Funding & Financial Aid

Our students enjoy the resources of an outstanding research university. These include, but are not limited to, various levels of support for tuition and living expenses. Students accepted into the PhD program who remain in good standing are guaranteed six years of full funding in the form of University Fellowships, with an annual stipend of $26,256 (2019-20) and full tuition remission. First-year PhD students receive a University Fellowship with no instructional responsibilities. As part of our program requirements, PhD students then register for three years of Mentored Teaching Experience (MTE) while they finish coursework and begin dissertation research. Typical MTE assignments are as section leaders in our large introductory courses. Two years of University Fellowship support without instructional responsibilities may then be devoted to the preparation, defense, and submission of the dissertation. Advanced PhD students may also offer summer courses through University College to gain valuable independent teaching experience. This is an exceptional professional opportunity.

Terminal MA students receive some assistance with tuition charges, and possibly full tuition remission, and a Masters Fellowship with an annual stipend of $7250 (2019-20), plus subsidy of health benefits. As part of their program requirements MA students gain important experience as assistants in our Visual Resources Center or as section leaders or graders. Moreover, we help students locate part-time jobs and summer employment in our Visual Resources Center, in the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, in the Kranzberg Art and Architecture Library, or elsewhere on campus.

The following sections are meant to convey only general ideas of the possibilities open to graduate students, together with an outline of the advantages and requirements of each of the major forms of assistance. For more information on tuition, external grants and fellowship resources, and loans, please visit the Graduate School Financial Support page


The maximum tuition fee for the students in the Graduate School for the 2019-2020 academic year is $54,250 ($27,125 per semester). Tuition is due in the full amount each semester at the time of registration. By right of the University, the tuition rate is subject to annual change. 

University Tuition Scholarships (Tuition Remission)

Scholarship grants may cover part or all the costs of tuition to the limit of full-time study. Scholarships are available both to new and continuing students. Beyond the course work requirements for the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, partial or full tuition scholarships covering the Resident or Non-Resident Candidate’s Fee will be considered only for students who are receiving a University Fellowship, or an external Fellowship or Traineeship that funds partial tuition remission.

Since perception of academic merit is the sole criterion for the award of tuition scholarships, these grants are not subject to taxation under federal tax law. However, stipend awards, including those described below, are taxable.

University Fellowships

University Fellowships are stipend awards aimed at supporting full-time study, although a certain amount of teaching or research may be required as part of the advanced degree program. University Fellowship stipends for the 2019-2020 academic year are $26,250 in the Humanities. Most fellowships are awarded on an annual basis, based on timely and satisfactory progress toward the PhD degree; funding decisions are made each spring semester for the following academic year.

In addition, worthy of particular note are the Chancellor's Graduate Fellowship Program and the Mr. and Mrs. Spencer T. Olin Fellowships for Women. These special fellowship packages provide full tuition scholarships plus generous annual stipends for up to five years of graduate study.

External Grants and Fellowship Resources

Graduate departments and programs are the primary resource for external grant and fellowship information. Individual departments and programs provide a broad range of mechanisms for students to explore external funding opportunities. Widely practiced departmental activities include posting external grant and fellowship applications, faculty nominations for certain awards, and faculty review of applications. Graduate students are encouraged to discuss external grant opportunities and applications with faculty in their graduate programs.

Withdrawals and Refunds

Requests for refund of tuition paid by a student who is withdrawing from a degree program should be made by submitting a Withdrawal Form to the Graduate School Office.

Requests for refund of tuition paid by a student who is withdrawing from a specific course should be submitted in writing to the Graduate School Registrar. The last date of class attendance is ordinarily used in determining the amount that can be refunded. Students withdrawing within the first two weeks of classes will receive a full refund; those withdrawing before the end of the fourth week pay 20 percent; those withdrawing before the end of the eighth week pay 40 percent. Students who have had their full tuition remitted for them by the Graduate School or by a third party will not receive any refund.