Department of English


Funding and Fellowship Opportunities

Tuition Waivers

MA Funding
The master's program in English is structured so that students are able to complete their degree requirements in one calendar year.

The department sometimes offers partial tuition scholarships for up to half of the annual tuition. Currently the department is not able to provide teaching assistantships or stipends for students in the MA program.

PhD Funding
All students admitted to the PhD program receive full support in the form of tuition waivers (approximately $44,608 for 2014-2015), in addition to a stipend for five years for students who remain in good standing. Stipends currently amount to approximately $18,000 per year.

During the first year students do not teach but derive part of their support from participation in a summer pedagogy seminar. Support for students in years two through four is usually tied to their work as instructors in the Writing, Speaking, and Argument (WSA) Program. Support for students in the fifth year usually involves further work in the WSA Program though other forms of support may be available. PhD students in the University of Rochester English department receive excellent training in pedagogy, teach small classes in a supervised environment, and compile a portfolio of teaching experience that will be a significant asset on the job market.

The University also sponsors a number of competitive fellowships, at significantly higher stipend levels, for students with exceptional qualifications. These include the Provost Fellowships, Slattery Fellowships, and Sproull Fellowships. The department nominates candidates for appropriate University fellowships during the admissions process.

For advanced PhD students teaching and dissertation fellowships are available through the College and University. English PhD candidates have had a good track record in winning these. These include the Dean’s Dissertation Fellowships, the Dean’s Teaching Fellowships, and the Dudley Doust Writing Associates Fellowships

Teaching Fellowships

The Dean’s Teaching Fellowships are awarded annually by the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering to support advanced graduate students in their training as teachers. The first Teaching Fellowships were awarded for the 2007-2008 academic year.

English department nominees have been very successful in this fellowship competition. English department students serve as TAs who are mentored by faculty in departmental courses at all levels of undergraduate study; this is an invaluable experience to be involved at all levels of course preparation and instruction. Recent recipients include:

  • 2013-2014: Sarah Bunker, Nikolaus Wasmoen, Laura Whitebell
  • 2012-2013: Matthew Bayne, Joseph Lamperez, Peter Zogas
  • 2011-2012: Andrea Everett, John Havard, Kara McShane, Megan Morris
  • 2010-2011: Russell Sbriglia, Daniel Stokes
  • 2009-2010: Leah Haught, Leila (Kate) Norako, Jennifer Thompson-Stone
  • 2008-2009: Dustin Hannum, Daniel Hutchins, Rachel Lee
  • 2007-2008: Ryan Harper, Aaron Lehman, Stefanie Vischansky

Doust Teaching Fellowship
Susan B. Anthony Teaching Fellowship

Dissertation Fellowships

The Raymond N. Ball Dissertation-Year Fellowship
The Ball Fellowship provides a one-year dissertation fellowship award to an outstanding graduate student in the humanities, economics, or business administration.

English department Graduate Students have a very good track record in the Ball Fellowship competition. In the last few years, Justine (Ali) McGhee was awarded a 2012-2013 Ball Fellowship for her dissertation work on zombies in English Romantic literature; Leah Haught a 2010-2011 Ball Fellowship for her dissertation work on an aesthetics of failure in Middle English Arthuriana; and Vasudha Bharadwaj a 2008-2009 Ball Fellowship for her dissertation work on languages of nationhood and the place of English in twentieth-century India.

The Dean’s Dissertation Fellowships
The Dean's Dissertation Fellowships are awarded annually by the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering to support advanced graduate students as they complete their dissertation research and writing. The first Dissertation Fellowships were awarded for the 2009-2010 academic year.

English department nominees have been very successful in this fellowship competition. Recent recipients include:

  • 2013-2014: Matthew Bayne, Nikolaus Wasmoen
  • 2012-2013: John Havard (declined for tenure-track job), Kara McShane, Peter Zogas
  • 2011-2012: Justine (Ali) McGhee, Russell Sbriglia
  • 2010-2011: Leah Haught, Leila (Kate) Norako, Kathryn VanWert
  • 2009-2010: Heidi Bollinger, Ryan Harper, Aaron Lehman

Conference and Travel Funds

The Department of English provides funding for PhD and MA students to help offset expenses incurred when traveling to professional meetings or arranging for job interviews. The funding level is set annually. We encourage students to supplement our travel funds by applying for College and University research and travel grants and for external funding. Click here to download the department's Travel Reimbursement Application.

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) offers conference travel funding. Conference travel funding can cover any aspect of travel, included but not limited to, plane/train tickets, fuel, accommodations, membership dues, registration fees, photocopying, etc. In order to be reimbursed, all conference travel award winners must submit receipts.Click here to review the GSA travel award application.

Inter-Departmental Funding Opportunities

Additional Fellowship Opportunities

Our students routinely attend summer programs, including the Futures of American Studies Institute at Dartmouth and the Dickens Universe at the University of Santa Cruz.

In addition, our affiliations with the Cornell School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University and the Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library allow for our graduate students' regular participation. We are a Cornell School of Criticism and Theory sponsored program and a member of the Folger Institute Consortium. One advanced PhD student in English attends the Cornell School each year with a full tuition award and a stipend for lodging. Our MA and PhD students receive preference in admissions, and are eligible to receive grants-in-aid to support their travel and lodging while attending Folger Institute events.

The University and the George Eastman House appoint a George Eastman Fellow each year. This fellowship is awarded competitively to advanced graduate students and currently carries a stipend. It is renewable for up to two years. The George Eastman Fellow pursues curatorial duties in the Motion Picture Department and the Photography Department, and sometimes assists in the public programs of the Dryden and Curtis Theatres.

Further Resources