The Department counts as one of its top priorities the provision of adequate financial support for the students in its graduate programs.
For the Ph.D. program, the approach taken is essentially egalitarian. An informal promise is made to each student admitted to the Ph.D. program that they will receive funding for the 5 years that it takes to complete the Ph.D. First-year support comes in the form of fellowships, sometimes augmented by one quarter of research assistantship or teaching assistantship. The mix of funding sources is designed to get students acclimated quickly to the balance of research, teaching, and other work responsibilities that form the core of an academic career. In subsequent years, financial support comes from teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships. Students are not ranked for financial support purposes, a policy designed to minimize divisions among students and to emphasize and strengthen a sense of community and solidarity. Students are encouraged to contribute to graduate support by bringing in external funding (from the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Program, and so on), and students receive mentoring in applying for external funding.
The Department cannot provide routine financial support to students in the M.A. program. However, M.A. students occasionally hold teaching assistantships or other positions in Linguistics or in other Departments. The Department is committed to the goal of maximizing such opportunities.