Financial support and teaching
Financial support generally consists of fellowship stipends, assistantships in instruction, or a combination of the two. The department insists on parity within a given class and, as far as possible, between classes of students, in order to maintain a fair and supportive environment. In their third year and beyond, students may apply for internal or external fellowships to facilitate their dissertation research. (Students who already benefit from external fellowships at an earlier stage are of course welcome to keep them!)
The department has a number of generous funds with which to support activities relevant to the student’s course of study. Students can apply to the Edward C. Armstrong fund for funding for scholarly travel (for example to conferences), summer study, or research trips (for example to libraries). The department’s Publication Fund can be drawn on to assist in the costs of publication, including the eventual cost of publishing a successful dissertation. Students also benefit from a book grant to offset some of the cost of the books purchased for purposes of research (currently $200).
As a matter of policy, the department requires its graduate students to gain experience in undergraduate teaching and to contribute to the department’s language teaching program. Most students are appointed as part-time assistants in instruction (AIs) each year they are in residence. Students may not teach during their first year of residence or during the term when they are preparing for the general examination. In the third, fourth, and fifth years, students normally teach three hours per week each semester in elementary or advanced language classes. The opportunity to teach in a literature course sometimes arises. This teaching is guided and supervised by a faculty member who confers with the student and reports to the department chair on his or her classroom performance. After the fifth year, students are expected to support themselves by teaching.