The Department of History admits students to its graduate programs (MA and Ph.D.) with and without funding. Each student should refer to his or her departmental offer letter for specific details about their funding support. The information provided below serves to clarify the language of our funding offers, and help our graduate students pursue additional sources of funding within and outside of the department.

Regardless of the initial financial package, the department seeks to ensure that all continuing Ph.D. students are financially supported, which includes payment of tuition and/or fees as well as a stipend. To the extent that resources are insufficient to meet the need, the department, on the advice of the graduate committee, will rank students using a combined criterion of academic performance and financial need.

To be considered for any type of financial aid graduate students must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 and be within their Support Time Limit. Financial support is not renewed automatically but is approved by the department on a yearly basis.



Fellowship Packages

The Department offers a small number of fellowship packages, like the Regent's Fellowship, the San Diego Fellowship and the Cota Robles, which include tuition, fees and a stipend of $18,000. These packages are usually reserved for first year students.

Dissertation Fellowships

The department may also fund a limited number of dissertation fellowships, depending on annual budgetary considerations. Dissertation fellowships are intended to give advanced graduate students the opportunity for dedicated writing time. Priority will be given to those students likely to complete their dissertation during the academic year in which the fellowship was awarded. Graduate students wishing such support must apply to extramural sources and submit copies of those applications together with a formal application to the department for dissertation-year support. Dissertation fellowships awarded by the department from block grant funds normally include a stipend (presently $8,000) and scholarships for the payment of fees and, if applicable, non-resident tuition. The department may reduce the amount of the stipend, fee, and tuition assistance to provide support to more students.

Students with guaranteed dissertation funding (as stipulated in their letter of admission) may use some or all of this funding as a writing fellowship. A student who is intending to use their guaranteed dissertation funding should notify the Graduate Coordinator during the spring quarter of the year before its intended use.


Research Grants

All students are expected to apply for outside fellowships to fund field research, usually conducted in the fourth year. The graduate coordinator keeps an updated folder of funding opportunities for research in the graduate reading room, but the student is responsible for identifying specific fellowships and keeping track of application deadlines. Many of the major research fellowships are submitted in the fall of the year before they would be used, so students are encouraged to start the process of identifying fellowship opportunities, writing a proposal, and securing recommendation letters during the spring and summer before applications are due.


Students can also apply for loans from the UCSD Financial Aid Office. In order to apply for a loan, the student must fill out one of the financial aid forms (FAF) distributed by the Financial Aid Office.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition/Fee Scholarship

Within the limits of available funds, tuition scholarships are also available to graduate students who are not legal residents of the state of California. Students who are citizens of the United States qualify for California residency before their second year at UCSD. It is the responsibility of the student to file a declaration of residency. It is the policy of OGS not to offer tuition assistance to continuing students after their first year at graduate school.

It has been the policy of the department to provide a scholarship for tuition to all non-resident teaching assistants who were initially admitted to the program with a tuition scholarship along with the understanding that this assistance would be continued in subsequent years. Language teaching assistants normally receive tuition scholarships for one quarter from the Department of Linguistics and two quarters from the Department of History.

Because of limited resources, it is the policy of the department, in the interests of equity, not to offer fee scholarships to teaching assistants. An exception will be made, in accordance with campus policy, only for students admitted with four-year awards, such as the Cota Robles and University Pre-doctoral Humanities Fellowships. To the extent that funds are available, tuition and/or fee scholarships may be offered to continuing students not otherwise receiving support. Under university policy, only graduate students with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or better are eligible for tuition and/or fee scholarships.

The Graduate Division grants partial remission of fees after advancement to candidacy (for the duration of what is known as "normative time"). Upon enrolling, a student has six years of normative time. Whenever a student delays advancement, the number of normative time quarters is reduced accordingly. After the expiration of normative time, students must complete the dissertation or resume full payment of fees.

Research Assistants

Graduate Student Researchers

Funding for Graduate Student Research (GSR) positions may be available from the Academic Senate or extramural funds assigned to faculty in support of their research. For a GSRship assigned by a faculty member, work involves bibliographies, research data processing, data collection, editing, etc. Individual faculty assign and monitor actual work, which is not to exceed 20 hours per week for a 50% appointment, or 10 hours per week for a 25% appointment. Students may contact individual faculty members or the Graduate Coordinator to identify research assistantship opportunities.

Teaching Assistantships & Readerships

Teaching Assistantships

Most of the financial support to continuing students comes in the form of Teaching Assistantships, either inside the department or in one of the college lower-division writing programs, such as "Making of the Modern World" (ERC), "Dimensions of Culture" (Marshall), "Humanities" (Revelle), "Culture, Art, and Technology" (6th College), or the Muir Writing Program. A full-funding "50%" TAship requires students to spend 20 hours per week/200 hours per quarter, divided among attending lectures, holding office hours, and leading two discussion sections in each of the three quarters.

Inside the history department, there are TA positions in the two lower-division US sequences and the one lower-division East Asian sequence. Any student interested in these positions should contact the Graduate Coordinator at the beginning of the spring quarter. There are also a limited number of TAships in upper-division history courses, and students should also notify the Graduate Coordinator if they wish to be considered for these positions.

The college issue calls for applications for their TA positions during the winter quarter, and students seeking a position outside of the department are encouraged to apply for more than one program. The interview and selection process is organized by the colleges, not by the History department. There are also TAships available in language instruction through the Department of Linguistics and in the Chinese Studies Program, but these are limited in number and usually restricted to native speakers. Information on how to apply for all these programs will be posted by the Graduate Coordinator. Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in order to receive academic employment on campus.


Available readerships will be announced at the beginning of each quarter by the Graduate Coordinator, and students should then contact the faculty member teaching the course. Readerships are built into many first-year funding packages, but even in the case of these guaranteed readerships, students are responsible for securing a specific readership each quarter. First-year students who enter without guaranteed funding may also apply for readerships, as well as continuing students interested in partial employment funding. Continuing students who are already employed as a 50% TA must petition to add a 25% Readership to their funding package.


Travel Grants

The department has limited funds to assist graduate students with research expenses. Students may apply for a maximum of $1,500 a year to cover travel, subsistence and other expenses for research purposes. Preference for these research awards will be given to students who are advanced to candidacy, are within normative time limits, and have not received previous research funding from the department. Awards may be reduced if demand exceeds the resources of the fund. Students with guaranteed dissertation funding (as stipulated in their letter of admission) may use all or part of this money for research travel. 

The department will send out a call for travel twice a year (Fall and Spring quarters). You must complete and submit a travel reimbursement request form to the Graduate Program Assistant. 

If you have any questions, please contact Megan Ensminger.