Funding Graduate Study in History at UIC
Information about Tuition and Fees Heading link
Tuition and fees are set by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. The tuition and fee schedule at UIC is fairly elaborate so it is important to understand what your charges will be, as well as your payment obligations. This information is available from the Office of Admissions and Records. Please be aware that a tuition-and-service-fee waiver does not cover all fees.
Financial Support Heading link
UIC offers three types of financial support for graduate students in history: (1) Teaching Assistantships; (2) Tuition and Fee Waivers; and (3) Departmental or University Fellowships and Awards. All three are discussed below. Financial Aid Forms are available from the following sources:
- Download online forms: financial aid form
- Request Application materials by phone: UIC Graduate College (312) 413-2550
- Request Application by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Request Application materials by mail:
UIC Graduate College (m/c 192)
606 University Hall
601 S. Morgan St.
Chicago, IL 60607-7106
Note: All students applying for financial aid, whether department or university-based, must submit BOTH the financial aid form AND the Application for Graduate College Admission.
Note: MAT students are not eligible for most forms of departmental financial aid. However, tuition-and-fee waivers occasionally become available.
Funding Heading link
Almost all assistantships in the Department of History are teaching assistantships, but from time to time a research assistantship may become available. Some students receive a commitment from the department upon admission regarding teaching assistant appointments in the future. Those who do not may apply for a teaching assistant position from semester to semester. TA positions are normally reserved for Ph.D. and MA/ Ph.D. students. For general information about assistantships, consult the Graduate College website.
If you have been granted an assistantship there are a number of important steps that have to be undertaken to ensure timely processing and receipt of your first stipend check. You will receive a formal letter of offer from the unit (usually your academic program) that is attempting to hire you. After you have accepted and returned the formal letter of offer for the assistantship, the unit that is hiring you will complete the necessary information in the university database. When the hiring unit completes the previous step, it will trigger an email to you with login and other information for an online system called NESSIE. In NESSIE, you will need to complete the HR Application and Payroll information (demographic, educational, and bank deposit information). After that is completed in NESSIE, you will be instructed by your hiring unit to complete a Statement of a Drug-Free Workplace and I-9 forms, which you submit to the hiring unit. The I-9 form is viewable in Nessie and includes a list of acceptable official identification you will need to bring in with the completed forms.
For international students on a visa, the hiring unit will send appropriate information to the Office of International Services to initiate an Employee Clearance form. The processing for international students on a visa allows less flexibility in regards to the start date, so it is important to complete the necessary steps in a timely fashion.
It is only after all these stages have been successfully completed that your appointment becomes official and allows you to begin your duties and receive the monthly stipend, which is paid on the 16th. In addition, if the appointment comes with a tuition waiver (contact your unit to find out exactly which parts of the tuition and fees are waived and which are not), it is only at this stage that the waiver is available to be applied to your account, assuming you have also correctly registered for the total hours required to receive the waiver. If the appointment for the assistantship is offered or processed late, or any of the steps outlined above are delayed, there is a possibility of missing your first monthly stipend check. Although you will receive an adjusted payment a month later (assuming the beginning date is properly processed and assuming you worked for that period), not having the first check can cause financial issues you did not anticipate. Therefore, if you do not receive timely responses you should always contact the hiring unit to ensure procedures have not been overlooked. See the Graduate College website for additional assistantship information.
Early in the Fall Semester, a workshop is scheduled for first-time teaching assistants. The purpose of this workshop is to inform students of their responsibilities as teaching assistants and to exchange ideas as to how best to fulfill those responsibilities. They are also informed about the limits of their duties. In addition, first-time TA’s are very strongly encouraged to attend a campus-wide orientation for new TA’s. The department automatically registers first-time TA’s for this orientation.
Graduate students can interact with their peers at meetings of the History Graduate Society. They are also invited, along with faculty, to weekly lunchtime brownbags, in which faculty and graduate students present the results of their research.
See the Teaching Assistant Policies for additional information regarding the policies set in place for TA assignments and appointments.
Tuition and Fee Waivers
The History Department awards a limited number of tuition and service fee waivers each semester.
