB Graduate Division Fellowships for Continuing Students

Graduate Division fellowships are only available to those within what the Graduate Division defines as time to degree—7 years. These fellowships are awarded to new and continuing doctoral students following departmental nomination of candidates to the Graduate Division. Details and application forms for most of the following fellowships are made available by the department late winter quarter and due back to the department in late March or early April. Please also regularly monitor the Graduate Division website at for additional funding opportunities.

Graduate Opportunity Fellowships (GOF) / Graduate Research Mentorship Program (GRMP)
These fellowships are awarded to continuing underrepresented doctoral students following departmental nomination of candidates to Graduate Division. Students may receive this award, an annual stipend, and payment of fees and health insurance, twice during their graduate careers.

Dean’s Fellowship
This fellowship is also awarded to continuing doctoral students following department nomination of candidates to Graduate Division. Students may receive this award twice during their graduate career. Annual stipend, plus payment of fees and health insurance for all awardees. The call for applications is issued in the winter of the previous year.

President’s Dissertation Year Fellowship
This one-year merit-diversity fellowship pays a $24,000 stipend as well as in-state fees and health insurance for students in their dissertation year. In addition, the fellowship provides research support funds in the amount of $500. President’s Fellows must also present their research at another campus of the University of California. This fellowship is awarded to continuing doctoral students following department nomination of candidates to Graduate Division.

Graduate Humanities Research Fellowship
This fellowship provides one-year research grants for domestic doctoral students in the humanities. Students may receive this award twice during their graduate career. The award provides an annual stipend plus in-state fees and health insurance for one year. This fellowship is awarded to continuing doctoral students following department nomination of candidates to Graduate Division.

Graduate Division Dissertation Fellowship
Awarded to advanced graduate students in final stages of writing the dissertation, this quarter-long fellowship pays in-state fees plus $7,500. This fellowship is awarded to continuing doctoral students following department nomination of candidates to Graduate Division.

Humanities/Social Science Research Grant Program
This grant provides funds of up to $2,000 for research-related expenses, and may be used in conjunction with other graduate student support. MA and PhD students in the humanities and social sciences are eligible, as are international students. To apply, students propose an original research project and list direct expenses that will require funding. This fellowship is awarded to continuing doctoral students following department nomination of candidates to Graduate Division.

General Affiliates Dissertation Fellowships
These $3,000 awards are given to doctoral candidates to support final stages of dissertation preparation, and defray travel, printing, photocopying or living expenses. Merit will be assessed in terms of quality of the proposed topic and the candidate’s academic credentials. Fees and insurance are not covered by this award.

Kline Fund for International Studies Award
This award is granted for a project or program of study which promotes international understanding and world peace. This UC-wide competition provides an award between $500 and $3,000. Matching funds are provided by Graduate Division.

Academic Senate Doctoral Student Travel Grants
The Doctoral Student Travel Grant awards travel funds to graduate students who have been invited or selected to present a paper, present research, perform or exhibit at a major professional conference or meeting. Applicants must be doctoral students who are advanced to candidacy, or master of fine arts (M.F.A.) students who are in their second year of study and in candidacy prior to travel. Students are eligible to receive one Doctoral Student Travel Grant during their graduate career at UCSB. More information at:

Brython Davis Endowment Graduate Fellowship
The Brython Davis Endowment Graduate Fellowship is designated for children of regular members of the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. It provides one-quarter of fellowship support for a continuing graduate student.

16.4     Other UCSB Fellowships

College of Letters and Science Pre-ABD Research Grant
This grant provides support for travel, archival work and other research needs that lead to the formulation of a dissertation topic. Students must be at the prospectus stage and have excellent records. Applications will consist of a three-page research plan and separate budget, with letter from the academic advisor attesting to the applicant’s general academic potential, the appropriateness of the specific research proposed, the quality of the proposed dissertation topic. Dates of application will be announced each year.

The Dean’s Prize Teaching Fellowship
This fellowship is designed to reward excellence in teaching and to encourage curricular design. Award recipients develop and teach a one-quarter seminar as a Teaching Associate and are paid a $2,000 stipend and a $500 research account in addition to their usual TA salary.

The Consortium in Literature, Theory and Culture Dissertation Stipends
These awards, between $5,000 and $15,000, are intended to help doctoral students in the humanities make substantial progress toward completing their dissertations. Nominees for the Dissertation Stipend should be advanced to candidacy, and working on a dissertation topic compatible with the Consortium's goal of advancing collaborative research in literary studies and encouraging interdisciplinary and theoretical reflections on literature and culture. The stipends are intended to provide support for advanced graduate students working on their dissertations, and may also be used for purposes such as travel and research expenses.

Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
This is a single-quarter, $4,500 award plus payment of fees and health insurance, to promote research projects with an interdisciplinary focus. For students advanced to candidacy for the doctorate in an arts or humanities field or advanced MFA students. The call for applications comes in early fall and spring quarters.

Pacific Rim Research Program
Pacific Rim Research Program promotes the study of the Pacific Rim as a distinctive region. For the purposes of this Program, the term: “Pacific Rim" encompasses all states and nations that border the Pacific Ocean, including all of Southeast Asia. Recognizing that the interaction of peoples and states in the region has generated new issues of common concern, the Program places priority on research that is new, specific to the region, and collaborative-reaching across national boundaries and bridging academic disciplines. For more information:

16.5.    Tutorships

The Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS) offers positions as tutors of writing and other skills whenever possible.  The position of tutor requires a commitment of 4 to 10 hours per week to assist composition instructors in writing workshops and provide one-to-one tutorial assistance for students needing supplementary instruction.  Unless stated otherwise, tutorships are awarded with the expectation that the appointment will continue for the entire academic year, but appointees may be dismissed with appropriate notice at any time for poor tutorial performance or unsatisfactory academic progress.  Students wishing to apply for a tutorship should submit an application to CLAS.

16.6.    Teaching Assistantships

A Teaching Assistantship is the most common form of financial aid for graduate students. TA appointments may involve teaching literature courses or courses in the Writing Program and include a required program of training in the teaching of composition and literature.  The position of Teaching Assistant is crucial to the English Department, representing the place where graduate training, the undergraduate curriculum, and faculty teaching responsibilities intersect.

16.6.1  Teaching Assistant Duties and Workload

A TAship at the University of California is usually a half-time position (50%). The University’s contract with the ASE/UAW defines this as meaning a workload of up to 220 hours per quarter. The contract further specifies: “Workload is not measured strictly by actual hours worked. Rather, it is measured by how many hours the University could reasonably expect it to take a TA to satisfactorily complete the work assigned.” Actual tasks may vary among courses, depending on whether they are upper- or lower-division and on the pedagogical decisions of the individual supervising faculty, but in no case may the number of hours and the distribution of those hours exceed the limits laid out in the contract, which can be found online.  TAs in the English Department are assigned to large lecture courses. Duties include preparing for and attending all lectures for the course, leading two discussion sections per week of twenty-five students each, doing the required grading for the students in those sections, holding weekly office hours, and meeting regularly with the faculty instructor and other TAs. TAs may also be asked to participate in formulating exam and paper topics, give plenary lectures or contribute in other ways to lectures, conduct review sections, or support the course in other ways.  If questions arise that can’t be resolved by consultation with the supervising faculty member, TAs should consult the departmental TA Advisor.

Specific duties of TAs appointed by the Writing Program are determined by that program.

16.6.2. Terms of Employment and Length of Service

Teaching Assistantships may be made for one, two, or three quarters per academic year.  The total length of service will usually not exceed five years.  In order to hold a TAship, a student must be in good academic standing: regularly enrolled and maintain a 3.0 GPA, and have no more than 8 units of Incomplete coursework.  The University of California sets a limit of 50% time on graduate student employment.  TAs will not ordinarily be exempted from this limit.  In some cases, however, it may be acceptable for a TA, in addition to the teaching assignment, to take on a relatively minor secondary assignment as a research assistant or grader or to perform some other limited function. In such cases, the Graduate Advisor may, in consultation with members of the Graduate Committee, recommend to the Department Chair that an exception to the 50% rule be granted.  Such exceptions will only be recommended when it is evident that the additional work will not jeopardize the student’s timely progress toward the degree.  Exemptions will not be granted for students to undertake teaching duties in addition to their English Department TAships.  A student who wishes to accept such an additional teaching assignment will have to resign the English Department TAship in order to do so.

16.6.3. Selection of Teaching Assistantships

Potential openings for Teaching Assistant positions for the subsequent academic year will be posted in late winter or spring.

Initial TA appointments are based on the applicant’s academic record and letters of recommendation.  Added consideration is given to students with previous teaching and graduate school experience. Reappointment depends on satisfactory progress toward the degree (see Sections 3 and 4) and evaluations by the graduate faculty, teaching supervisors, and students.  Graduate students with incomplete grades may be disadvantaged in the competition for TAships (see 3.4). Students interested in a TAship should file an application with the Staff Graduate Advisor.  In all cases, after considering applications, the Graduate Committee sends recommendations to the Department Chair, who makes the appointments. If a vacancy occurs during the academic year, the files of all eligible students will be considered in filling the position.

16.6.4  Teaching Assistantships in Other Departments on Campus

There are teaching assistant opportunities in other departments on campus.  They can be found in departments or programs that don’t have a graduate program or graduate students such as Asian-American Studies, Black Studies, Chicano Studies, the Law and Society Program, and the Global Studies Program.  These departments and programs usually put out a call each quarter for teaching assistants to teach in their large lecture courses and more information can be found on the departmental websites or through a call to the departmental Staff Graduate Advisor.

16.7.    Summer Associateships

Applications are filed during winter quarter of the previous year; deadlines will be posted each year.

For students who have received the MA and passed the first qualifying exam, a limited number of summer Associateships are sometimes available. Appointments are recommended to the Summer Sessions administration by the Department Chair, in consultation with the Graduate Committee. Writing Program assignments are made by that department. The following factors will be considered in the selection process: quality of the candidate’s teaching record, area of programmatic need, progress toward the degree, seniority, and fairness.

16.8     Employment on Faculty or Project Grants

Faculty members or the department’s various centers and projects who have grants may employ students as research or clerical assistants. Students who are interested should give their names to the department’s Financial Assistant and the Staff Graduate Advisor.