Full-time students entering in Fall 2016 are eligible to apply for a financial-assistance package which is renewable for a total of four years.
The four-year package consists of a teaching assistantship together with an offer of part-time summer employment paying at least $4,200 each summer. Teaching assistantships carry tuition remission and generous health benefits. We also provide some support (usually very limited) for student research, as well as some opportunities to compete for additional scholarship funds.
For students who make good progress during their first four years but need an additional year to complete their dissertation, we offer a fifth-year fellowship that has a stipend comparable to the salary for an assistantship.
Financial assistance is only available for students apply for and beginning in the fall semester.
The academic year salary for teaching assistants at Rutgers is $25,969 for 2015-2016.
Tuition remission and in some cases a generous medical plan is also provided. A teaching assistant works 15 hours per week while classes are in session for the fall and spring semesters. Duties include research, teaching, and computer laboratory assistance.
First-year students are asked to engage in teacher-training activities, which may continue for several semesters, especially for students whose native language is not English. Students are encouraged to teach their own section as soon as possible after they are prepared to teach. Students may also be assigned as research assistants.
A student holding a teaching assistantship is not allowed to accept paid employment outside the university during the academic year. Any additional paid employment inside the university must be approved by the program director. Fellowships from outside the university may be held concurrently.
Renewal of teaching assistantships is contingent on satisfactory performance on the job and in the program. See Renewal of Financial Aid for details.
Each year we make up $1,000 a year available to students to defray dissertation research expenses and expenses for traveling to conferences to present scholarly papers.
Additional funding for student research is provided by the departments and research centers associated with each program of study.
Students who are awarded the four-year financial package and make satisfactory progress in the program have the opportunity to earn at least $4,200 each summer by working half time for two months as a research assistant or a teacher. A student who accepts this half-time summer employment is expected to spend the other half of his or her time on academic work and not to accept other employment. In some cases, students are funded to do their own research.
In addition to the $4,200 summer employment opportunity, we hold each year a competition for summer scholarships. Winners of these scholarships receive an additional stipend of $3,000. Winners are chosen on the basis of each student's written plan for summer research, which must be submitted by May 1. The number of winners depends on the availability of finds, which varies from year to year.
Support for a Fifth Year
Although many students complete their doctoral study in four years, some need a fifth year of support to complete the dissertation. Rutgers University Dissertation Fellowships are available to help these students. Although we cannot guarantee that a student will obtain this fellowship, we do award a substantial number each year. In order to be considered, a student must (1) defend a dissertation proposal by March 1 of their fourth year, and (2) apply for a dissertation fellowship from outside the university. All students who meet these conditions, including those who have not been previously supported by the program, are eligible to apply. Priority is given to students who are making the best progress towards completing their dissertation.
For 2015-2016, the stipend for the dissertation research fellowship is $20,000. Students with dissertation fellowships may purchase student health insurance coverage for themselves and their families for a fee of about $1,000.
Students who have defended a dissertation proposal are occasionally employed by the Rutgers Business School or other units of Rutgers and NJIT as instructors. These positions pay more than teaching assistantships but require more teaching.
Fellowships for which Applicants may Apply Directly
The web site of the PhD Project provides information about fellowships, mostly for minorities and women, to which potential applicants can apply directly. Such a fellowship can be held concurrently with a teaching assistantship or fellowship awarded by our program.
Students in their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years should consider applying for an external fellowship. Such fellowships can be held concurrently with a TAship or dissertation fellowship from Rutgers. Application for an external fellowship is required in order to be eligible for a 5th year fellowship, and it is best done as soon as the idea for a dissertation has taken shape. Because application deadlines are at all times of the year, you should make plans for applying by the end of your third year at the latest."
Minority and Diversity Fellowships Available through Rutgers
Our program can nominate minority (African- American, Hispanic-American and Native American) applicants and students for two different fellowship programs:
- Ralph Bunche fellowships. They fellowships provide $15,000 plus tuition remission and are renewable for a second year, contingent on satisfactory academic progress. Nominees must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
- Rutgers Diversity Advancement Fellowships. These fellowships are open to students who would increase the diversity of the student body, and in our case this includes applicants of African, Native American, or Hispanic descent, including those who are not American citizens or permanent residents. Awards vary in amount and duration; they are typically made for one or two years, contingent on satisfactory progress.
Like a teaching assistantship, these fellowships require that the student devote full time to their studies without other paid employment. They cannot be held concurrently with a teaching assistantship, but students who hold them can expect subsequent support as a teaching assistant, under the same terms and conditions we follow for renewal of teaching assistants.
Because these fellowships usually pay slightly less than our teaching assistantships and do not carry health benefits, and because teaching assistantships increase the amount of one-to-one interaction with the faculty and thereby improve the student's chances of success, our program usually prefers to recruit minority students with teaching assistantships.