- Tuition and service fee waivers may be awarded for one semester or for an academic year.
- To be eligible students much register for at least 12 credit hours during the period of the award.
- Continuing students must apply by the first Monday in February to renew tuition and fee waivers for the next academic year. Applications must be sent to the Graduate Secretary.
Fellowships and Awards
The Department of History awards a limited number of teaching assistantships each semester. These are available to new and continuing students. Teaching assistantships carry a stipend plus a tuition and service fee waiver.
- Teaching assistantships provide students with an opportunity to gain valuable classroom experience under the supervision of a faculty member, typically by grading and leading discussion sections.
- Teaching assistantships are ordinarily restricted to Ph.D. students.
- Initial appointments are made for one academic year (two semesters) and may be renewed for a maximum of six semesters. (It is not necessary to teach six semesters in succession.)
- Students must apply each year (to the Director of Graduate Studies) to renew the teaching assistantship. Applications are due in the Graduate Secretary’s office on the first Monday in February.
- Teaching assistants must register for at least eight credit hours each semester they teach.
History Doctoral Awards (HDAs):
The Department of History awards a limited number of enhanced teaching assistantships to outstanding incoming students. These awards guarantee four years of funding as well as tuition and service fee waivers. History HDAs receive the amount of the normal TA stipend (which also includes a tuition and fee waiver).
University-wide fellowships and awards:
- University Fellowships
- Dean’s Scholar Awards
- Provost’s Award
- Abraham Lincoln Fellowships
- Diversity Fellowships
The History Department has been very successful in competing for university-wide fellowships and awards. Each year the Graduate Advisory Committee recommends new and continuing students based on merit. For information on university-wide fellowships.
Financial Aid Information For Continuing Graduate Students in History at UIC
Continuing students may also apply for Teaching Assistantships, Tuition and Fee Waivers, Provost’s Awards, and Dean’s Scholar Awards.
- Applications for financial support from continuing students should be accompanied by a statement of progress, a CV, and a letter of recommendation from the student’s advisor.
- Advanced Ph.D. candidates may occasionally have the opportunity to teach courses of their own.
Deadline for Continuing Students applying for Financial Aid
- Continuing students must apply by the first Monday in February to renew tuition and fee waivers for the next academic year.
- Applications must be sent to the Graduate Secretary.
An overview of funding for Ph.D. students in History after the first four years
- The department offers a funding package for the first four years of your graduate studies. This includes a TA-ship (at the salary level specified in the current GEO contract) and a stipend (the History Doctoral Award or HDA) of $5,000.
- After your first four years, if you have been advanced to candidacy and you make good progress towards dissertation completion, you may apply for a departmental TA-ship. While this funding is not guaranteed (as it depends on circumstances beyond departmental control, such as university budgetary issues or the level of undergraduate enrollment), we almost always award TA-ships to all 5th and 6th year students who request them. The TA-ship for fifth- and sixth-year PhD students does not carry an additional stipend of $5,000.
General policy on awarding TA-ships:
- Priority is first given to 5th year students coming off the first four years of funding.
- Second, if there are any TA-ships remaining, we assign them to 6th-year students, and then, third, to post-6th-year students, taking into consideration their progress towards dissertation completion and the number of TA-ships they had held after their first four years of funding. Progress is assessed using the following criteria: prospectus defense, research completed, amount of writing completed, and the Individual Development Plan.
- If you are not awarded a TA-ship during the first round of TA assignments (which takes place in May-June), your name is placed on the waiting list if TA openings become available later in the summer. The ranking is based on the criteria described above.
- You will receive an email notification regarding the status of your TA request in May-June (including your placement on the waiting list, if any).
- Students are encouraged to apply for outside grants as well as awards from the Department and the Graduate College.
- In exceptional circumstances and with short notice, the Department may have additional HDA funding available in an academic year. In these rare instances, the Graduate Advisory Committee (GAC) reserves the right to distribute those funds to eligible graduate students as needed.
