The most common form of financial aid in our program is the Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA). As a GTA, you receive vital professional training and improve your teaching skills throughout the course of your academic career at Auburn. Master’s students may hold a GTA for two years; PhD students may hold a GTA for up to five years.
First-year MA students serve as teaching assistants for our core survey classes in American, British, or world literature. Working under the guidance of an experienced faculty member, students assist with grading for the course and lead two small, weekly discussion sections of 15 students. Also, as part of their training to teach composition in their second year, students in the fall semester enroll in ENGL 7040: Teaching Composition: Issues and Approaches and observe one section of ENGL 1100. In the spring semester, students build on their experience in 7040 by working more closely with an experienced member of our composition faculty, observing a section of ENGL 1120 and attending a weekly advising session with their mentor.
Second-year MA GTAs teach three courses of their own in our composition program: typically one section of ENGL 1100 in the fall and two sections of ENGL 1120 in the spring (as scheduling needs dictate, sometimes students will teach two courses in the fall and one in the spring). The maximum class size for our first-year composition courses is 25 students.
First-year GTAs in our PhD program teach three courses in our freshman composition sequence over the course of the year. In the second year, PhD students are eligible to increase their workload to four courses for a proportionally higher stipend. Third-year PhD students focusing in literary studies may expand their teaching responsibilities to include our core literature sequence, which features surveys of British, American, and world literature. With additional training, advanced doctoral students also have opportunities for professional development as teachers in specialized writing classes, including business and technical writing. Thus, by the end of their PhD studies, students will have developed a diverse teaching portfolio that includes both parts of our first-year composition sequence; survey courses in their area of expertise, whether British or American literature; and one or more sections of world literature.
As you compare offers from other programs, it is worth remembering that Auburn’s first-year stipends are highly competitive on the national market for GTAs in English Studies. Need-based financial aid is also available through the University Financial Aid Office.
The English Department offers fellowships to outstanding first-year applicants. At the PhD level, as much as 50 % of our incoming class typically receives fellowship offers ranging from $5000 to $10,000 on top of their GTA. African-American students in our PhD program can also be nominated to receive one of the President's Office's Graduate Opportunity Fellowships, which adds $10,000 dollars to the support provided by the department. Doctoral students in English have also competed well for the Graduate School's $4,000 Merriwether Fellowship in university-wide competition. At the Master’s level, we offer fellowships of $4500 and $1500 to our most highly qualified applicants.
The Office of University Writing and Miller Writing Center
The Office of University Writing and the Miller Writing Center employ graduate students in a number of positions. They offer administrative assistantships as well as hourly pay for tutoring, working on their longitudinal research project, managing websites, and other special projects . Check their website or contact Dr. Margaret Marshall (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details about current openings or ways your scholarly interests and talents might connect to their needs.
Support for Scholarly Activity
The Department, College of Liberal Arts, and University also provide funding for professional travel and research projects by graduate students.