Year-by-Year Overview and Financial Support

Students devote themselves full time to coursework during their first two years in the program. The Ph.D.exam takes place 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 are required to complete 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 more through fellowships. Tuition and health care are included throughout these five years. Additional summer funding 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, that is, if the GPA falls below 3.5 or if there are incompletes outstanding for longer than two semesters. Students in years three and above 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 graduate students in the humanities. Awards support summer study (such as language classes or travel to collections) as well as dissertation completion. Please contact the graduate director for further information.