- Teaching as Independent Instructor. During some semesters based on departmental need, advanced graduate students can apply to teach an undergraduate (100- or 200-level course) as an independent instructor. The call for applications is usually sent out in April (for the following Fall semester) and September (for the following Spring semester). The application requires the permission of the student’s primary dissertation advisor.
Policies for Teaching Assistant Appointments and Assignments
The Department normally expects that all incoming PhD students will have some form of funding. These most often come in the form of intramural TA-ships or Fellowships. Most incoming Ph.D. students receive a written offer of four (4) guaranteed years of employment as a TA (or 8 semesters) at a rate that matches the GEO contract minimum salary for a 50% (20 hour/week) appointment and includes a tuition- and partial fee-waiver. In addition, most PhD students in years 1-4 also receive a History Doctoral Award (HDA) of $5,000 annual additional income beyond the TA stipend, distributed over the course of the academic year.
The Department may have additional TA-ships at the standard 50% (20 hour/week) appointment available to MA and MAT students, as well as PhD students beyond their fourth year of funding. Typically, these appointments come without the additional money supplied by the HDA. In addition, the Department may have summer TA-ships available. Should that be the case, the Department will send an email announcements to the H-Grad listserv along with application forms in order for a graduate student to request a summer TA-ship and/or a regular TA-ship for one or both semesters of the following academic year. The form will inform students the estimated number of TA-ships available (for summer) and request information on students’ availability, qualifications, and previous TA experience.
For students beyond their fourth year of graduate school, the Department will endeavor to make year-long appointments to the students who request these additional TA-ships. In most cases, PhD students who need a fifth year of funding will receive highest priority. They almost always received funding that, again, includes a tuition- and partial fee-waiver. Thereafter, the DGS in consultation with the Graduate Advisory Committee (GAC) will award any remaining TA-ships by taking into account the following considerations: students’ year in the program; their availability during scheduled class and discussion section times (if students elect to provide this information); and their existing teaching competencies and previous job performance as TAs. In addition, the advisors of MA and MAT students who request a position will be consulted, to ensure that accepting a TA-ship will not negatively affect students’ time-to-degree progress. Finally, preference will be given to those PhD students making clear progress toward the degree as well as those who have held the lowest number of TA-ships relative to other applicants. When awarding TA positions to students who are not in their first four years of guaranteed funding, preference will be given first to doctoral students (following the criteria mentioned above), and second to students in the History MA and MAT programs.
On rare occasions, the Department may have available appointments of GAs or TAs at 25% (half the normal TA appointment, or 10 hours/week). These assignments are made at the discretion of faculty whose research funds support the positions.
The Department will assign TAs to specific lead instructors/classes based on student and instructor preferences; students’ fields of study; previous TA experience; and availability during class and discussion section times. Each semester the Director of Graduate Studies asks students and faculty to submit ranked lists of preferences for TA assignments. Where possible the DGS assigns students to one of their requested courses. The Department also seeks to provide graduate teaching assistants with a range of types teaching experiences, including working in grader positions, in large lecture courses with sections, and teaching across a variety of historical periods and fields. This often means assigning students to different courses each semester in order to broaden their pedagogical training.
Assignments are made first to students who are still within their first four years of guaranteed funding and to whom the Department is contractually obligated to provide TA positions. Following that, the DGS assigns the remaining available positions to students in years 5+. Only then does the DGS turn to interested MA and MAT students if positions are still available.
Online TA Assignments:
The Department typically has a small number of online TA positions available during the regular academic year. Each Spring, an Online TA Application is distributed via the History graduate listserv, and interested students are invited to apply for consideration for one of these online positions. First priority for these online assignments is given to students who have a pressing need to be away from Chicago, whether for research interests or personal reasons. Students living outside of Chicago who are still in the first four years of their HDA guarantee are typically given priority in assigning these positions. Because of the limited number of online positions, the Department seeks to rotate these assignments among interested students.
Summer TA assignments, many of which are online, are made on a rotating basis, typically prioritizing students still in their HDA guarantee period who have passed their comprehensive exams. In practice, this means many students will have the opportunity to teach summer session only once during their time at UIC.