Funding and Aid

PhD students who matriculate in Summer 2020 and after will be guaranteed to have funding support from the University of Chicago, external sources, or a combination of the two for the duration of their program to include the following:

Full tuition coverage
Annual stipend
Fully paid individual annual health insurance premiums

The goal of the University’s commitment to ensuring that students are supported is to allow students to prioritize their studies and prepare for rewarding careers. Funding is contingent on remaining in good academic standing and making progress toward completing degree requirements.

Students in the Division of the Humanities who entered their PhD program in Summer 2016 or later, and who are still enrolled in 2022-2023 will be fully incorporated into this new funding model, and will receive at least the guaranteed stipend level (subject to applicable taxes), full tuition coverage, and fully paid health insurance premiums for the duration of their program, as long as they remain in good academic standing.

Students who matriculated before Summer 2016 will receive at least the funding they were offered at the time of admission and may be eligible for additional funding, such as dissertation completion fellowships. Over the past several years, the Division of the Humanities has increased investments in funding to support students in degree completion.

Additional fellowships and awards are available to support language study, conference travel, and research travel. 

Research and Dissertation Funds

University of Chicago internal fellowships and grants

The following are internal fellowships that students may apply for. Additional information is available at the Division of the Humanities’ website.

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships: Available for Ph.D. students in their first five years who must study certain languages for their programs. In 2017-2018, the University will be accepting applications for languages in five world areas: East Europe, Latin America, Middle East, South Asia and East Asia. The FLAS program provides funding for study on campus during the academic year and on campus or elsewhere (domestic or abroad) during the summer. Students receiving a stipend/teaching remuneration combination in the fellowship year will receive, in addition to their University of Chicago fellowship, a $3,000 stipend and student life fee coverage. Eligibility: Graduate students who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents. Deadline for applications to be announced (usually February).


The following internal fellowships require nomination by the department.

Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowships: The fellowships cover the cost of tuition and will provide a stipend of $18,000 in 2017-2018. Awards are renewable and can fund students for a maximum of three years, although fellows must request renewal funds for each subsequent year. Eligibility: Graduate students who have outstanding undergraduate records, can demonstrate financial need, and are U.S. citizens. The department-internal deadline for applications will be in late November or early December.

Stuart Tave Teaching Fellowships: Each year, the College provides up to five Stuart Tave Teaching Fellowships. Each department in the Humanities Division may sponsor up to two advanced graduate students who then compete for these fellowships across the Humanities Division. Teaching Fellows will receive the standard College lectureship rate ($5,000) for the individual undergraduate course they will teach in the College.  This fellowship is for one quarter only. Graduate students must be ABD by January 31 of the academic year prior to the year in which their course is offered. Department-internal deadline to be announced (usually January).

Hanna Holborn Gray Fellowship: One fellowship will be awarded each year in the Humanities Division. Each department may nominate one student who is currently in the fourth year of study. Applicants do not have to be admitted to candidacy at the time of nomination; however, admission to candidacy is a requirement to start the award. To hold the award, a nominee must be admitted to candidacy by the end of Summer Quarter of the fourth year.  The term of the fellowship will be for two years, pending satisfactory progress. Department-internal deadline for applications to be announced (usually March).

Humanities Division Dissertation Completion Fellowships: The Division of the Humanities makes available dissertation completion fellowships (commonly referred to as DYFs) to doctoral students who are sufficiently advanced in the writing of their dissertation that they will complete the dissertation in the year they hold such fellowship. Recipients of DYFs in a given academic year who do not graduate by the end of winter quarter of the following year are ineligible for further internal University funding from any source, with the single exception of conference travel reimbursement. These fellowships are typically awarded to students in their sixth year (though not exclusively; see the Division’s guidelines on this for details). Students must have been admitted to candidacy before they can apply for these fellowships. Department-internal deadline for applications to be announced (usually March).

In addition, the following internal Dissertation Research Travel Awards are available for students who have been advanced to candidacy. Deadline for applications: Spring 2018.

o   Overseas Dissertation Research Grants (ODRG) provide support to Humanities PhD students who will be financing dissertation research abroad through loans, personal savings, and/or other small grants. The grants are not renewable. Applications will be judged on the necessity to go abroad to do research, the quality and feasibility of the project, and financial need.

o   Humanities Travel Grant for Dissertation Research (Hum Travel) awards support short-term, research-related travel by Humanities PhD students. The grants are not renewable. It is expected that these awards will be sufficient to defray the costs of travel for students who have a specific research goal (e.g., examination of archives, travel to collections) that can be achieved within a limited period of time. The awards are not to be used to supplement grants from other sources, excepting the ODRG.

Linguistics Department Funds

The following are funds internal to the Linguistics Department that graduate students can apply for.

Research fund in honor of Rella Cohn:

The Department of Linguistics offers an annual fund for graduate student research, made available thanks to a generous endowment from the family of  Rella I. Cohn.  This fund provides financial support for a small number of graduate student research projects annually.  Funds may be used to support any aspects of student research, including (but not limited to) purchase of materials or equipment, fieldwork expenses, research-related travel, and payment of conference registration fees.  We will consider requests for reimbursement of past conference travel, or travel to a future conference to which the student has been accepted; we cannot consider requests for travel to conferences if the student has not yet been accepted to present at the conference.

Applications for Rella Cohn funds will be accepted every quarter (including the summer) in order to fund future activities (typically carried out on the following quarter). Application materials include a one-paragraph description of the project, an itemized budget (including discussion of what you could do with partial funding), a current CV, and a list of current and pending support for this project.

Rella Cohn received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 1995, with a dissertation on Yiddish names. This work, published in 2008 as Yiddish Given Names: A Lexicon by Scarecrow Press, provides both a linguistic history of Yiddish first names and insights into the structure and history of Yiddish more generally.


Graduate Research Aid Initiative in Linguistics (GRAIL):

The Department of Linguistics offers GRAIL funds for graduate student research, including attendance at workshops, conferences, summer schools and training, funds needed for fieldwork, lab work, equipment, access to collections or archives, etc. In years when the LSA Linguistics Summer Institute is held, we give priority to funding students to attend the Institute.

Applications for GRAIL funds will be accepted every quarter (including the summer), in order to fund future activities (typically carried out on the following quarter). Application materials include a one-paragraph description of the project, an itemized budget (including discussion of what you could do with partial funding), a current CV, and a list of current and pending support for this project.

Although there is no limit to the amount that can be requested, the funds available are limited.

Conference Funding

The Division provides up to $400 in reimbursement to PhD students who present their work at a conference. More information can be found on the Division website.

In addition, the Graduate Council Travel Fund provides one-time grants of $350-600.

CLS also offers funds for conference travel. Each grad student is entitled to reimbursements of up to $500 per academic year for conference-related expenses (travel, hotel, registration, etc.). There is no limit on the number of conferences that can make up this $500, but left-over funds from previous years do not roll over into the new academic year. Requests for reimbursements for a given year must be made by the start of the fall quarter of the following year at the latest. Requests for reimbursements made after that will count towards the funds available for the new academic year. For more information, you can contact current CLS officers.