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 to 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. To the extent that resources are insufficient to meet student's need, the department, on the advice of the graduate committee, will rank students using a combined criterion of academic performance and financial need to award funds.

To be considered for any type of funding 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.


Admissions Offer Fellowship Packages

The Department offers a small number of fellowship packages, like the Regent's Fellowship, the San Diego Fellowship, and the Cota Robles, to incoming students. The fellowship packages include tuition, fees, a stipend of up to $18,000, and an additional Dissertation Year Fellowship. 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 intends to use their guaranteed dissertation funding should notify the Graduate Coordinator during the spring quarter of the year before its intended use. 

Dissertation Fellowships

The department may also fund a limited number of dissertation fellowships, depending on annual budgetary considerations. Dissertation fellowships are intended to give graduate students who have advanced to candidacy 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 seeking 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.

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 a policy of the Graduate Division not to offer tuition assistance to continuing students after their first year at graduate school.

Depending on annual budgetary considerations, it is 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. 

Tuition and Fee Remission

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 keep an eye out for emails from 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. Many offer letters include guaranteed Teaching Assistantships as funding support. Students with a guaranteed TAships are required to apply to for TA positions in the department of history, college writing programs, and any other TA position (minimum 25% appointment) on campus for which they are qualified. 

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


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. A call for Readers is sent out at the beginning of each quarter by the Graduate Coordinator or Program Assistant. Students interested in a Readership should respond to the call with their preferences and availability. 

In Absentia Registration

Departmental Payment of In Absentia Tuition and Fees

Where the Dean of the Graduate Division has approved In Absentia status, the Department will normally
pay tuition costs for one academic year (three quarters). Students who receive an extra-departmental award (note threshold amounts) are eligible to receive up to an additional three (3) quarters of In Absentia registration tuition and fees paid by the department. In no case will the department pay In Absentia tuition and fee costs beyond two academic years (six quarters) of In Absentia status. These limits on support time and the purpose of In Absentia tuition are firm rules; no petitions or requests for exceptions will be considered.

Activities that Qualify for In Absentia Status

  • field research
  • coursework away from campus
  • a residential fellowship that requires residence away from the San Diego*

*Student's advisor must confirm that holding such a fellowship would be the best course of action for the student to advance toward the degree.

External Award Thresholds

$10,500.00 for the academic year/$3500.00 per quarter

Department of History In-Absentia Policy-Full Text [PDF]


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.


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.


H. Stuart Hughes Prize

The H. Stuart Hughes Prize is award annually to the student who produced the best research paper in one of our research seminars during each academic year. The honoree is announced at the Department of History's Welcome Reception the following year and awarded a $700 honorarium. 

Hull-Marino Prize

The Hull-Marino Prize was named for Dryden Hull, a graduate student who was tragically lost in a car accident while a Ph.D. student in our program. His advisor, John Marino, raised money to endow the prize in Hull's memory. After Dr. Marino's passing the department faculty honored Dr. Marino's efforts by adding his name to the prize. 

The Hull-Marino Prize is award annually to the graduating Ph.D. student who produced the best dissertation that academic year. The honoree is announced at the Department of History's End of Year Reception and awarded a $1000 honorarium.