Scholarships and Awards

The department is committed to providing at least four years of financial assistance to all students in the program. Beginning graduate students receive graduate assistantships that require teaching or research assistance to a faculty member for about 20 hours per week. Advanced graduate students have the opportunity to lead discussion and lab sections of undergraduate courses as well as assume full responsibility for courses in the undergraduate curriculum.

For the 2010-2011 academic year, the annual starting stipend for graduate assistants was $13,000, which includes a waiver of tuition; and a summer stipend of $1800 for 12 hours of course credit during the summer. Teaching assistants who have more seniority in the program can earn considerably more. Assistantships are awarded to all students admitted by the department. There is no separate application for financial aid. Several of our graduate students are supported by federal grants supervised by our faculty, and additional support may be available through these (and other) means as well.

The economic value of a graduate stipend should rightfully be evaluated in perspective to the cost of living. Adequate housing is available in Oxford for the academic season, so long as the necessary arrangements are made by late spring. The monthly cost of housing ranges from $250 to $425 among those students living in single rooms or apartments. The median cost is $325. Students sharing an apartment or house report monthly costs ranging from $165 to $300 with a median of $265. Our students generally believe that housing in Oxford is “reasonable.” There is also a University housing unit which has been set aside for graduate students, with single rooms leasing for $770 per semester. Few of our students have taken advantage of this option. Individual expenses for food and drink appear to be quite variable, with monthly estimates ranging from $100 to $350 with a median of $130. Room and board per year averages less than $5,300 for most students.

When students are admitted with support, the Department assumes a commitment to provide them with support for four years.  This commitment may be met by any departmentally approved stipend, including, but not necessarily limited to, departmental assistantships, extramural research grant support (such as a grant or contract awarded to a specific faculty member who is designated as the primary investigator), teaching and dissertation scholarships, traineeships, and placements.  After a student has received four years of such support, the department has no continuing obligation to provide or seek support for a student; however, a student may be supported beyond the fourth year in any of the above ways.  “Having a commitment” means that any available positions, not including those supported by extramural research grants, must first be allocated to continuing students to whom such a commitment exists.  An individual with an extramural research grant may fill positions funded by that grant with anyone whom (s)he chooses.  Support, such as a grant or contract, that is obtained by a student does not count toward the Department’s commitment.  If lack of funds should make it impossible to support all students to whom the department has a commitment, then awards will be made on a competitive basis, and students will be funded in order of merit as determined by the faculty.

In order to be eligible for a Teaching Associate, students are expected to have successfully completed Psychology 685, Practicum in the Teaching of Psychology.  In addition, Graduate School regulations require students to have obtained the M.A. or to have 30 semester hours of graduate credit.  Specific assignments of departmental support are made by the Chair upon recommendations from the Coordinator of Graduate Programs.

In order to maintain any form of Graduate Award, a student must continue to make satisfactory progress toward a degree and to fulfill the responsibilities of the award.

It is the responsibility of students to be familiar with the Graduate School regulations concerning Graduate Awards.  Students are advised to consult the Graduate School statement on “Rights and Responsibilities of Graduate Assistants, Associates, and Teaching Fellows” for specific information.