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Financial Support

A variety of financial support may be available to students undertaking graduate study in CLASS. Doctoral programs and some master’s programs in the departments offer a limited number of funding packages that might include employment as a teaching or research assistant and/or various forms of scholarship or fellowship funding. All support packages are awarded on a competitive basis. Eligibility for all of these forms of graduate support requires full-time enrollment (generally 9 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters) and maintenance of a GPA of at least 3.0. Consult the website of the particular program you are interested in to find details of the forms of financial support that may be available for your studies and how to apply for them. Decisions regarding competitive graduate financial support are made by faculty selection committees in the departments and programs or the college.

Graduate Assistantships

Doctoral programs and some master’s programs in the departments offer employment stipends for graduate assistantships of various sorts, such as Teaching Assistant (TA) or Research Assistant (RA) positions. These generally require 20 hours per week of work supporting faculty instruction or research. For students who are not Texas residents, these assistantships provide eligibility for a waiver of the non-resident portion of program tuition.

According to UH employment rules, graduate assistants are classified as student employees. Student employees may work 50 percent FTE or less during the regular academic session and up to 100 percent FTE during break periods (i.e., between academic semesters, summers and holidays). More details can be found here.

Tuition Fellowships

All CLASS Ph.D. programs offer the Graduate Tuition Fellowship (GTF) to highly-qualified students. The fellowship covers doctoral-level tuition and mandatory fees for recipients and is renewable for students who meet departmental standards and requirements. Students receiving the GTF are required to be registered full time (generally 9 hours) in the fall and spring semesters, except in their graduating semester, in which they are encouraged to petition for a one-time reduced course load. (Students who petition for this but fail to graduate in the anticipated semester will need to register full-time in the future. All students should make their request on a Graduate Petition form no later than the first week of their graduating semester. International students must also file a “Reduced Course Load” form issued by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services if the graduating semester is the fall or spring semester). Some CLASS master’s programs offer the Student Success Tuition Fellowship (SSTF), which provides partial tuition support for graduate students who are serving as teaching assistants in the department. Check departmental websites for further information on these fellowships.

Other Competitive Support

Presidential and Provost’s Fellowships: The most highly-qualified incoming doctoral and Master of Fine Arts students in CLASS may be eligible for additional scholarship support such as the Presidential and Provost’s Fellowships. These two-year awards are available to students entering graduate programs at the University of Houston. Departments must nominate qualified applicants to these fellowships. Selection is based on potential for academic (and in the case of MFA students, also creative) excellence in a graduate program. Eligibility requires full-time enrollment (generally 9 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters) and maintenance of a GPA of at least 3.0 throughout the period of the award. See departmental websites for further information and selection criteria for nomination.

$1,000 Scholarships: Some master’s and doctoral programs offer additional scholarship funding to qualified incoming students, including the $1,000 DW Mitchell Scholarships and Dean’s Achievement Scholarships. Some departments and programs may additionally offer departmental scholarships of a similar sort. These scholarships may be used toward the cost of the tuition and fees of the student’s graduate program. For students who are not Texas residents, these scholarships may provide eligibility for a waiver of the non-resident portion of program tuition.

Selection Criteria for Competitive Financial Support in CLASS

Selection for competitive support is based on the review of an applicant’s entire record, taken as a whole. While the particular criteria for selection will vary from program to program, the general requirements for competitive funding in CLASS include:

For new applicants to a graduate program:

  • Unconditional admission to a UH graduate program
  • Quality of academic record at previous undergraduate or graduate institution
  • Strength of letters of recommendation and student’s writing sample (if required)
  • Applicant’s performance on examinations, such as the GRE and TOEFL, and/or on writing samples or creative writing portfolios, as appropriate
  • Demonstrated interest in obtaining a graduate degree as evidenced by the statement of purpose
  • Overall promise of excellence as evidenced by all application materials

For students continuing in a UH graduate program:

  • Quality of academic record at the University of Houston, including a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Maintenance of good standing and continuous enrollment in the program
  • Overall excellence of academic work and professionalism in program and performance of job duties (for graduate assistants)
  • Demonstration of likelihood of timely completion of the graduate program