"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."
- Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1817)
Graduate Funding Opportunities
In addition to the option of seeking funding through USA’s Financial Aid office, graduate students in English are encouraged to apply for scholarship and assistantship funding. For more information about applying to specific departmental scholarships designated for graduate students, visit the English department graduate scholarships page. Scholarships are also available through the College of Arts and Sciences and through the university.
Graduate and Teaching Assistantships
If you are a graduate student or are considering a graduate degree in English, the Department of English encourages you to apply for a Graduate Assistantship or Teaching Assistantship. Graduate Assistants (GAs) do not need prior coursework in English. The duties of GAs vary but usually involve one-on-one tutoring in the Writing Center. GAs receive a tuition waiver and a salary. Teaching Assistants (TAs) must have 18 hours of graduate coursework in English, since they teach college-level writing courses. TAs receive a tuition waiver, a salary, office space, and individual guidance on teaching composition. Normally, an assistantship can be renewed for a maximum of two years depending on department needs in terms of GAs and TAs.
Students who are (or will be) enrolled in the English graduate program with regular status or provisional status (not probationary) by August 15, 2016, are eligible for a Graduate Assistantship. Complete applications for the next academic year must be submitted by April 21, 2016, preferably emailed as a PDF. To apply, follow the steps below, but see these information sheets for details about the two types of assistantships:
To apply for a Graduate Assistantship or Teaching Assistantship, you should:
- Submit a CV and a cover letter indicating whether you are applying for just a Graduate
Assistantship, for just a Teaching Assistantship, or for either (if the latter, indicate
your preference). In addition, indicate the semester when you plan to graduate with
- Submit a writing sample (preferably, an analytical paper or creative writing sample
from an upper-division or graduate-level English course).
- Complete the standard USA form for an assistantship. The form requires applicants to submit other materials: transcripts (official or unofficial); three letters of recommendation (email or hard copy submission of signed letter), and GRE scores. You can find the form here.
To apply for a Teaching Assistantship, you should also:
- Write a one- to two-page explanation of your interest in being a TA and what you have
to offer composition students.
- Ask individuals who write the three letters of recommendation (see Step 3 above) to
address your potential as a composition teacher.
- Send all applications materials to Ellen Burton Harrington, Department of English (application materials should be sent by email as a PDF; recommendation letters are also accepted in hard copy), by April 21, 2016. Applications will still be considered after that date if positions are still available. NOTE: Applications for admission to the graduate program must be sent to the USA Admissions Office; only GA and TA applications go to Dr. Harrington.