University Funding for PhD Students

All newly enrolled students are provided with a stipend, full tuition coverage, and individual premiums for the University's Student Health Insurance Plan (USHIP) for the duration of their enrollment in the PhD program. The Division of the Social Sciences manages the funding packages for history PhD students. Information on the funding provided by the University can be found on the Division's website


Research and Writing Funds

Our students are extremely successful in securing fellowships from the department, the university, and outside agencies to support their later years of dissertation research and writing.

The History Department’s graduate student grants are funded by gifts from the Freehling, Kunstadter, and Sinkler families, and in honor of Profs. Eric Cochrane, T. Bentley Duncan, John Hope Franklin, Arthur Mann, William H. McNeill. History’s Fellowships Committee awards the grants.

Department funds for Pre-Dissertation and Dissertation Research

The department holds two travel grant competitions per year: one in Autumn Quarter and one in early Spring Quarter. Research travel grants are competitive. Students are eligible for up to $8,000 in research grants over their graduate career. They are eligible for up to $3,000 in one award cycle.

Research I Travel Grants
These are small grants to help students defray the costs of researching early career work. Students are eligible to apply in Autumn Quarter of their first year through Autumn Quarter of their second year.

Research II Travel Grants
These are small grants to help students defray the costs of researching the proposal or dissertation. Students are eligible to apply beginning in Spring Quarter of their second year.

Department funds for Conference Travel

Conference Presentation Funding
History graduate students are eligible for funding to a recognized conference to present a paper. You may request funding for multiple conferences over the course of your graduate career.  Graduate students are eligible for up to $2,000 in conference funding over the course of their career with an annual cap of $1,000. You decide, in consultation with your advisor, at which stage to seek reimbursement, i.e., two conferences in a single year, prior to orals to gain rhetoric skill, after the proposal to seek responses to a topic's argument or direction, or before entering the job market for professional development.

Professional Conference Attendance
History graduate students are eligible to receive up to $300 for travel to a recognized conference with the intention of interviewing while on the job market. The professional conference grant may only be used once during a graduate career. Students should be strategic about when and how to use the grant if they have to travel to multiple professional conferences or may be on the job market for more than one year.

Department Special Project Grants

Funding for language training, paleography, and other special cases. Funding and awards will depend on the quality of the request and availability of funds. Awarded by the Fellowships Committee.

Dissertation Year

The department offers two write-up fellowships each year, which allow students to finish the dissertation in their final academic year:

  • The Harry Barnard Fellowship is awarded to one student with a preference for candidates whose field of study or research concerns American history; it provides a stipend, tuition, fees and health insurance.
  • The Quinn Dissertation Fellowship, offered in conjunction with funding from the Doris G. Quinn Foundation, provides a stipend, tuition, fees and health insurance.
Area Center Funding
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS-Title VI)—Administers academic year (at Chicago) and summer (at Chicago or US or international institutions) grants; open to US citizens or permanent residents; contingent upon funding from the US Department of Education
  • Center for East Asian Studies—Area center for FLAS fellowships in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean; travel, dissertation-research, and write-up grants
  • Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies—Area center for FLAS fellowships in Armenian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Turkish, and Uzbek
  • Center for Latin American Studies—Area center for FLAS fellowships in Aymara, Guatemalan K'iche', Haitian Kreyòl, Nahuatl, Portuguese, and Yucatec Maya; teaching opportunities; travel, dissertation-research, and write-up grants
  • Center for Middle Eastern Studies—Area center for FLAS fellowships in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and Uzbek; summer language travel
  • South Asia at Chicago—Area center for FLAS fellowships in Bengali, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, and Urdu; travel, dissertation-research, and write-up grants
Supplementary Funding

Research Assistantships

History students and students in other programs are welcome to apply. The Department of History sends an email requesting applications for research assistantships in late summer or early autumn. We match students and faculty as well as possible based on research interests and foreign language skills. We consider students with Federal Work-Study money first.

Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study gives money outright to eligible students who work at the university. As determined by government criteria, an eligible student is a US citizen or permanent resident who is generally from a family of modest means or is "independent" (not claimed as a dependent on parents' Federal income tax form). Contact Graduate Financial Aid at (773) 702-6061 or review the program FAQs sheet with questions about the program eligibility and to apply.

Prospective and current students interested in Work-Study complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the university application available through Graduate Financial Aid in early spring quarter. Funds are rarely available for students who miss the deadline. (There is a separate application for summer Work-Study.) The government correlates the FAFSA and University Application to determine how much a student may earn. Student Loan Administration informs students whether they qualified and places award letters on students' my.UChicago accounts. Students may apply for Work-Study without applying for Federal student loans.