Year-by-Year Overview and Financial Support

Students take classes full time during their first two years in the program. A regular course load consists of three seminars (totaling 9 credits) in each of the first four semesters. The Ph.D.exam is scheduled in year three (or early in year four) after language requirements are met and a doctoral committee formed. Years four and five are dedicated to the dissertation. Doctoral students must complete by graduation a minimum of 72 credits: 48 course credits and 24 research credits.

All students receive support for five years. Normally, the first two years are funded through internal fellowships, the third and fourth through teaching assistantships, and the fifth once again through fellowships. Tuition and health care are covered in all five years. Additional summer funding (and support for a sixth year) is available from a variety of sources at Rutgers and elsewhere.

Fellowships and teaching assistantships are based on merit and may be discontinued if academic standards are not maintained -- for example, if the GPA falls below 3.5, or if incompletes remain after two semesters, or if the dissertation committee judges that work is not progressing. Students in their third year and beyond are encouraged to apply for Graduate School fellowships such as the Bevier, and national fellowships such as the NEH and Fulbright. Information on these and other funding opportunities is available through the Grad Fund (  

The Mellon Foundation sponsors an annual fellowship competition for Rutgers graduate students in the humanities. Mellon grants support summer study (such as language classes or travel to collections) as well as dissertation completion. Please contact the Graduate Director for further information.