Students admitted to the graduate program are guaranteed up to five years of full financial support (up to four years for the MFA; up to two years for the MA). All admitted students qualify for Graduate Assistantships, which include a stipend paid over nine months (currently $12,006), an annual $800 scholarship, full payment of graduate tuition, and health insurance. Additional support is available to students in the Strode program and the MFA program.
First year Graduate Assistants with less than 18 hours of graduate coursework in English have no direct responsibility for teaching; they study composition theory, they work as tutors in the Writing Center, and they may have a variety of other research assistant duties within the English Department, such as assisting a professor or an office. In the second year and beyond, GTAs routinely teach two courses per semester. (First year students who already have 18 or more hours of graduate coursework in English begin teaching in their first year.) One begins one's teaching life at Alabama as an instructor of First-year Writing. All through this first year of teaching, GTAs receive ongoing training and support from the department's composition specialists. After gaining that experience, GTAs usually teach 200 level Literature courses.
Incoming students are also eligible for other awards, including Graduate Council Fellowships ($15,000 plus full tuition remission), Dean's Merit Assistantships ($6000 enhancements to the GTA stipend, renewable for a total of three years), Truman Capote Fellowships (the number and value of these awards vary each year), and McNair Graduate Fellowships ($15,000 plus full tuition remission). There are no separate application processes: we automatically consider all prospective students for these awards. Over the course of their stays here, graduate students also become eligible for other perquisites, from a reduced teaching load to nonteaching fellowships from the Graduate School and the Alumni Association as well as generous travel and research funding.