Resources for Graduate Study

Graduate students in the History Department are eligible for a variety of funding packages to support their coursework, living expenses and research costs.  Some funds are dispersed by the Department’s Graduate Committee, while many other funding opportunities are available through the Maxwell School and its affiliated institutes.    

History Department Funding Opportunities

The Graduate Program makes every effort to ensure that all admitted M.A. and Ph.D. students have available to them a funding package that will enable them to succeed in their program of study.  M.A. students who are making good progress and satisfying all performance standards are eligible for two years of departmental funding.  Ph.D. students who are making good progress and satisfying all performance standards are eligible for five years of departmental funding.  The most common type of funding is a Teaching Assistantship, a contractual obligation which requires the recipient to assist one of the department’s professors by teaching several discussion sections of a large lecture course. M.A. funding packages ordinarily consist of two one-year Teaching Assistantships.  Ph.D. funding packages usually contain five one-year Teaching Assistantships.  At the more advanced stages of study, Ph.D. students are strongly encouraged to seek outside fellowships and grants. (See section below, “Funding Opportunities Beyond the University”.)

In addition to these funding packages, the Department offers several other grants to assist students with specific projects or research goals. These awards are specifically available only to History graduate students.

  • The Hotchkiss Graduate Scholarships 
    Awarded jointly by the History Department and the Maxwell Dean’s Office 

    One or two annual awards are made (approximately $4,000) for travel scholarships to graduate students in History who have completed all their requirements, comprehensive exams, and are ABD and not receiving any other financial aid from the department.
  • Travel Grants 
    Funds to support students presenting papers at academic conferences or conducting specific projects or research tasks are available on a first-come, first-served basis, normally with a maximum award of $500. Students must submit a brief proposal outlining their needs and goals to the Director of Graduate Studies, the Department Chair, and the Administrative Assistant to be considered. Once approved, receipts must be kept and submitted, and will then be processed for reimbursement.
  • Cissie Fairchilds Fund for Graduate Student Research Travel
    Named in honor of the late Professor Cissie Fairchilds, a distinguished historian and beloved mentor of graduate students, this fund supports expenses incurred by graduate students who travel for archival and library research. Applications for this fund should be preliminarily approved by the student’s advisor, then be sent to the Director of Graduate Studies, Department Chair, and Administrative Assistant. 

University-wide Funding Opportunities

Other positions are available outside the department (open to all SU graduate students), for instance:

  • A variety of Teaching, Research and Graduate Assistantships are periodically available in various departments or administrative unites of the University. These are contractual positions and are advertised on the SU Job Opportunities website. Interested students should check the site frequently.
  • Students can consult Jill Ferguson in the Maxwell Dean’s Office to explore outside grants and fellowships that might be available related to their areas of interest. An overview of resources and funding opportunities is available on the school’s Maxwell Research Support webpage.

Funding Opportunities Beyond the University

  • Students are encouraged to consult the American Historical Association’s Guide to Grants, Fellowships, and Prizes. This resource is available online for AHA members through their website.
  • Students are urged to consult the webpages and contact archivists at any archives to which they are interested in traveling for research. Many archives offer travel grants to encourage scholars to use their materials.
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