Duke is committed to financially supporting the students it selects for graduate study. Support from the department is principally in the form of graduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, and part-time teaching assistantships. Such support is determined on the basis of academic excellence, student need, and departmental need. It is, of course, also limited by the funds that the department receives from the Graduate School and from Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. Our students can normally expect five years of support. In most cases you will begin teaching one course per semester in the second year as part of your financial package, while you will take, in the fall of the same year, the required RS700S course on Teaching Methods. Continuation of such support is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress and (in the case of instructors) teaching effectiveness. The Graduate School has begun a program of summer support for the first and second summers of study for all PhD students. Additionally, the department offers competitive summer fellowships for inter-institutional summer study beyond those years.
Research Assistantships may be available for students to assist faculty members with research projects. Work/study (a federally funded program) is sometimes available for research-clerical assistance but is limited to students who qualify for need by filing a GAPSFAS form.
Fellowships are reportable as income to the IRS with the exclusion of money spent on tuition, fees, books, and equipment, although the university neither reports nor withholds income taxes except for international students. The student can arrange to have tax withheld by filing a W-4 form. Research assistantships and teaching assistantships, on the other hand, are both taxable and are reported by the university to the IRS.
After completing the Preliminary Examination (Portfolio Exam), students are eligible for one conference travel fellowship per year from the Graduate School for the purpose of giving a paper at a professional meeting. After completing the Dissertation Prospectus Workshop Exam, students are also eligible for research abroad support and Graduate School Dissertation Travel Awards.
Opportunities exist for teaching in the summer sessions; application is made to the appropriate Language Program Director. Assignments are made on the basis of seniority, ability, and previous experience, and are decided by the DGS and the Language Program Director.
Student loans can be arranged directly with the Financial Aid office of the Graduate School.
For more information, please visit gradschool.duke.edu/financial-support.