Financial Support for PhD Students

Financial support is available to sociology graduate students. The major source of department support is in the form of teaching or research assistantships, which are granted every year on a competitive basis. Teaching/Research assistants receive tuition remission and a substantial stipend. The department also awards the Chancellor’s Award each year to promising incoming students.

Students may also apply for Graduate School fellowships. UWM offers Advanced Opportunity Program fellowships to disadvantaged minority students on a competitive basis, Graduate School Fellowships and Dissertation Fellowships. More information about the fellowships and links to other UWM resources is available at Graduate School Types of Funding.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Program for PhD Students

Teaching Assistantships provide funding for up to 4 years for PhD students. This funding includes a cash stipend, full tuition remission and eligibility for low-cost health insurance for students and their families. Teaching assistantships are for full-time study. The Graduate School Guidelines for the appointment of teaching assistants are available for review. Application for a position is done via the submission of the Teaching Assistantship Interest Form (pdf).
PhD students are usually appointed at 50% of full-time work.

Purpose of Graduate Teaching Assistant Program

The graduate teaching assistantship program provides instructional assistance to the department as well as financial support and professional training to students. Teaching assistant are University employees with the responsibility to discharge the duties prescribed by the University and the Department of Sociology. In return, the Department will ensure that the teaching assistant has the opportunity to increase and utilize the knowledge of the discipline. Student’s interests and preferences may be taken into consideration in assistantship assignment. Nevertheless, the needs and financial resources of the Department will be the most important criteria in the determination and allocation of specific assistantship assignments.

PhD Students Requirement

PhD students with teaching assistant positions are required to enroll in and complete Sociol 794, The Teaching of Undergraduate Sociology, in the spring semester of the first year of employment.

Duties and Hours

Year 1 doctoral students with teaching assistantships are employed as graders for in-person or on-line undergraduate courses or as the primary instructor for discussion or lab sections. Year 1 TAs with a 50% appointment work approximately 760 hours over the course of the academic year. On average they are expected to devote a minimum of 20 hours per week to their instructional duties under the supervision of a sociology faculty member. In subsequent years, doctoral TAs may be assigned as the primary instructor of a lower-level undergraduate course(s).

Often the academic workload varies so that an equivalent number of hours of work each week may not be feasible. Because of this, graduate assistant and the supervising faculty member should discuss the workload, including assignments and schedules, at the beginning of each semester so that students may plan in advance for their study time. Teaching assistants are required to register for and complete a minimum of six degree graduate credits per semester.

Renewal of Teaching Assistantships

Assistantship awards are made for one academic year only. PhD students are guaranteed years for of funding as long as the following criteria are met:

  • availability of funds;
  • maintenance of a cumulative grade point aver of 3.0 or above;
  • satisfactory progress toward the degree;
  • recommendation from the supervising faculty members; and
  • approval by the Department’s Graduate Committee and the Sociology Department Chair.