The Department of Linguistics offers a funding package for up to four or five years of support to students admitted to the PhD program in Linguistics (please see below for more details) and for up to two years for students admitted to the MATESL program (MATESL Financial Aid information may be found here). The department offers financial aid packages in the form of:
- Teaching assistantships
- Graduate assistantships
- Research assistantships
all of which include stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance
Funding commitments for PhD students
All students admitted to the PhD program in Linguistics are provided with funding (unless they bring their own external funding), which takes the form of a tuition waiver and a stipend. Continuing PhD students have to reapply for funding every year (except for those on a multi-year fellowship), and need to remain in good standing in order to be eligible for continued support.
The department commits to fully funding students for five years if they are admitted to Stage 1 of the PhD, and for four years if they are admitted directly to Stage 2 of the PhD (click here for explanations of the PhD stages), contingent upon the student remaining in good standing, meeting program milestones, and, where relevant, satisfactory fulfillment of teaching responsibilities. “Full funding” is defined as a tuition-waiver-generating 50% appointment, or the equivalent in fellowship. Please see https://grad.illinois.edu/assistantships for more information about assistantship percentages.
The department understands that not all students are able to finish their PhD in this time period. As long as funds are available, the department makes an effort to provide at least partial funding for students in good standing who are in their sixth year of the program (if admitted to Stage 1) or fifth year (if admitted to Stage 2), but this support is typically below 50% level. Students in the seventh year or beyond (if admitted to Stage 1), or the sixth year or beyond (if admitted to Stage 2) may be provided with some financial support, but only in exceptional circumstances.
Financial support during a given student's time in the PhD program may take the form of fellowships, assistantships, or a mix of the two; support from outside the department (such as university or external fellowships, assistantships provided by other units, or research assistantships provided by individual faculty members) is counted into the maximum years of support (so, for example, a student admitted to Stage 1 on a three-year fellowship can expect two additional years of funding from the department). The type of funding provided to a given student depends on many factors, including the student's background and interests, the needs of the department, and a consideration of the student's prior appointments.
The department expects advanced graduate students to apply for sources of support from outside the department for which they are eligible. Many of our graduate students have been successful in competitions for school and university-wide ‘Dissertation Completion’ fellowships.
In addition to fellowships offered directly by our Department, there are other sources of fellowships available to incoming and continuing graduate students. A full listing of fellowships and other awards available to graduate students can be found on the Graduate College website here.
Prospective students with outstanding records are also encouraged to investigate sources of fellowship support external to the University. Exceptional applicants and students who are U.S. citizens or nationals or permanent residents should consider applying for a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship or an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship. Competitive external fellowships and grants awarded to students not only provide a mark of excellence for the student’s CV, they are also critical in the department’s overall financial aid plan.
The Department offers teaching assistantships in three areas:
- ESL (both in the ESL Service Courses and at the Intensive English Institute)
- Less Commonly Taught Languages
Graduate Assistantships and Research Assistantships
There are a few assistantships available for students who can work in the different labs that are affiliated with our Department. These are: The Phonetics and Phonology lab (Director: Professor Ryan Shosted) and the Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism lab (Director: Professor Silvina Montrul). There are other positions also available, as MATESL library GA, LCTL program GA, and Seminar coordinator / website GA.
Faculty members of the Linguistics Department are sometimes able to offer research assistantships to qualified students, especially those who have the requisite training in the area of the faculty’s research interests. Research assistants are appointed on an annual basis at the discretion of the faculty investigator on the project, based on the needs of the project and the availability of funding.
Applying for Financial Aid:
All applicants to our graduate programs are considered for financial aid at the same time that they are considered for admission; there is no separate application for financial aid.
For students currently enrolled in the program, the Department will send out announcements for upcoming Financial Aid application deadlines each semester.
Note: Student progress is evaluated based on the Annual Review which is coordinated by the Director of Graduate Studies at the end of each academic year, with written reports sent to the student and the student’s advisor; continuing financial aid is contingent on a successful annual review.