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Ph.D. Funding Overview

Please note: the following applies only to Ph.D. students. Regrettably, we are unable to offer financial aid to M.A. students, including research or teaching assistantships.

Overview

The Department of English recognizes the importance of financial support to students' success in the Ph.D. program. All admitted Ph.D. students are awarded identical 5-year funding packages, either through the Benjamin Franklin Fellowship or the William Fontaine Fellowship.

Both fellowships provide the following:

  1. 5 years of tuition
  2. 5 years of fees, including General and Clinical Fees
  3. 5 years of coverage under Penn’s Student Health Insurance (PSIP)
  4. 5 years of a competitive stipend for each academic year. The annual stipend for 2022-2023 is $33,626, and it is typically adjusted slightly to account for cost-of-living increases each year
  5. 3 years of supplementary summer stipends.
  6. Basic membership in Penn's athletic facilities

Fontaine Fellowships are awarded to students (U.S. citizens only) from backgrounds that have historically been underrepresented in their respective fields, or in postgraduate studies in general, and the fellowships carry additional membership in the Penn Fontaine Society, a source of mentorship and networking, and eligibility for additional travel and research grants.

Students taking a sixth year to complete their dissertations apply to a range of internal and external competitive fellowships to fund their final year. We recognize that increasingly students are supported by yearlong fellowships rather than by teaching appointments, and in response, we have developed robust resources for preparing students for their applications, including workshops, a monthly funding digest, and a fellowship deadline calendar. See the Sixth-Year Funding page for more information.

In addition to their fellowships, Ph.D. students are eligible to apply for travel grants to support research trips, colloquium participation, and conference attendance. See Travel Funding for more information. 

Additional work should be taken on judiciously, with the aim to strategically build the student’s resume and to generate additional income without jeopardizing their progress. Most students are not eligible to take on additional work until after their coursework requirements have been completed, and additional jobs must be cleared with both the student’s advisor and the Grad Chair. International students should additionally consult ISSS to ensure that their visa allows them to take on additional work.