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Funding & awards

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 students are normally provided with two terms of funding during their first year, currently $13,568 minimum. The normal completion time for the Master's program is approximately two years. You should plan your time and financial resources accordingly.

PhD support

Full-time Doctoral students are normally provided with three terms of funding during their first three or four years depending on their admit year as outlined below. The normal completion time for the doctoral program is three to four years, so you should plan your time and financial resources accordingly.

Admit Year Annual Funding Number of Years
PhD Funding Commitments
2014-2015 $21,225 4
2013-2014 $20,600 4
2012-2013 $20,000 3

External scholarships

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.

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 15 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

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

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.

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: