Financial Aid and Assistantships

Current financial aid information is available on the Department of Financial Aid web page (

Teaching Assistantships

The Department of English offers a number of graduate Teaching Assistantships (TAs) each year. They are available for up to two years at the master's level and up to five years at the doctoral level. The number of years of assistance the student might receive is based on the year in the program, not on the number of years of assistance eligibility. For example, if a second year master's student receives a TA for the first time, that student will receive one year of support at the master's level. If the student wishes to continue as a TA, that student must apply and be admitted to the PhD program. If the student is admitted, he or she will be eligible for up to five years of support. However, if a second year PhD student receives a TA for the first time in the second year, then that student is eligible for a maximum of four years of support. Renewals are conditioned upon academic and teaching performance. To review the complete set of rules regarding Teaching Assistantship renewals, please go here:

The number of new TA positions available in a given year depends on the renewal rate, as well as other factors, so it is difficult to predict accurately how many positions will become open. There are currently about 70 TAs in the Department. Assistantships are for the full academic year only. New students can apply for a TA by completing sections 7 and 8 in the Department of English application for admission.

All TAs take two courses per semester (six credits). Most new TAs take English 701, Teaching College Composition, in their first semester. Most first year TAs have a 2-1 teaching load; that is, new TAs teach two classes in the fall semester and one in the spring semester. In the following years, all TAs teach 2-2.

Most TAs begin teaching first-year writing and continue to teach various writing courses throughout their assistantships; in later years they also have the opportunity to teach courses in literary studies, creative writing, film studies, media studies, women's studies, business or professional writing, introductory linguistics and occasionally courses for other departments or programs.

Assistantships include health insurance and full tuition remission. The premiums for health insurance are quite reasonable, especially in light of today's insurance situation. All TAs are responsible for the payment of student fees.

The 2014-2015 TA salary schedule (9 months at 50%) is as follows:

Non-doctoral year 1:       $11,838
Non-doctoral year 2: $11,972
Doctoral: $13,723
Dissertator: $16,595

Assistance packages (pro forma)*

An assistance package to a single, non-resident doctoral GTA might look like this:

$13,723   GTA salary (9 months)
$17,139   Approximate value of non-resident tuition waiver
$5135   Approximate value of health insurance premiums paid by UWM
-$528   Approximate 12 month insurance contribution paid by employee
  Approximate student fees
$37,603   Total approximate annual value of assistance package for a single, non-resident, doctoral GTA
*Additional conditions may apply.

For more information on benefits, visit:

Graduate Teaching Assistants at UWM are represented by a union, the Milwaukee Graduate Assistants Association. Information about the MGAA current contract can be found on the MGAA web site (

Graduate Project Assistantships or Research Assistantships

The Department has very few Project Assistant (PA) positions; at present, Professional Writing is the only concentration with Project Assistantships. Interested applicants should contact the Graduate Professional Writing Coordinator for further information. Research Assistantships are given to individual faculty members who select the students themselves.

Fellowships and Awards

Graduate School

Information about the Fellowships and awards listed below is available on the Graduate School webpage

  • Chancellor's Graduate Student Support Award
  • Graduate School Fellowship
  • Advanced Opportunity Program Fellowship (AOP)
  • Dissertation Fellowship
  • Summer Dissertation Research Award
  • Graduate Student Travel Award

Other financial support options can be found at:

Department of English

These awards are given to students and lecturers who demonstrate outstanding scholarly achievement:

  • Tinsley Helton Dissertation Fellowship
  • Frederick J. Hoffman Award for Best Graduate Student Essay
  • GTA Award for Teaching Excellence
  • Lecturer Award for Teaching Excellence
  • Creative Writing Awards

More information about these awards can be found on the English Faculty Handbook. Turn to pages 15 to 19 of the Appendices.