University of Virginia



Graduate students in the arts and sciences receive funding from a variety of sources, including fellowships and assistantships, programs administered by the Graduate School and other offices of the University, and competitive awards from organizations outside of the University.


Standard Aid Packages

All students admitted to doctoral programs are provided with five years of guaranteed financial support that provides a stipend for living expenses and payment of tuition, fees and the student health coverage premium.  Students in select master’s programs also receive financial support.  Minimum stipends vary by degree program, ranging from $22,000 through $28,000 on the doctoral level.  Financial support derives from a combination of fellowships and teaching and research assistantships and is contingent upon satisfactory academic standing.  Students who have exhausted their five-year financial support package may receive additional support in advanced years of study as departmental resources allow.

Dissertation Completion Fellowships

To assist students who have exhausted the support offered to them upon admission and who are poised to complete distinguished dissertations and compete in the job market during their sixth year of study, the Graduate School awards dissertation completion fellowships that provide $20,000 in living support (including a half-time appointment as a graduate teaching assistant), as well as full remission of tuition, fees and the single student health insurance premium. Details regarding the nomination process are announced annually in late February.

Dissertation Research Fellowships

The Graduate School, the Vice President for Research and the Society of Fellows provide grants of up to $5,000 to doctoral students in the arts, humanities and social sciences to support preliminary dissertation research of an innovative and interdisciplinary nature during the summer months.  These grants fund research travel to archives, collections and field sites that will enable the student to determine the feasibility of prospective dissertation projects, survey available sources and clarify the research focus, thus better positioning the student to apply for more substantial dissertation fellowships during advanced years of study.

Proposals are submitted electronically in late March following an announcement with specific instructions.  Eligible students will be in the process of preparing a dissertation proposal or undertaking preliminary dissertation research.  Proposal must include a project statement (not to exceed two double-spaced pages) specifying the particular significance of the proposed research travel and drawing attention to the innovative or interdisciplinary nature of the project, a budget for travel and research expenses, a CV and a letter of recommendation from the dissertation advisor or proposed dissertation advisor.  Awards are announced in early April.

External Funding

Graduate students are strongly encouraged to pursue funding opportunities that will supplement their financial aid from the Graduate School.  Such awards are a valuable credential on the job market in any sector and provide the student with important experience in articulating their research interests. Students may combine financial support awarded upon admission with external funds as outlined in the Graduate School's external award policy.

Various resources to assist graduate students in identifying funding opportunities are available through the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Affairs.

Before applying for a grant or fellowship, students should seek guidance and feedback on draft materials from their faculty and advanced peers.  The Graduate School also co-sponsors workshops and tutorials for grant writing and research statements through the Office of Graduate Career Development.