University of Minnesota
Communication Studies

Communications Studies' Home Page

Financial Aid

Teaching Assistantships

Many Communication Studies graduate students obtaining support from the University hold appointments as teaching assistants. Many of these appointments are for teaching speech fundamentals. There are also some positions for teachers of other undergraduate courses, as teaching assistants in large lecture courses, and as research assistants.

For nine months of halftime service the current stipend is about $14,400.00. This amount tends to increase along with faculty salary levels. Persons with appointments receive tuition remissions equal to twice the percentage of their appointments. Students with appointments of 50% or more will receive l00% tuition remissions, not including fees. Assistantship applications are now available online (PDF) and should be made through the Department at 225 Ford Hall.

Research Assistantships

Whether any research assistantships are available varies greatly from year to year, depending on grant money secured by individual faculty.

Conference Travel Awards

The Communication Studies Department makes every attempt to provide a generous amount of conference funding for graduate students in residence whose original research has been accepted for presentation at a conference or conferences.

Students should apply for funding for conference participation as soon as you have been notified that your paper has been accepted. Acting soon will allow you to get less expensive airline tickets and provide you more lead time to decide what to do if funding is not available.

The vast majority of our funds for graduate student travel come from an endowed account. Because such funds are dependent on the vagaries of the stock market, you need to be aware that a midyear adjustment of what the department can provide may become necessary.

The Director of Graduate Studies uses the following guidelines to determine conference-funding awards:

  • The conference presentation must be based on original research. In other words, we cannot fund students who are simply chairing or responding to a panel; we can fund presentations of research only.
  • If a conference paper has multiple authors, only one of the authors--the paper's presenter--will be funded.
  • Your funding request will consist of a completed conference funding application form--available from the Department Office or with the link below--and a copy of the conference confirmation letter, email, or pages of the convention program listing your participation. Turn this in to Director of Graduate Studies, who will review it.

We will try to let you know as quickly as possible whether funding will be forthcoming. And if you are unable to attend the conference after you have received the award, you must return the full amount of the award to the Department of Communication Studies.

* In other words, travel awards are possible only for those students who are on the Twin Cities campus, and not working elsewhere.

Conference Travel Award Form (PDF)


Graduate Fellowships

The College of Liberal Arts, offers one-year fellowships for outstanding incoming graduate students. This fellowship program has as its primary purpose the recruitment of outstanding students to the graduate programs of the University of Minnesota. Only students who will enter the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota for the first time in a given year may be nominated.

Each graduate field is allowed to nominate from two to four applicants for these fellowships. If that remains the case, and we expect it to, persons interested should indicate "Graduate Fellowship" on their application for financial aid, the form used for all such applications, including teaching assistantships, and submit the application directly to the Department. We shall select nominees. Early and complete applications are vital. Mid to late December is recommended. Three letters of recommendation are required for fellowship applicants. These must not only be glowing, but also specific. Since this is an all University competition, GRE scores, and GPA must be outstanding.

Diversity of Views and Experiences Fellowship

Approximately ten to fifteen fellowships of $13,500 plus tuition and health insurance are awarded annually by the Graduate School to assist graduate programs to promote a diversity of views, experiences, and ideas in the pursuits of research, scholarly and creative excellence. First-year prospective graduate students must be nominated by their chosen major field in early February through procedures announced by the OGSO during the fall semester. Applicants should contact the Director in Graduate Studies in their major field in advance. The recipients of the Educational Opportunity fellowships are encouraged to participate in the Community of Scholars Program (COSP). For more information contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

Other Fellowships

Very few fellowships can be applied for directly. In most cases, persons are nominated by program faculties. Many generous ones, not listed here, are open only to students beyond their first year of graduate work. Several communication studies students who have begun their graduate work on an assistantship have been able to finish their dissertations on such fellowships. Particularly useful to students in their thesis writing year are the Graduate School Doctoral, the University Alumni, and the Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowships.

Other Sources of Financial Aid

There are other employment opportunities on campus for students and for their partners. Applicants should write:

Student Employment Center
120 200 Donhowe Bldg.
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Graduate students are eligible for loan assistance. All inquiries should be directed to:

Office of Student Financial Aid
210 Fraser Hall
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455