College of Letters & Science

Financial Aid

Financial aid comes in the form of fellowships, assistantships, research funds, and travel funds. The Admissions and Financial Aid Committee reviews applications for funding annually (in the spring), and appoints students with fellowships and assistantships based on merit. Because of the scarcity of departmental funding, students are encouraged to search broadly across campus and beyond, and to apply for assistantships and fellowships outside the department if eligible. Students should direct all questions regarding financial aid to the Department Administrator, the DGS, or the faculty member who is serving as the chair of the Admissions & Fellowships Committee.

The Department's main goal is to recruit and retain the most promising students. Eligibility for any kind of financial aid depends on faculty assessment of the student's potential as well as her or his performance in making satisfactory progress in the graduate program. Students must be in good standing to receive funding. Funding is prioritized for students in the Ph.D. program; the maximum amount of departmental aid is five years (and that is by no means typical or guaranteed). The department balances many considerations in addition to individual student merit, including: the number of existing guarantees to specific students; specific programmatic needs (i.e., which courses are allowed to have teaching assistants, and what project assistantships are available because professors have gotten grants); and equity in distributing appointments among the fields of concentration represented by the pool of applicants. In addition to faculty members on the Admissions and Fellowships Committee, the professors who will be teaching the courses with teaching assistants and those who have gotten a project assistantship through a grant are consulted during the review process.

The departmental deadline to ensure consideration for all forms of financial aid from the University and the Department is February 1st. This includes applications for University and Department fellowships and teaching assistant and project assistant positions. Deadlines for fellowships from outside sources occur variously throughout the academic year, beginning in the autumn; check with the Director of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Coordinator,, and in some cases, the Department Administrator Grad Coordinator, for dates in each case.

The deadline for Departmental Research Awards is Oct. 15th; and for conference travel grants there are two opportunities a year with deadlines of October 15th and March 1st.

Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants lead discussion sections and grade written work in lecture courses. They may teach 3-4 fifty-minute sections depending on course enrollment and available funding. The number of teaching assistantships available in any semester depends upon the funding allocated by the College of Letters and Science. In addition to a stipend, the positions provide various fringe benefits such as health insurance and tuition remission, meaning that tuition is paid on your behalf. To spread financial aid to as many students as possible, the department does not normally grant students who receive teaching assistantships any other departmental funds (except for prizes, readerships, research/conference travel assistance, or Emergency Aid) during the semester in which they hold their teaching assistantship. The Committee also tries to arrange its nominations for University awards so that students will not hold teaching assistantships and University awards concurrently. The department evaluates all TAs through the instructing professor's class visits and the results of teaching evaluations.

Criteria

All assistantships (except Research Assistantships) are governed by the Agreement between the State of Wisconsin and the Teaching Assistants Association. For full details, students should consult the printed Agreement. Students are free and indeed encouraged to apply for Assistantships outside the Art History Department.

Category

Project Assistants

Project Assistants help an individual professor with a research project or work in the Visual Resources Collection (slide room). Duties and requirements vary according to the particular position. Most appointments are in the 33-75% range. Besides a stipend, fringe benefits such as health insurance and tuition remission are also included. The department and individual professors must post notices announcing the position and detailing the requirements; students apply directly to the individual faculty members or unit heads, who have complete discretion to hire whom they wish.

Criteria

All assistantships (except Research Assistantships) are governed by the Agreement between the State of Wisconsin and the Teaching Assistants Association. For full details, students should consult the printed Agreement. Students are free and indeed encouraged to apply for Assistantships outside the Art History Department.

Category

Readers

Readers (grading assistants) grade papers, exams, and other course work; they do not instruct students. They are paid on an hourly basis and do not receive fringe benefits. Readers do not ordinarily attend class, although in exceptional circumstances the supervising professor may request additional funds to allow the reader to audit. All graduate students are eligible, and the number of positions depends upon the number of professors who apply to the College of Letters and Science for funds; classes must have 40 students enrolled before the professor may apply. The departmental secretary posts the available positions; individual students should contact the individual professors, who may hire whom they wish.

Criteria

All assistantships (except Research Assistantships) are governed by the Agreement between the State of Wisconsin and the Teaching Assistants Association. For full details, students should consult the printed Agreement. Students are free and indeed encouraged to apply for Assistantships outside the Art History Department.

Category

Research Assistants

Research Assistants differ from project assistants only in that both the professor and the assistant work in the same area of research (e.g. on a mutual project). There are no Research Assistantships in the Art History Department.

Criteria

All assistantships (except Research Assistantships) are governed by the Agreement between the State of Wisconsin and the Teaching Assistants Association. For full details, students should consult the printed Agreement. Students are free and indeed encouraged to apply for Assistantships outside the Art History Department.

Category