The English Department administers a number of financial awards and prizes for graduate students,
details of which are described below. Information about sources of need-based financial aid,
including tuition waivers, loans, and work-study positions, may be found on the
Financial Aid Office website. Information about grants
and fellowships offered by external agencies may be found on the
Graduate Division website.
Students, both American and foreign, who are interested in participating in the educational and
research programs of the East-West Center may find information about graduate degree fellowships on the
East-West Center website.
Assistantships. For Ph.D. students, the principal form of financial aid that the Department
provides is its graduate assistantships. In addition to financial support, these assistantships offer
instruction and experience in teaching composition and literature at the college level. Graduate
assistantships are normally offered for a four-year period, subject to the continued availability of
funding and to the student's maintenance of a satisfactory academic and teaching record. An
assistantship includes both a half-time appointment as a member of the faculty and a full tuition
waiver. (Graduate Assistants must pay their own fees.) Graduate Assistants are required to take
English 605, Theory and Practice of Teaching Composition, their first semester, with exceptions
granted those students who submit evidence of prior, relevant course work. The teaching load is two
courses in the first year and three courses per year in each of the remaining three years.
Apprenticeships with experienced full-time faculty members--in English 100 in the first semester
and in a 200- or 300-level literature class in the third semester--count as part of the teaching
load for Graduate Assistants. Assistants must maintain a full-time course load (six credits per
semester, or 1 credit of English 800 for those who have advanced to candidacy).
Assistantships are offered at the same time that decisions are made regarding admission to the
program; all Ph.D. applicants are automatically considered for G.A.-ships. The department awards
4-5 G.A.-ships annually.
More information on the graduate assistantships is contained in a separate "Graduate Assistants
Guide" that is available from the English Graduate Program office.
Since most students do not complete their degrees in four years, the department attempts to
provide options for lectureships through the seventh year. Such lectureships are dependent upon
funds available to the department for lecture positions.
M.A. Teaching Assistantships and Mentorship Teaching Assistantships.
For M.A. students, the Department offers 2-3 teaching assistantships (T.A.-ships), and 10-12
mentorship-T.A.-ships (M.T.A.-ships). A “Teaching Assistants Guide” is available from the
Graduate Program office.
T.A.-ships offer compensation as at half-time faculty appointment and a full tuition waiver for
two years, subject to the availability of funding and the student's maintenance of a satisfactory
academic and teaching record. Student Fees are not covered by the tuition waiver. Each semester,
T.A.s are asked to mentor one section of English 100 and T.A. in a large enrollment section of a
300-level course or tutor in the Writing Workshop. These assistantships are awarded at the same
time that decisions are made regarding admission to the program. Students need not make a special
application for these awards, as all applicants are automatically considered. T.A.s are expected
to work 20 hours a week.
Mentorship T.A.-ships (M.T.As) offer a quarter-time faculty appointment, but the tuition waiver
is not complete, and depends in part on the size of the English Department's tuition-waiver
allocation. M.T.A.-ships may be offered either at the time of admission or later, depending on
their availability, and on student preparation and prior experience. Student fees are not covered
by the tuition waiver. Openings for positions are announced on the graduate student lists.
Appointments are made by mentorship Project Director Jim Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org) in
consultation with the Graduate Director. M.T.As are expected to work 10 hours a week.
Graduate Division Tuition Waivers. Another form of financial aid for Master's
candidates and Ph.D. candidates is the tuition waiver. The English Department is given a small
number of tuition waivers by the Graduate Division that it awards to entering students
competitively on the basis of their academic records and recommendations. These awards may be
held for a maximum of four semesters, subject to the continued availability of funds and the
student's mainte¬nance of a satisfactory record. Awardees must be enrolled in course work
full-time (at least six credits, or 1 credit of English 800). Though awardees must pay their own
fees, their tuition is waived. Students are automatically considered at the time of admission
and need not submit a separate application. If a vacancy occurs, it may be awarded to a continuing
student on the basis of academic performance in the program. Again, no application is necessary.
The Red Mandarin and Lady Yi-suen Shen Scholarship. This scholarship was endowed by a
former English Department faculty member, Yao Shen, in honor of her mother and her father, a
high official in the Chinese court. It provides the equivalent of resident graduate tuition for
a Master's candidate in English. The Red Mandarin and Lady Yi-suen Shen Scholarship is awarded
in the same manner as the Graduate Division Tuition Waivers.
Internships. The Grace K.J. Abernethy Apprenticeship with M‚noa offers a $10,000 stipend
and the opportunity to gain professional experience in editing and publishing by working in the
editorial offices of the literary journal M‚noa. Both Master's and Ph.D. candidates with interest
or experience in creative writing are eligible to apply. Details of the competition for the
following year's award are announced each spring.
It is also possible to arrange an internship with the Center for Biographical Research, which
will provide experience in every aspect of the editing and publishing of Biography, a professional
journal of international scope. Those interested in an internship should contact Craig Howes,
Director of the Center for Biographical Research
Prizes. A number of prizes are offered each year to graduate students in English,
including the Abernethy Creative Writing Award for Master's candidates in Creative Writing
(which includes an aproximately $4,000 scholarship); the Biography prize, a cash award for the
best publishable paper in biography by a Ph.D. student; and a number of other writing prizes
and awards; the Elizabeth McCutcheon Award for Graduate Assistant Teaching; the UH Foundation Tu
Travel Fund; GSO and English Department Travel Fund awards. Details are announced in the
Department at the appropriate time.