The Department offers financial support for PhD students through graduate assistantships and competitive fellowships. Students entering the PhD program with a B.A. typically receive up to six years of support, while students entering the program with an M.A. typically receive up to five years of support. Annual renewal of graduate appointments  is contingent upon good academic standing, satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree, and satisfactory performance in the graduate teaching or research appointment. Other forms of financial assistance, such as loans, are available through the University of Iowa Office of Student Financial Aid and other sources.


Graderships are generally allotted as quarter-time appointments (ten hours of work per week), grading papers and exams for one of a number of large undergraduate courses. A quarter-time or more appointment qualifies a grader for resident tuition.

Research Assistantships

Research assistantships are periodically available assisting a faculty member with research or working for one of the English Department's journals. A quarter-time or more appointment qualifies an RA for resident tuition.

Teaching Assistantships

An appointment to teach three courses for the academic year is referred to as a half-time teaching assistantship; two courses is a third-time assistantship. Teaching Assistants generally serve as instructors in their own courses in the Rhetoric Department or in the General Education in Literature Program. The Iowa Board of Regents mandates that all non-native speakers of English pass an oral fluency test before they are eligible to teach. A quarter-time or more appointment qualifies a TA for resident tuition.

Fellowships and awards for enrolled students

The English department encourages students to apply for internal and external fellowships to support their conference and research travel, as well as their work on their dissertations.  These opportunities include the Post-Comprehensive, Ballard and Seashore, Cleary, and summer fellowships offered by the Graduate College and the Marcus Bach and Dissertation Writing Fellowships awarded by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  The English department also awards the Seely and Dietz dissertation-year fellowships as well as five departmental research support awards and the Best Essay Award.  

Further Information

Prospective students apply for funding as part of their application process, and returning students reapply each year in January. All students and applicants will be considered for all types of funding for which they are eligible. Occasionally, English students and prospective students apply for funding offered by other departments; such funding opportunities are generally posted on the Graduate Assistantship Bulletin Board.

Travel Funds

The English Department will fund student travel to conferences or research sites,  the yearly reimbursement amount may change, and is limited to one trip per fiscal year with a maximum of three trips total. For more information, see the PhD Graduate Student Handbook.

The Graduate College

The Graduate College offers a wealth of information about funding for graduate students. For more information, visit Funding your UI Education in the Graduate College at the University of Iowa.