Financial Aid

All students admitted to the program receive financial assistance. Support is guaranteed for five years, provided that a student continues to make satisfactory progress toward completion of the PhD. Department fellowships cover tuition and pay a stipend. Outstanding applicants may be nominated for a George Owen Fellowship, which also covers tuition and for which the stipend is higher. All students receive fellowship support for the first two years; no teaching is required.

Third, fourth, and fifth-year students are supported by teaching assistantships, which carry full tuition and a stipend. In practice, the department is often able to offer teaching assistantships to students beyond their fifth year, though this support is not guaranteed.

Sachs Fellowship Fund

A generous bequest by a former member of the department, David Sachs, has established the Sachs Fellowship Fund. Sachs Fellowships are dissertation-year fellowships awarded to students who are making substantial progress toward completing their dissertations.

For more information, see the Philosophy Graduate Program Requirements (Attachments 4 and 5).

Graduate Student Travel Funding

The department encourages graduate students to present their work at conferences and workshops, and it is committed to helping to make this possible by providing funds for travel and/or accommodation to students whose papers are accepted for presentation. Funding for students to participate in special summer schools is also a possibility; however, in such cases the topic must be clearly related to the student’s actual or intended area of specialization.

The funds available to the department for these purposes are limited, and so some guidelines are necessary in order to ensure that the money is distributed in the most equitable and effective way possible. With this in mind, the following guidelines are in now in place:

  • For any student who makes one request for funding in a given academic year, the department will do its best to provide funding. If a student requests funding for more than one event in a given academic year, the second request will have lower priority. Similarly, a student who has had numerous trips funded over several years may find further requests given lower priority.
  • The amount provided may vary depending on the cost of the trip. However, more expensive trips are more likely to receive only partial funding than less expensive ones. In particular, those involving international travel may receive only partial funding.
  • The significance and prestige of the conference, workshop, or summer school in which a student is to participate will be a factor in decisions as to whether, or to what extent, to provide funding.
  • A student’s proximity to the job market may result in a funding request being given higher priority than it would otherwise.
  • Since conferences and workshops can happen at any time of year, it is not practical to impose any specific deadlines for funding requests. The department will, however, ensure that some funds remain available throughout the year, so that students making requests late in a given year do not lose out simply because of the timing. (This means that students making requests early in the year may sometimes receive less than they have asked for.)

These guidelines may sometimes be in tension with one another. But these will be the major factors to be taken into account in making these decisions.

Students requesting funding should supply documentation concerning the event—a link to a website will often be sufficient—as well as a breakdown of the expected costs of attending. Requests should be sent to the department chair.