Funding Opportunities

Funding opportunities for MAESL students are available through the English Department and Graduate College in the form of Graduate Assistantships in Teaching (GAT-ships), Graduate Tuition Scholarships, or Fellowships for underrepresented populations and for returned Peace Corps Volunteers. To be considered for funding, applicants must submit GRE scores as well as a a six- to ten-page writing sample on an academic topic with their applications, and should inform the EL/L Program Director via email. Applicants for Fellowships must also complete additional applications as specified below.

Funding is highly competitive, and test scores, statements, and writing samples are used to make initial awards. Please note that GATs are required to enroll for at least 6 units a semester, and scholarship/fellowship recipients must enroll full-time, or 9 units (3 classes) a semester unless it is their final semester.


The graduate assistantship in teaching (GAT) within the Department of English involves teaching Composition courses to both native-English-speaking students and non-native speaking students in the Writing Program. Those interested in these assistantships should notify the Program Director by email after applying online. The selection process for GATships is highly competitive--awardees have high GRE scores, excellent letters of recommendation, and excellent writing abilities as demonstrated by their application documents. While a background in teaching is not required, majors that include a substantial writing component (e.g. most humanities, social sciences, and liberal arts degrees) are most desirable. Non-native speaking teachers offered a GATship will need a iBT TOEFL score over 100, and need to pass an oral interview with the Writing Program. The award includes:

  • a full out-of-state tuition waiver,
  • a full registration waiver,
  • payment of the graduate surcharge,
  • a stipend of approximately $13,600 per academic year (dependent upon academic background), plus
  • individual health insurance coverage (valued at approximately $1200).

A typical appointment entails teaching two classes per semester and participating in a year-long preceptorship course, for which the student may receive 3 hrs credit as an elective. An assistantship may be renewed for a total of two years, depending upon departmental funding, teaching evaluations and satisfactory progress within the EL/L Program. MAESL graduates who are accepted into the PhD in SLAT may be able to keep their GATship during their doctoral studies.

Students with proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic or Russian may choose to apply for a teaching assistantship by contacting the appropriate department. Those students with proficiency in less commonly taught languages like Korean, may find teaching opportunities through the Critical Languages Program, although CLP awards do not typically include GAT funding. Students interested in these opportunities should contact the appropriate department as well as the EL/L Director to indicate interest.


Graduate Tuition Scholarships waive between 25% and 100% of in-state and/or out-of-state tuition for academically qualified students. Applicants who are promised a certain percentage will receive that percentage throughout their degree, as long as they maintain good academic standing (3.0 GPA). Although it cannot be guaranteed, additional scholarship funding may be awarded every Fall and Spring for the subsequent semester, including to students who entered with no promise of funding. These awards are based on seniority and academic standing (merit). Scholarships cover tuition only, not fees. 


Graduate Access Fellowships, up to $4000 a semester, are awarded to incoming domestic graduate students who have shown academic achievement despite facing challenging social, economic or educational obstacles. Interested students should complete the eligibility form and also notify the Program Director after applying to the MA program online.

Returning Peace Corps Volunteers accepted by the program with GATships or full scholarships are eligible for the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship, which provides additional funding in exchange for community service. Interested applicants should apply for that program separately, and also inform the Program Director after applying to the MA program online.

 Other support

Loans and scholarships are available to U.S. citizens separately through the Office of Student Financial Aid


College of Social and Behavioral Sciences