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Financial Support


The Department of Political Science offers two main types of financial support to graduate students: graduate assistantships and tuition waivers. Both types of support are competitively awarded.

Graduate assistantships

Students who are offered departmental graduate assistantships (GA positions) have their university tuition paid for and also receive a stipend. GAs work approximately 20 hours per week in the department and serve as research assistants or teaching assistants. GAs are still responsible for paying university fees and college tuition. While not negligible, university fees and college tuition are a small fraction of university tuition. Information on university tuition, university fees, and college tuition can be found here. Graduate students can hold departmental GA positions for up to four years.

Tuition waivers

Tuition waivers (or waiver hours) cover all or part of a student's university tuition, but do not provide a stipend. Students receiving waiver hours are also still responsible for paying university fees and college tuition.

About the process

PhD students typically receive priority consideration for both types of departmental support. We do not typically guarantee funding for multiple years. However, students who receive department support and are doing well in the program are almost always offered support for the subsequent year.

To receive full consideration for departmental support, applicants should submit their applications by January 15th.  Students applying after this date may still be considered for support, but are much less likely to receive it. Students are automatically considered for departmental support when they are accepted into the program. Newly admitted students are typically notified regarding initial departmental funding decisions in March.

Some graduate students who do not receive offers of departmental support secure GA positions or part-time employment at the university outside of the department. Some meritorious students also receive departmental or university awards and fellowships. The Director of Graduate Studies typically provides more information about such opportunities to admitted applicants.