Students pursuing graduate degrees through the English Department, especially those in doctoral programs, typically receive a teaching assistantship, research assistantship, or fellowship to support their course of study. As a major research institution, though, the University of Wisconsin-Madison also offers a wide range of funding opportunities for graduate students. Beyond the resources listed here, you can also find out more about funding through these on-campus resources:
Teaching Assistantships in the English Department
Teaching assistant positions provide a salary, health insurance benefits, and full tuition remission. Segregated fees are not covered. Provided that students remain in good academic standing in the Department and teaching or other assigned responsibilities are performed well, this guarantee typically provides support for a period of up to four academic years, with additional semesters of support contingent on both good performance and availability of funding. In past years, graduate students have generally been given a fifth year of support.
Appointments under this guarantee will be at the level of at least one-third time. The expectation for a one-third workload is 13 hours of work per week. The higher the percentage, the greater the salary, up to 60%, which is the maximum. (Anything higher requires special permission of the Graduate Director.) Teaching assistants work in various formats, including leading smaller discussion sections for a large lecture, teaching their own composition courses, and working in the Writing Center.
Each program has its own requirements regarding eligibility for teaching assistantships. In general, though, students must have a Master’s degree or have completed a year of Master’s training in our literary studies program in order to teach in our programs. Additionally, in order for International students whose first language is not English to be eligible for a Teaching Assistantship, the English Department requires a score of 60 (a perfect score) on the SPEAK test administered by the ESL program while in residence.