Funding and Tuition Scholarships

8        Funding and Tuition Scholarships

8.1       Award Eligibility

The GSAS offers many forms of merit-based funding, including assistantships, fellowships, and tuition scholarships.

The dean of GSAS determines which students receive funding upon the recommendations of academic departments/programs as well as the Distinguished Fellowships Committee. In accordance with the guidelines of the Council of Graduate Schools, students are notified of financial awards by April 1, and must reply by April 15. If the dean does not receive a written acceptance of the aid offer by April 15, the offer may be rescinded. In consultation with academic departments, the dean also assigns students to assistantship assignments outside the academic departments and programs.

Students who wish to be considered for distinguished fellowship awards (see §8.6 Fellowships and Grants) must complete the Distinguished Fellowship Application and submit it to the department or program by the date specified on the web page (usually in early to midJanuary). The department or program will select nominees to forward to the GSAS Distinguished Fellowships Committee by the date specified on the web page. Guidelines for each distinguished fellowship are available on the GSAS financial aid website under Distinguished Fellowships.

Students receiving GSAS funding or tuition scholarships must satisfy the following criteria every academic year:

  1. Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5.
  2. Meet the requirements of both satisfactory academic performance and satisfactory academic progress (see §7.4 GSAS Standards for Satisfactory Academic Performance and Satisfactory Academic Progress; Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress [SAP]).
  3. Be certified as “full time” by registering for the full time equivalence in credits (see Appendix D) or filling out a Matriculated Students Status Certification form, available on the GSAS Student Resources page, to indicate academic work sufficient for full time status. The only exception is for IPED students receiving a Ricci scholarship.
  4. Hold no additional Fordham assignments during the academic year without the written permission of the dean. This rule applies to all the categories of funding addressed in this chapter.

Students receiving funding or tuition scholarships shall inform promptly GSAS of any other University funded awards or alternate appointments (e.g. resident assistantships). Please note that such awards or appointments will reduce the total amount of funding provided by GSAS, relative to the overall level and type of the funding. Students should also note that University policy limits the number of hours a student can be assigned in any University post to 19 hours per week total. Employment as a staff member of the University while being matriculated as a full time student requires the written permission of the dean, and is rarely granted.

8.1.1 New Students

All new applicants for admission to GSAS programs who wish to be considered for GSAS merit-based funding must have a completed admission application on file by the deadline published in the application materials.

Departments and programs recommend new applicants for funding or tuition scholarships on a ranked basis, the principal criterion for ranking being a candidate’s preparation and potential for outstanding graduate-level work. At minimum, applicants recommended for funding are expected to have a “B+” (3.5) average in previous coursework, and to achieve the 75th percentile (for the discipline) in each of the three sections of the GRE.

8.1.2 Continuing Students

All matriculated students who wish to be considered for GSAS merit-based funding, including those who have received past aid, must fill out an application form every year. The application for continuation of aid is available through the department or program and is due by the date on the GSAS Academic Calendar, unless the department specifies an earlier date.

Every effort is made to renew the awards of eligible recipients, but renewals are not guaranteed. Students must reapply for funding every year. The criteria used for awarding aid to matriculated students include:

  • satisfactory academic performance and progress (see §7.4 GSAS Standards for Satisfactory Academic Performance and Satisfactory Academic Progress; Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress [SAP]);
  • evaluations from previous assistantship supervisors;  recommendations from faculty, and award tenure. 

Please see individual departments for typical award tenure information.

Doctoral students who are awarded a graduate assistantship as part of their tuition scholarship package typically progress to a teaching fellowship later in their program. The order in which such appointments are awarded may vary by department, and certain appointments may not be offered. Please see individual departments for more information.

8.2      Graduate Assistantships

Students receiving funding may be assigned to Graduate Assistantships under the direction of faculty in their department or elsewhere. Graduate assistants are expected to commit up to 18 hours per week to their graduate assistantship duties for the entire academic year, from approximately the third week of August through University commencement, including days when there are no classes but the University is open (e.g. the January and spring breaks). A half graduate assistant financial aid package requires a commitment of up to nine hours per week.

