Graduate Programs

Financial Support

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 $13,500), and full payment of up to 15 credit hours of graduate tuition. Additional support is available to students in the Strode program and the MFA program.

For information regarding current Graduate School policy on Graduate Assistant health coverage, please consult the Graduate School directly. The Graduate School will provide single-coverage health insurance for each qualified assistantship, based on the FTE (Full-Time Equivalency, or number of assigned work hours) of the appointment.

Teaching Assistantships

a writing center tutor assists a student with an essay

First-year Graduate Assistants with less than 18 hours of prior graduate coursework in English will be assigned to work in the Writing Center, serve under the supervision of a faculty member as small section discussion leaders for 200-level literature lecture courses, or be assigned other duties as appropriate.

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. Later, GTAs are eligible to ask to teach additional courses, such as literature surveys or creative writing courses.

Graduate Awards

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 for these awards; all prospective students receive consideration. Other awards and fellowships include

  • Graduate Council Thesis/Dissertation Fellowship (January) – Open to any MA or MFA writing a thesis or PhD who has begun writing a dissertation. Letter from thesis/dissertation director required.
  • Graduate Council Summer Research Fellowship (April) – Graduate School award offered only if money is available.
  • Excellence in Teaching (October) – Open to all MAs, MFAs, and PhDs who have taught at least 4 semesters.
  • Excellence in Research (October) – Open to all MAs, MFAs, and PhDs.
  • Outstanding Service Award (October) – Open to all MAs, MFAs, and PhDs.
  • Buford Boone Teaching Fellowship (February) – Open to PhD students who have successfully passed their preliminary exam and oral dissertation conference.
  • Strode Summer Research Grants (April) – Open to all MAs, MFAs, and PhDs. Contact the Director of the Hudson Strode Program.
  • Henry Jacobs Summer Travel Fellowship (March)

Over the course of their time 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.

Research and Travel

The department has use of the Henry E. Jacobs Fund and the Miriam Locke Scholarship to help with travel/research expenses. The Jacobs fund was established in 1986 by friends and colleagues of Dr. Jacobs to provide travel and publication funds for graduate students in English. The Locke fund was established in 2000. It provides support for professional travel for graduate students in English. The priorities are 1) travel to MLA for a scheduled interview; 2) professional travel to places vital for dissertation research (libraries, archives, etc.); 3) travel to conferences for presentation of a research paper.

Through the Capstone International Center, the University offers limited funding for faculty and students participating in conferences or other opportunities abroad. Learn more about making an international funding request through Capstone International.

The Graduate School, the SGA, and EGO are all sources of information for additional support. The department also requests matching funds from the Graduate School.

Summer Funding

The English department does not offer summer GTA lines, but there are other summer opportunities for graduate students. If you held a GTA line or fellowship during the preceding semester, you are eligible for in-state tuition rates for summer courses.