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Department of English
PhD in Rhetoric, Writing, and Professional Communication

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Doctoral Financial Support

PhD Assistantship packages are awarded on a competitive basis to a specific number of eligible, full-time doctoral students each fall. The package includes a tuition waiver and an assistantship and provides a yearly (fall and spring semesters) stipend of $15,000. This waiver covers the cost of tuition, and the assistantships provide graduate students with opportunities to teach foundational and advanced writing courses, develop their talents in technical writing and editing while working for various journals and projects on campus, collaborate with professors on their research, or, serve as assistant administrators for the writing program and/or writing studio/center. Additional financial support is available by teaching opportunities during the summer.

Additionally, the University provides health insurance to all full-time PhD students.

IMPORTANT: Please note that the tuition waiver and assistantship stipend are contingent upon funds provided to us by the Graduate School and thus may be subject to change. Additionally, during the tenure of the assistantship, you must be registered for 9 s.h. as an campus student.

You are expected to maintain good standing as a doctoral student, perform satisfactorily the duties of the position you are assigned, and always remain professional in your work environment. Each graduate assistant has a unique opportunity to interact with scholars, other advanced students in the field of English, and an unparalleled faculty and support staff.  Because graduate assistants are a reflection of the English department – both to undergraduate students and their parents as well as to other departments on campus – we expect that you will uphold the high standards of professionalism and the quality work ethic that the department endeavors to convey. 

Several types of assistantships are available:

For a research assistantship, you assist a faculty member with research projects, which are contingent upon faculty needs.

For an editorial assistantship, you assist with designing, editing and proofing for department-supported publications including websites.

For a teaching assistantship, you must have completed 18 semester hours of graduate coursework in English, including satisfactory completion of English 6625 Composition—Theory and Practice or a similar course. PhD students usually teach writing courses to first and/or second year students, with several opportunities for teaching advanced writing classes. In this assistantship, you are instructor of record for the class with all responsibilities, such as creating assignments for students and evaluating students’ performances.

To receive more information about doctoral support and assistantship opportunities, contact the Director of Graduate Studies.