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 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 internal fellowships. Tuition and health care are covered in all five years. Additional summer funding is available by application to 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 on the transcript after two semesters, or if the dissertation committee judges that work is not progressing.

Outside fellowships (e.g., AAUW, NEH, Ford, Fulbright) may provide support for an additional sixth year. Competitive fellowships internal to Rutgers -- the CCA, Bevier, and Mellon Dissertation Fellowships, among others -- are similarly prestigious but do not extend support beyond the fifth year. Consult the Grad Fund ( for current information about available grants and fellowships.