FAQ - Financial Aid for Doctoral Students

Does the University of Chicago Divinity School offer fellowship aid (or funding) for doctoral students?

Yes: all students who are admitted to the Divinity School's PhD program receive a funding package that includes full tuition coverage for five years, health insurance for the student through the University Health Insurance Plan (USHIP) for five years, and a $24,000/year stipend for five years. Additionally, Divinity School students receive at least two, and up to four, summer research stipends of $3,000 each during the five-year term of the aid package. (The possible two additional stipends are tied to progress benchmarks: students earn a third if they pass the Qualifying Examination by the end of the fourth year, and they earn a fourth if they are admitted to PhD candidacy [by virtue of a successful dissertation proposal colloquium] by the end of their fifth year). Students admitted to candidacy by the end of their fifth year are also eligible for continuing U-SHIP coverage in their sixth and seventh years.


Am I required to render service to the University as part of the fellowship program?

Students in the PhD program are expected to accrue five teaching points during the first five years of doctoral residence (and usually during the third, fourth, and/or fifth years of study). The various kinds of teaching appointments have differential point values; as examples, lectureships (i.e. positions where students have primary responsibility for a course, usually in the undergraduate College) earn two points per course, teaching assistants earn one point per course, and writing interns in the College Humanities Core (who teach sections of academic writing and argumentation in concert with undergraduate students' Humanities Core courses) earn one point per section. In most cases, satisfying the fellowship's teaching requirement is easily managed, and the burden of work is substantially lesser than in graduate assistantship programs at other universities. 


What would I do for funding after my fifth year of PhD study?

Beyond the fifth year, students compete for a range of School, University, and national fellowships. As an example, the Divinity School's Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion hosts an annual dissertation fellowship competition; you can see profiles of current Marty Center Fellows, including many current Divinity School students, here. For more information on these matters, see the "Dissertation" tab on our External Scholarship Aid page. Many students also work part time—in many cases as lecturers in the University or as adjunct lecturers at area colleges and universities.