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Departmental Funding Criteria

The funding criteria stated below are applicable to funding that is controlled and allocated by the Department. These are:

These criteria also apply to TA positions funded by other programs, such as MMSS, that use Economics students as TAs.

Students’ admission letters specify the nature of the funding in the first and subsequent years. Typically, funding is offered for five years (20 quarters). The Department attempts to support students beyond 20 quarters until the Spring Quarter of the sixth year (23 quarters).  We do so by defining and enforcing criteria for good progress to be eligible for funding, and because some students obtain Research Assistantships (RA) or obtain external fellowships. The Graduate School (TGS) has policies to supplement and incentivize external awards.

Students holding University Fellowships or Graduate Assistantships can undertake additional work for hourly pay. There are limits on the additional hours each quarter, and permission must be obtained from TGS in advance.

In rare cases, a student's admission letter may contain alternative funding criteria, which take precedence over these rules.


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Foreign Students

Students graduating from institutions where instruction is not in English must demonstrate proficiency in English prior to being funded as a TA.


Academic Year Funding

First year students

Eligibility: A student's admission letter indicates whether they have been awarded University funding in the first year.

Type of Funding: University Fellowship.

Second year students

Eligibility: Students who remain in the doctoral program are funding eligible irrespective of whether they have achieved candidacy.

Type of Funding: TA.

Third year students

Eligibility:  Good progress toward the field course requirements and a draft Economics 501 paper by July 31 (see certification form).

Type of Funding: TA.

Fourth year students

Eligibility:   Thesis prospectus by August 31.

Type of Funding: TA.  Spring Quarter funding can be changed to a DYUF if the student's dissertation committee chair certifies by February 15 that the student is expected to enter the job market in their fifth year (see certification form). In addition, the department awards the Robert Eisner Memorial Fellowship to one fourth year student. This award recognizes a student who has distinguished themselves in both teaching and research.

The Small Print: We cannot guarantee that TA funding is available for a student whose thesis prospectus is completed after August 31. In any event, TA funding is not awarded for any quarter in which the student has not completed the thesis prospectus. For example, a student completing the prospectus in November of the fourth year will not receive TA funding for the Fall Quarter and can only be funded in the Winter and Spring Quarters if there are any unallocated TA positions remaining within our budget.

Fifth year students

Eligibility:  Certification by Committee Chair by July 31 of a written paper of suitable quality to form one chapter of a dissertation (see certification form).

Type of Funding for Students on the Job Market: If the student intends to be on the job market, funding is as a DYUF in Fall and Winter Quarters, followed by a TA in Spring Quarter. If the student withdraws from the job market prior to the ASSA meetings, the Winter Quarter DYUF is converted to a TA.

Type of Funding for Students Not on the Job Market: TA. Spring Quarter funding can be changed to a DYUF if the student's dissertation committee chair certifies by February 15 that the student is expected to enter the job market in their fifth year (see certification form). (Note that if the student took advantage of a DYUF in the Spring Quarter of their fourth year, they are not eligible again in their fifth year.)

Sixth year students

Eligibility: Certification by Committee Chair by July 31 of good progress on their dissertation and the student is entering the job market (option A on certification form).

Type of Funding: Students can use any remaining quarters of their three-quarter DYUF eligibility that they did not use in their fourth or fifth years. (The department suggests that students give priority to taking a DYUF in the Winter Quarter, as they will be traveling and unable to undertake alternative funding such as a TA or RA.) The remaining quarters are funded as a TA. If the student withdraws from the job market prior to the ASSA meetings, any remaining quarters of funding are withdrawn. Such students may be funded as a TA, but only if there are still funds available after all the qualified younger students have been funded.

Students making Good Progress but Not on the Job Market (option B on certification form): Non-job market sixth years are generally not funded. If there are still funds available after all the qualified younger students, and the job-market sixth year students, have been funded, other sixth year students may be supported.   Funding is as a TA in every quarter that they are funded. DYUF funding is not available to sixth year students who are not on the job market.

Seventh and higher year students

In normal circumstances, university rules do not permit funding of students in the seventh and higher years. The department can petition WCAS for funding as a TA only if (a) there are still funds available after all of the qualified younger students have been funded, and (b) there is an inadequate number of Teaching Assistants to meet classroom needs. The dissertation committee chair must have certified by July 31 that the student is making good progress, and preference is given to those on the job market (see certification form). However, DYUF funding is not available, even if the student is on the job market.

Summer Quarter Funding

First year students

A student's admission letter indicates whether they are eligible for a Summer University Fellowship (SUF) at the end of the first year. Recipients of SUFs must:

The acceptance form for summer funding must be submitted between May 1 and May 15  (see acceptance form).

Second through fifth year students

To obtain an SUF, students must:

The acceptance form for summer funding must be submitted between May 1 and May 15 each year (see acceptance form).

Sixth year students and beyond

The university only funds summers up until the fifth year. Older students can seek RA positions.

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