Funding for Graduate Students

Students in their first five years of study at the University of Washington are guaranteed financial support via Academic Service Employment (TA, RA, SA) that includes a stipend, tuition, and benefits at the rates set by the Graduate School.  In order to remain eligible for this funding, students must be meeting expected standards of progress as set by departmental policy and evaluated by their faculty committee on an annual basis.  Students are also eligible to apply annually for competitive departmental and university fellowships, which provide comparable levels of support while exempting students from service requirements.  Students in year six and beyond remain eligible to apply for ASE appointments and fellowships as in past years, but their funding is not guaranteed.  All students are strongly encouraged to apply for external fellowships, and students may roll over up to one year of guaranteed departmental funding to future years if they secure outside funding.

Prospective students:  All applicants for admission are considered for the Department aid for which they are eligible.  A separate application for Departmental funding is not required, although we encourage applicants to simultaneously apply for external fellowships (e.g., Foreign Language and Area Studies) for which they may be eligible.

Current students:  Each Winter, current graduate students in good standing who are interested in being considered for non-service fellowship funding may apply via a single application (the Consolidated Funding Application) for both departmental and university fellowships.  If the student simply desires a TA/RA/SA appointment in the coming year, and s/he is in the first five years of the program, s/he does not need to apply for funding annually.  Students are strongly encouraged to continue to apply for outside funding, and a track record of applying for and/or securing external funding will strengthen a student’s case for departmental awards.  For all students in all divisions, a consistent effort to apply for outside funding (FLAS, Simpson Center, et al.) will be an important factor in evaluating student progress through the program, even if that funding is not awarded. 

The Graduate Studies Committee evaluates the applications for fellowship funding on: academic merit and course performance; progress toward the degree in a timely manner; performance of duties in any previous departmental position (TA, RA, reader, tutor, etc.); faculty support and endorsement; prior types of funding.  Students are ranked.  New Ph.C.’s are given priority for departmental dissertation fellowships.  The committee makes every effort to balance out types of funding across different kinds of appointments (TA, RA, fellowship) over the course of a graduate student’s career.