English Assistantships and Financial Aid

Graduate students in the Department of English are encouraged to pursue the following means of obtaining financial support:

  • Graduate Assistantships through our Department - See information below regarding policies and the application process.
  • Assistantships, awards and fellowships through the Graduate School - Students are strongly encouraged to apply for any award or fellowship for which they are eligible, both as an incoming student and as a returning student.
  • Financial Aid
  • Department of English Awards - Each spring, students are encouraged to apply for a number of scholarships and financial stipends presented at our annual Awards Day ceremony. [Information forthcoming.]

The Department of English offers a limited number of Graduate Assistantships in either departmental service, research, or teaching. These assistantships carry stipends in addition to the remission of University tuition and fees. Students must have completed 18 hours of graduate work in English in order to qualify as Teaching Assistants (TAs). TAs normally teach two sections of composition. A very limited number of Graduate Assistantships (GAs) are available for those students who have not completed this requirement. GAs work an average of 20 hours per week in research and teaching roles for department faculty and staff.

All students must apply by March 1 to be considered for an assistantship. Please note that this application is separate from the admission application, although you may submit both to the English Graduate Office at the same time if you wish.

Assistantship Application (.pdf)

Key Policies:

  • Assistantships are typically awarded for one academic year and are eligible for renewal upon successful completion of duties. Support time limits vary with degree program, transfer credits and the availability of departmental funds.
  • Graduate Assistants are expected to carry a nine-hour load every semester, with the exception of students writing a thesis/dissertation, who may register for six hours of thesis/dissertation to be considered full-time. Students are encouraged to consult with their advisors in making course selections.
  • In order to qualify to teach in the Department of English students must take ENGL 7003 Theory and Practice in Teaching Composition concurrent with or prior to their first teaching assignment.
  • All non-native speakers of English must take the SPEAK test and earn a score of 50 in order to be appointed as a Teaching Assistant or Graduate Assistant with teaching duties, including serving as a discussion leader or any teaching activity requiring oral communication with students. See the Graduate School's SPEAK site for more information.
  • New Teaching Assistants are required to attend all orientation sessions offered before the beginning of each semester, generally one week before classes begin.
  • All students who apply for Assistantships are encouraged to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for Work Study funding.

Contact the Department of English Graduate Office at (901) 678-1448 or smellis@memphis.edu if you have any questions about the application process.