Financial Assistance

Teaching Assistantships

Because we understand that your development as a professional is as important as your development as a scholar, we award teaching assistantships to as many of our incoming graduate students as possible.  You may apply for a teaching assistantship when completing the English Department’s application process.

To provide students with the training necessary to become successful teachers, we offer a week-long workshop on composition pedagogy before students begin their programs.  During their first semester of teaching, new teaching assistants also take ENGL 5003/Composition Pedagogy.

Stipends for 2018-2019 are $12,000 for teaching assistants at the M.A. level and $12,600 for teaching assistants at the Ph.D. level.  (Note: Doctoral fellows receive slightly more.  See below.)  Teaching assistants also receive a full tuition waiver and the option of a benefits package.  

Typically, M.A. students receive four semesters of assistantship; non-fellowship doctoral students receive eight semesters of assistantship; and doctoral fellows receive twelve semesters of assistantship.  However, Ph.D. students may apply for 1-2 additional semesters of funding through the Program in Rhetoric and Composition Office.  

Teaching assistants teach two classes in the fall and two in the spring, although Ph.D. students are granted a reduced (1-1) teaching load in their fourth year in order to support their timely progress toward the degree.  Both M.A. and non-fellowship doctoral students may apply to teach over the summer, but since summer teaching positions are few, they are not guaranteed.

Teaching assistants can request to teach a range of courses:

  • ENGL 0002 – Basic Writing
  • ENGL 1013 – Composition I (regular, honors, and online)
  • ENGL 1023 – Composition II (regular, honors, and online)
  • ENGL 1023S – Composition II (Special Topics)
  • ENGL 1033 – Technical Composition II
  • ENGL 1213 – Introduction to Literature
  • ENGL 2003 – Advanced Composition
  • ENGL 2013 – Essay Writing
  • ENGL 3053 – Technical and Report Writing
  • WLIT 1113 – World Literature I (regular, honors, and online)
  • WLIT 1123 – World Literature II (regular, honors, and online)

If you are assigned ENGL 1023S/Special Topics, you have the opportunity to design and teach a version of Composition II based on your own interests and expertise.  Conversely, if you teach ENGL 1213/Introduction to Literature, you have the opportunity to apprentice with a professor, learning under his or her guidance how to lecture, lead discussion groups, and respond to student writing.  Except for ENGL 1213, teaching assistants are the instructors of record, not graders for department faculty.

Doctoral Fellowships

Most of our Ph.D. students receive either a Distinguished Doctoral Fellowship or a Doctoral Academy Fellowship.  All Ph.D. applicants who apply for teaching assistantships are automatically considered for these fellowships, and no separate application for the fellowships is required.

Distinguished Doctoral Fellows

Distinguished Doctoral Fellows receive a teaching assistantship that pays $14,100, in addition to a tuition waiver and the option of a benefits package. They also receive a fellowship that pays $22,000 so that they receive a combined twelve-month stipend of $36,100.  Because Distinguished Doctoral Fellows are compensated throughout the summer and receive summer tuition waivers, they are expected to register for three to six graduate credit hours, but not to teach, during the summer.  Fellowships are awarded by the Graduate School each year (upon nomination by the English Department) and are renewable up to four years.  Distinguished Doctoral Fellows typically have a grade point average of 3.85 or higher on their M.A. work, a GRE verbal score of 163 or higher, and a GRE analytical writing score of 4.5 or higher.

Doctoral Academy Fellows

Doctoral Academy Fellows receive a teaching assistantship that pays $14,100, in addition to a tuition waiver and the option of a benefits package.  They also receive a fellowship that pays $10,000 so that they receive a combined twelve-month stipend of $24,100.  Because Doctoral Academy Fellows are compensated throughout the summer and receive summer tuition waivers, they are expected to register for three to six graduate credit hours, but not to teach, during the summer.  Fellowships are awarded by the Graduate School each fall (upon nomination by the English Department) and are renewable up to four years.  Doctoral Academy Fellows typically have a grade point average of 3.65 or higher on their M.A. work, a GRE verbal score of 160 or higher, and a GRE analytical writing score of 4.0 or higher.

Diane Blair Fellowships for the Study of Southern Literature

(Please note:  The Diane Blair Fellowships will not be offered to incoming students Fall of 2019.)

Depending on their availability each year, Diane Blair Fellowships for the Study of Southern Literature are awarded to incoming M.A. and Ph.D. students interested in the study of Southern literature and culture.  A Diane Blair Fellow receives $3,000-$6,000 per year for two to four years; each recipient is also awarded a teaching assistantship.  To be considered for a Diane Blair Fellowship, you should explain your interest in Southern literature and culture in the statement of purpose included with your application to the English Department.  We also recommend that your writing sample emphasize some aspect of Southern literature and culture.  If you want to do so, you may contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Lisa Hinrichsen, at lhinrich@uark.edu, to ask if a Diane Blair Fellowship will be available in a particular year.

Travel Funding

Once admitted, M.A. and Ph.D. students are encouraged to attend professional conferences and to present papers at them.  M.A. students may apply to receive $800 in annual travel funds, and Ph.D. students may apply to receive $1,100.  For additional information and for guidance in submitting the Travel Grant Application to the Graduate School, students should go to the English Department office (Kimpel 331).

Other Funding Resources