Financial Aid

Deadline for Application Deadline for financial aid applications is December 15 for entry for the following fall. We encourage you to apply for financial support from our department and other sources to study linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Departmental Funding

The Department of Linguistics is able to offer several very attractive funding packages every year to well-qualified applicants for the PhD program. In fall 2018, we also anticipate being able to offer full financial aid to one to two well-qualified applicants for the MA in Applied Linguistics with TESOL Certificate. Teaching experience overseas and/or in intensive English programs will be a great advantage.

If a student is admitted with a financial aid package, it can usually be renewed for up to a maximum total of 5 years for a PhD student or two years for an MA student, provided that good progress is made in the degree. Both international students and U.S. citizens can apply for financial aid. We do our best to provide our students with a variety of assignments that involve teaching language, linguistics, and conducting research during their graduate career in order to make them competitive in the job market.

Our financial aid packages compare very well indeed with those at other top universities. Each full-time financial aid package comes with the following:

  1. A fellowship covering all tuition and fees for the fall and spring semesters.
  2. Full medical coverage for a calendar year.
  3. Access to a dental and vision plan for a small additional cost.
  4. A stipend for two terms of service (fall and spring terms) requiring 20 hours of work per week. Doctoral students are eligible for teaching fellowships. View the amount for each type of award »

There are four main activities for funded students who receive a stipend that requires service in the department.

  1. Teaching Assistantships (TAs) in Linguistics. TAs typically provide support for one or more professors who teach larger enrollment undergraduate courses in Linguistics. The workload is 20 hours per week, including attending some classes where necessary, grading homework and exams, holding office hours, and in some cases teaching a class or two in place of the professor. More advanced PhD students often teach a class of their own under the supervision of a faculty member.
  2. Teaching Assistantships in the English Language Institute. This assignment requires teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). It involves 8 contact hours in class, plus the required time for preparation and grading up to 20 hours every week. This teaching assignment often includes teaching the same section of a class twice (e.g., 2 sections of an ESL class focused on listening, each with 13 to 15 students). The TA has full responsibility for this class, but receives a lot of support from the ELI administrative faculty in the form of a complete curriculum, curriculum notes, class visits, and one-on-one meetings. These assistantships can normally be given only to students who are native speakers of a standard variety of English.
  3. Teaching Assistantships in Hispanic Linguistics. This work involves teaching Spanish as a second language to undergraduate students in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures. Students should have excellent Spanish ability either as a native speaker or fluent user of Spanish (Advanced Low Proficiency in Spanish as measured by an OPI or equivalent). These teaching assistantships usually involve teaching one 5-credit course each term in basic Spanish Language (up to 25 students). Sometimes advanced students are chosen to teach 3-credit courses such as conversation, composition, and topics in Hispanic Linguistics; if chosen for this assignment, students teach three 3-credit courses in an academic year. All assignments involve a 20-hour-per-week commitment that includes class preparation, grading, and meeting with students.
  4. Graduate Student Research Assistantships. Faculty members who have funded research projects (internally or externally funded) offer research assistantships for 20 hours of work per week. These assignments vary depending on the professor. The assignment may involve bibliographic work, collection of data with human participants in psycholinguistic or sociolinguistic research, analysis of data, and/or creation of research materials.
  5. University Fellowships. In addition, one or two graduate student funding packages may be available each year with a two-term tuition fellowship without any service component. These include the prestigious Mellon, Lawler, and Irvis University fellowships.

Both current and prospective students may apply for these fellowships. The competition for these is fierce, but our students often do well in getting these fellowships.

Application for all types of financial aid and for graduate student assistantships is made by checking the appropriate box on the application for admission to graduate study in the online application. Since competition for these awards is very keen, applicants are urged to attach to their applications a detailed description of any work experience (type of school, age level of students, methods or materials used, and any other relevant information) in the form of a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume to their online application. If you do not submit a CV, you may miss out on being considered for financial aid.

Summer term assistantships. Teaching assistantships and teaching fellowships also are available in the third term, including a stipend and tuition fellowship for that term, on a much less frequent basis. More information on University Funding awards and policies are available at the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and University websites.

In addition, the Undergraduate Advising Center offers employment to graduate students who are interested in counseling undergraduates toward a well-balanced program, and the work-study program offers part-time employment to U.S. students (apply through the Office of Student Aid).

External Funding from the National Science Foundation

If you are a currently in the USA, and you are still an undergraduate or you have been in a graduate program for less than one year, you should look into applying for a National Science Foundation Fellowship. The deadline is early November for the following fall.

You may also be eligible for other awards to study in the USA from your own country if you are an international student.

Research and Conference Travel Grants

Once a student is enrolled in the Department of Linguistics, we offer additional support for his or her graduate career to help professional development. Current students can find information on funds for conference travel and research support.