Graduate student support

Graduate students are financially supported through a variety of sources including teaching or research assistantships, internal University of Waterloo scholarships, and external scholarships.

MA support

Full-time Master's thesis option students are normally provided with two terms of funding during their first year, currently $15,580 minimum. The normal completion time for the Master's program is approximately two years. You should plan your time and financial resources accordingly.

Coursework option students are not promised funding on admission; however there are often extra teaching assistant positions available to apply for each term. The coursework option is normally completed in one year (three terms). 

PhD support

Full-time Doctoral students are normally provided with three terms of funding during their first four years. The annual amount is currently $23,538. The normal completion time for the doctoral program is three to four years, so you should plan your time and financial resources accordingly.

Students who successfully obtain external scholarships receive the President's Graduate Scholarship along with matching support from the Department (usually in the form of a one-term teaching or research assistantship) to meet the minimum annual funding commitments.

External scholarships

Students are encouraged to apply for external scholarships, including the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) or a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Scholarship, the most common ones for our students.

Teaching and research assistantships

Teaching and research assistantships are usually 10 hours per week for 16 weeks of the term. Payments are comprised of a monthly salary (two-thirds of the total payment) paid on the last Friday of each month along with a Graduate Experience Award (one-third of the total payment) received in the first month as a scholarship.

Teaching assistantships are assigned by the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies based on a combination of student funding commitments, instructor needs and requests, and best fit of students with courses.

Research assistantships are requested by individual faculty members with grant funds and research assistant needs.

Other financial support

Emergency funds and bursaries

Other financial support includes access to emergency funds and bursaries administered through the Graduate Student Office.

Thesis research support

In addition, the Department provides one-time support for the costs of thesis research ($200 for master's students and $350 for doctoral students).

Conference travel support

Assistance is also provided jointly by your supervisor (if funds are available), the Department ($200 for both masters and doctoral students), the Faculty ($100 for masters students and $150 for doctoral students) and the Graduate Studies Office (up to $500) for travel to present your research at a conference once per fiscal year (May through April).

If your abstract has not yet been accepted, it is still best to apply before the deadline. If not accepted, you can always cancel the request and reapply for another conference during the fiscal year.

The Graduate Studies Research Travel Assistantship (PDF) form is submitted to your supervisor and then to the Department to request these funds. Deadlines are August 1 for Fall term conferences, December 1 for Winter term conferences, and April 1 for Spring term conferences. Applications submitted after the deadline may be approved, subject to availability of funds. Applications submitted after the conference has occurred are not approved for funds. 

Other awards and scholarships

The Graduate Studies Office maintains a list of other awards and scholarships available to students.

In addition, there are some awards offered by professional organizations, including: