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Graduate Funding

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.

The English Department recognizes the importance of financial support to students’ success in the Ph.D. program. To that end, all admitted Ph.D. students are awarded identical 5-year funding packages: either the Benjamin Franklin Fellowship or the William Fontaine Fellowship.

Both the Franklin and Fontaine Fellowships provide the following:

  1. 5 years of tuition
  2. 5 years of fees, including the general and clinical fees
  3. 5 years coverage under Penn’s student health insurance
  4. Gym and athletic facilities access
  5. 5 years of an academic year stipend. The annual stipend for 2022-2023 is $33,626, and it is typically adjusted slightly to account for cost-of-living increases each year
  6. 3 years of a supplementary summer stipend

Fontaine Fellowships are awarded to students belonging to groups that have historically been underrepresented in their respective fields or in postgraduate studies in general, and they carry membership in the Penn Fontaine Society (a source of mentorship and networking) and access to additional travel and research grants.

Students taking a sixth year to complete their dissertations apply to an array 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.

In addition to their fellowships, Ph.D. students are eligible to apply for several 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 carry an additional job.