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Frequently Asked Questions For Prospective Students


Does the History department offer full funding?

We do not offer full funding in the traditional sense. However, many sources are available for graduate student support.  We offer as many fellowships to incoming students, as well as to current students, as funds permit each year.  In particular, the Graduate School offers University Fellowships to a few outstanding admitted students and Advanced Opportunity Fellowships.

Many students have enrolled in our program without funding. In these cases, the first year is often the most challenging financially. In second and subsequent years, your chances of funding increase because opportunities improve as you advance in the program. While we cannot guarantee full funding for all students, receiving funding during most of your graduate career is probable.

If full-funding is not offered, how do most History graduate students fund themselves?

Graduate students tend to use a combination of teaching assistantships and project assistantships, departmental fellowships, external fellowships, lectureships, smaller sources of funding, such as reader-graderships and hourly employment, and loans.

We encourage students to apply for project assistantships and teaching assistantships in other departments.  You can look for these opportunities on the UW-Madison Job Center
(Several types of jobs are listed here. Please note that only TAs, PA, and RA positions provide tuition remission. Also, not all available jobs are posted to the Campus Job Center. You should also get advice from your faculty advisor, fellow graduate students, and the graduate program coordinator.)  

The History graduate program has a booklet with advice on seeking external funding. To receive a copy, contact Leslie Abadie (abadie@wisc.edu) or Marlina Polk McGiveron (polkmcgivero@wisc.edu).

The UW-Madison libraries hire graduate students for hourly positions. Working at a library often provides the added benefit of reading while at work. Visit the The UW-Madison Libraries website for more information. 

Finally, you may wish to pursue loans and other forms of financial aid. Visit the UW-Madison Office of Financial Aid.

How do I apply for UW-Madison and departmental fellowships?

The History department’s application deadline is December 1. To apply for a fellowship, simply check the fellowship box on the online application form. Once your application is complete and you are recommended for admission, you are automatically entered in the fellowship competition. Since fellowships are competitive campus-wide, an applicant should have a strong undergraduate record and high GPAs.

How much does it cost to pursue a graduate degree at UW-Madison?

The Graduate School Costs and Funding

How do I obtain Wisconsin residency to reduce my tuition bill?

It is difficult for students to earn residency status in the State of Wisconsin. Graduate students cannot seek Wisconsin residency until one full calendar year after they have received dissertator status. Until that time, however, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances at approval: 1). Register to vote in WI and do so regularly; 2). Have a car insured in WI; and 3). Volunteer in the community. Additional things that help show one’s WI residency case:  1). Buy a house (if possible);  2). Have a domestic partner with a career here; and 3). Have a non-temporary job that doesn't require student status. It helps to stay in Wisconsin while dissertating to show continuous residency, but this will be very hard to prove for students planning to research abroad.

For more information visit the Office of the Registrar, Residence for Tuition Purposes webpage. 

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