Financial Aid Resources

The Department of History and the University of Houston offer a wide array of financial assistance to graduate students. This assistance includes teaching assistantships, instructional assistantships, research assistantships, fellowships, prizes, and student loans. Teaching and instructional assistantships (and most fellowships) include a monthly stipend, and health benefits.  Only Ph.D. students are eligible for the Doctoral Student Tuition Fund, and this award is not linked with employment status as a TA or an IA or an RA. M.A. students are eligible to receive Teaching Assistantships for up to two years.  Only in the rarest of cases will M.A. students be granted a third year of eligibility for holding Teaching Assistantships.  Ph.D. students on the B.A. to Ph.D. Track are eligible for five years of support from the Doctoral Student Tuition Fund and as Teaching Assistants.  Only in the rarest of cases will these Ph.D. students be granted a sixth year of TA and/or DSTF support.  Ph.D. students on the M.A. to Ph.D. Track are eligible for four years of support from the Doctoral Student Tuition Fund and as Teaching Assistants.  Under no circumstances will these Ph.D. students be granted additional DSTF or TA funding.

In addition, the department offers a Public History Fellowship, Murray Miller Scholarships, the Latin American History Scholarship, the Louis and Frieda Kestenberg scholarship, and the Presidential Fellowship. The Public History Fellowship is for outstanding students in Public History while the latter are awarded to promising incoming graduate students or for doctoral students conducting dissertation research.  

Each year the department offers four major student awards. The Stanley Siegal award is for the best paper on Texas history. The Margaret Henson award is for the best paper on women’s history. The John O. King award is for an “Outstanding Graduate Student” and presented with a cash prize. The Ernesto Valdes Prize for Oral History is given to the graduate student who makes the best usage of oral history in his or her research and writing (paper, thesis, dissertation, or journal article).  Applications for these awards are due March 15 (in the event March 15 falls on a weekend, then the materials are due the following Monday).

The University also makes available some scholarship money for graduate students studying abroad. The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences administers the CLASS Dissertation Fellowship for Ph.D. students at the ABD level.

Criteria for Presidential Fellowships

The University provides the department with funds each year to recruit outstanding graduate students. The History Department’s graduate committee considers several factors in awarding students these fellowships.

  • Academic record as evidenced by GPA in undergraduate or graduate history hours.
  • Applicant performance on standardized exams such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  • Letters of recommendation from three faculty members working in history or a related discipline familiar with the applicant’s academic abilities.  The graduate committee will use the same letters included with the application for admission.
  • Demonstrated interest in obtaining an advanced degree as evidenced by the applicant’s statement of interest.
  • Demonstrated interest in becoming an active citizen of the profession through past participation in professional and service activities.
  • Exceptional writing and analytical skills as illustrated by applicant’s writing sample.
  • Relative position in applicant pool (top 5 percent).

Criteria for Doctoral Student Tuition Fellowships

The University provides the department with funds each year to assist outstanding doctoral students with tuition payments. The History Department’s graduate committee considers several factors in awarding students these fellowships.

  • Academic record as evidenced by GPA in undergraduate or graduate history hours.
  • Applicant performance on standardized exams such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  • Letters of recommendation.  For students attempting to matriculate the program, these will be the same three letters from faculty members working in history or a related discipline familiar with the applicant’s academic abilities.  For continuing students, two letters are required:  one from the student’s advisor and another from a faculty member familiar with the student’s work (if the student is applying for a TAship then the same letters can be used twice).
  • Demonstrated interest in obtaining an advanced degree as evidenced by the applicant’s statement of interest.
  • Demonstrated interest in becoming an active citizen of the profession through past participation in professional and service activities.
  • Exceptional writing and analytical skills as illustrated by applicant’s writing sample and/or his/her work in the program.
  • Excellent progress toward completion of the Ph.D. degree.

Criteria for Teaching Assistantships

The department provides a limited number of Teaching Assistantships each academic year. Teaching assistantships provide an important form of financial aid, but they are also a means of training future college and university teachers. Teaching assistants are offered opportunities to present lectures and otherwise learn important aspects of course design as part of their professional training. The History Department’s graduate committee considers several factors in awarding students these positions.

  • Academic record as evidenced by GPA in undergraduate or graduate history hours.
  • Applicant performance on standardized exams such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  • Letters of recommendation.  For students attempting to matriculate the program, these will be the same three letters from faculty members working in history or a related discipline familiar with the applicant’s academic abilities.  For continuing students, two letters are required:  one from the student’s advisor and another from a faculty member familiar with the student’s work as a TA if the student has previously served in that capacity.
  • Evaluations of past performance as a Teaching Assistant (if relevant).
  • Demonstrated interest in obtaining an advanced degree as evidenced by the applicant’s statement of interest.
  • Demonstrated interest in becoming an active citizen of the profession through past participation in professional and service activities.
  • Exceptional writing and analytical skills as illustrated by applicant’s writing sample and/or his/her work in the program.
  • Excellent progress toward completion of the M.A./Ph.D. degree.