Summer graduate assistantships are typically for 24 hours per week for ten weeks during the summer.

Most assistants work at a location on campus between 9:00a.m. and 5:00p.m., but some assignments require evening or weekend hours on campus. At the start of an assistantship, the student should ascertain from the department the expectations for hours and days to satisfy the nature of the duties.

An assistantship may be revoked if the student is absent from the assistantship without making prior arrangements. An assistantship may also be revoked, and a student’s funding may not be renewed, on the basis of poor evaluations from the department.

If a student wishes to resign an assistantship, all the following parties must be notified immediately in writing:

            1. the faculty member or Fordham staff member managing the assignment;  2. the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (adgsas@fordham.edu); and

            3. the academic department or program.

8.3      Teaching Fellowships

Some students receiving funding are selected by their academic departments to be instructors for undergraduate courses in FCRH, FCLC, and PCS, under the supervision of a faculty member, and are designated as teaching fellows. Teaching fellows should commit no more than 18 hours per week during the academic year.

Teaching fellows are typically advanced doctoral students who have completed all coursework and passed the doctoral comprehensive examinations.

Teaching fellows must follow the Fordham college deans’ instructional policies as outlined in the Undergraduate Faculty Handbook.

8.4      Teaching Associates

The rank of teaching associate is awarded to graduate students, other than teaching fellows (see §8.3 Teaching Fellowships), to serve as instructors for undergraduate courses in FCRH, FCLC, and PCS.

Eligible matriculated students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences may serve as teaching associates, but under no circumstances may matriculated GSAS students serve as adjunct instructors. Teaching associates are not considered employees of the University and their assignment is part of disciplinary and professional training.

Teaching associates will receive a per-course stipend, a tuition scholarship of up to three credits per semester, and a contribution towards health insurance. No teaching associate may teach more than two courses per semester.

In order to be considered for a teaching associate position, students must apply for financial aid.

Teaching associates must have completed the master’s degree (with preference to students who have completed all requirements except the dissertation proposal and defense), be in good academic standing (in both academic performance and in academic progress (see §7.4 GSAS Standards for Satisfactory Academic Performance and Satisfactory Academic Progress;

Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress [SAP]), and must complete the Application for Financial Aid. Nominees must have completed their department’s teaching preparation program (where such exists). Preference for appointment as a teaching associate is generally given to students who have successfully served as teaching fellows, and who will have exceeded the normal award tenure for financial aid.

8.5      Tuition Scholarships

Tuition scholarships are a part of most financial aid awards and are awarded on a per-credit basis. In addition, full- or partial-tuition scholarships may be offered to qualified students in select programs or to match the aid from research grants of faculty members. These scholarships are considered to be GSAS financial aid, and students must meet the eligibility requirements previously described, including full time student status.

Tuition scholarships can only be applied toward coursework that meets degree requirements. They cannot be used to audit courses, take undergraduate courses that do not fulfill a language requirement, take a course that is a condition of admission or for personal enrichment. Charges associated with 0-credit courses (e.g. graduate “Language for Reading” courses) will be covered by the tuition scholarship, but will reduce the number of credits that may be taken in a given academic year.

Partial tuition scholarships are available for high school teachers in select programs and for teachers at Jesuit high schools. In addition, GSAS participates in the Mayor’s Scholarship Program, which provides partial tuition scholarships for employees of the City of New York. Some discounts are also available to members of the clergy and to staff and faculty at partner institutions. Contact the dean’s office for information about eligibility.

Students who receive any form of tuition scholarship must register by the deadlines posted in registration materials or they may forfeit their tuition scholarship. Additionally, students who register late are charged a late registration fee.

Any billing problems associated with tuition scholarships must be brought immediately to the attention of the dean’s office (adgsas@fordham.edu).

