Support available to graduate students
Nearly all Ph.D. students in the department receive full financial support through teaching or research assistantships or through fellowships; Ph.D. students are usually not admitted unless such financial support can be offered. M.S. students generally are not appointed to assistantships.
School of Arts and Sciences policy gurantees supported Ph.D. students are given at least 5 years of support, as long as they remain "in good standing." This requires passing courses, advancing to candidacy in a timely manner, responsibly carrying out any duties associated with their support, and not having disciplinary issues.
Department practice is to try to ensure support all full-time graduate students, even after 5 years, who maintain satisfactory academic progress. Support generally comes through the university in the form of teaching assistantships (TAs), research assistantships (GAs), or Fellowships. Typically there are several students with external Fellowships, and some senior students who have not quite completed their dissertation work but are already employed outside the university.
Most newly admitted graduate students are offered TAs. The TA appointments are for ten months; the stipend is at least $28,569 (for AY 2019-2020) plus full tuition remission. Pay increases to $28,569 for AY 2019-20, $29,426 for AY 2020-21, and $30,162 for AY 2021-22. The appointments include tuition remission. The graduate student union contract with the university limits TA work assignments to an average of fifteen hours each week on teaching duties, including class preparation and classroom instruction. The department at present has more teaching assignments that need to be filled than can be filled by the TAs, so additional teaching assignments for extra pay are available to most interested graduate students. Unfortunately, the university is interpreting language in the contract to mean that GAs, Fellows, and unsupported students can take on these additional teaching assignments, but TAs are not allowed to take on extra sections for extra pay. This change is effective as of spring term 2020. For the two summer months, support is generally available in the form of research positions or summer teaching appointments.
Superior incoming students are offered Fellowships. These provide full tuition remission, a stipend of at least $29,000 for the academic year, and health benefits, with no teaching obligations. (The university designates a minimum Fellowship stipend of $25,000, which the department increases for first-year students.) It is generally possible for Fellows to supplement their stipends through teaching assignments. They are also eligible for support during the summer.
TAs and GAs who receive full academic or calendar year appointments are considered state employees, and they and their dependents are eligible for complete health plan benefits, the same plans as the faculty and staff are offered. All other students, such as those with partial year appointments or Fellows, are only eligible for the student health plan.
Many advanced students are supported by 10-month (academic year) GA appointments funded by the research grants of various faculty members. They receive tuition remission, a stipend of at least $28,569 (for AY 2019-2020), and full health insurance benefits. Students with AY appointments typically receive additional support during the summer. Some GAs receive 12-month calendar year appointments with a stipend of $32,204 also with tuition remission and health insurance.
Advanced students are also eligible for department or university competitive Fellowships. See Awards, Prizes, and Fellowships.
M.S. students are generally not offered support. M.S. are eligible to take on the same additional teaching assignments as the Ph.D. students, for the same pay scales.
On-campus housing is available at favorable rates for both married and single students. While this is convenient when first coming to Rutgers, most students choose to live off campus in the communities near the department. Information on housing is sent to applicants upon acceptance by the Graduate School-New Brunswick.