8.6      Fellowships and Grants

In addition to the above-mentioned scholarships and appointments, the GSAS provides financial aid in the form of a variety of graduate fellowships and grants, including six types of University-sponsored distinguished fellowships: three offered to entering students and three for advanced students.

Some departments have additional fellowships that are restricted to students in their programs. For more information, see the GSAS financial aid website under Distinguished Fellowships.

8.6.1 Distinguished Fellowships for Entering Students

Distinguished fellowships available to first-time applicants to the GSAS include:

  • Loyola Fellowship: The Loyola Fellowship was established through the generosity of the Jesuits of Fordham University to encourage graduate study in the humanities and is awarded to incoming students. The Loyola Fellowship allows students to devote full time to their studies during their first year only.
  • University Fellowship: University Fellowships are awarded to a select group of incoming students (at either the master’s or doctoral level) in recognition of their academic achievements. The University Fellowship typically allows students to devote full time to their studies and applies to their first year only.
  • Bennett Assistantship Award: Established to recognize outstanding academic achievements, Bennett Assistantships are awarded to a select group of incoming students (at either the master’s or doctoral level). The Bennett Assistantship provides a stipend supplement to graduate assistantship and teaching fellowship financial awards.

8.6.2 Distinguished Fellowships for Advanced Students

Three academic-year distinguished fellowships are available for outstanding doctoral students. These fellowships do not fall under the award tenure policy previously described and thus, in some programs, may increase a student’s eligibility for funding by no more than one year. In no case will a student’s eligibility for aid be increased by more than one year, even if a student is awarded more than one distinguished fellowship during her/his time at Fordham.

  • Research Fellowship: The GSAS Research Fellowship provides support for GSAS students to work as research fellows to conduct research on their own dissertations. The fellowship provides support for students who wish to work closely with faculty members to develop their own dissertation research projects or to learn methods or procedures that they will use in their own dissertation research.

Senior Teaching Fellowship: Senior Teaching Fellowships typically provide support for students who have already completed a Teaching Fellowship in their department. Responsibilities of Senior Teaching Fellows include teaching three courses per year at Fordham College under faculty supervision. The fellowship is designed for the student who has already completed a teaching fellowship within his or her department and has demonstrated effective teaching skills. 

  • Alumni Dissertation Fellowships: Alumni Dissertation Fellowships allow students to devote full time work to their dissertations. The Alumni Dissertation Fellowship is the last of the internally administered prestigious awards for advanced doctoral students. Recipients are expected to complete, defend, and present their dissertations in time for a May graduation. 

8.6.3 Graduate Student Support Grants (SSGs)

The Graduate Student Support Grants are merit-based awards jointly managed by GSAS and the Graduate Student Association (GSA). These awards provide support for student conference and/or research expenses; select dissertation expenses; and/or alternative learning experiences. Applications are reviewed during two funding cycles: fall and spring. For more information, please visit the SSG website.

8.6.4 Summer Fellowships

GSAS Summer Fellowships provide support for master’s and doctoral students seeking to devote the summer to the preparation of proposals to apply for prestigious fellowships, articles for publication, and/or conference papers.

In disseminating these awards, the highest priority will be given to summer projects designed to prepare a student to apply for prestigious fellowships, and secondly to improve a student’s professional credentials beyond the normal expectations of the program. Higher priority will be given to students who have not received a prior Summer Fellowship.

8.7      External Prestigious Fellowships

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences actively supports applications by qualified students for prestigious fellowships offered by external grant organizations for graduate research at various levels, particularly dissertation research. These organizations include, but are not limited to:

  • The Fulbright Commission
  • The Council for European Studies
  • The Department of Education
  • The National Science Foundation
  • The American Association of University Women
  • The Rotary Foundation

Qualified students interested in developing and improving applications for these and other prestigious awards should contact the Office for Prestigious Fellowships.

If awarded an external prestigious fellowship, students must notify their department and the dean’s office (adgsas@fordham.edu). Recipients of external prestigious fellowships may be eligible for matching funds from GSAS.