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Graduate Funding and Awards in French

The French program endeavors to provide full-time graduate students with financial support, including stipend and tuition, through teaching assistantships, graduate assistantships and fellowships. It also supports graduate research through travel and summer funding. 

The central criterion in all departmental financial aid decisions is academic merit.

All admitted Ph.D. students are offered four years of support while M.A. students are supported for the entirety of their two-year program. In each case, annual renewal of financial support is based on satisfactory performance and progress in the program. Stipends include tuition remission and health benefits are available as part of the funding packages. All applicants accepted into the M.A. or Ph.D. program are automatically offered for funding. We also sponsors a year-long exchange program with Université de Nice. During this time, students get to be "lecteurs d'anglais" while experiencing a rich and often life-changing cultural, linguistic, and intellectual immersion in the South of France and one of France's most multicultural cities. The teaching exchange program also represents an outstanding research opportunity, especially for students specializing in literature and culture from France thanks to close access to archives, libraries, and cultural institutions.The program also offers a multitude of smaller funding opportunities in order to support our graduate students through their success and professionalization at the M.A. and Ph.D levels.

Teaching Assistantships

The majority of our financial aid awards are in the form of teaching assistantships. Graduate teaching assistants presently teach two or three courses per year or the equivalent. The full teaching assistantships carry 9.5-month stipends and also include full tuition remission for 10 credits and eligibility for the same employee health benefits that the university offers to full-time employees. Please note that mandatory fees are not included in teaching assistantships. For more information.

Full-time M.A. students can expect to be fully funded for the duration of their two-year program. Contingent on satisfactory progress, Ph.D. students can expect full funding for four years, with the possibility of an additional year, contingent upon availability of funds.

For more information about the responsibilities of departmental teaching assistants, see the Graduate School website.

Graduate Assistantships

Across the campus, the university offers graduate assistantships in many different capacities. These assistantships can carry the same tuition remission and health benefits as the departmental teaching assistantships and similar stipends. University graduate assistants work 10-20 hours per week. Many of our students have received these graduate assistantships. Advertisements for these positions, many of which are announced during the spring and summer, can be found at the University of Maryland's Department of Human Resources.

Exchange Teaching Programs

Native English-speaking graduate students can apply to spend a year teaching in the Département d'anglais at the Université de Nice. During this fully funded year in France, students work as “lecteurs” and teach English to French students enrolled in the Université de Nice. Students use their stay abroad to further advance their knowledge of French culture and language as well as to collect research material for their dissertation work. Graduate students interested in applying for these teaching abroad positions should notify the director of graduate studies and their advisor no later than the semester before the intended stay.

Departmental Summer Awards and Travel Grants

The Department of French and Italian typically award two different types of summer funding: Summer Award for Graduate research and language development (Stateside) and the Reading/Research award & language development abroad. These merit-based awards support graduate students in French who have been making satisfactory progress towards their degree and who wish to request funding to support research or language development related to their work for the M.A. or Ph.D.

Summer Teaching

Graduate students often have the opportunity to teach a summer course online, allowing for extra income and flexibility to conduct research abroad at the same time. These courses are assigned on rotation so that the most graduate students can benefit from this extra financial support.

Travel Grants

Competitive travel grants are available for graduate students in the advanced stages of their degree program who are presenting a paper at a national or international conference. Funds are available both from SLLC and the Graduate School.

Outside Fellowships

Students are also strongly encouraged to spend time conducting research abroad in a French-speaking region with the support of externally funded fellowships like the Chateaubriand, the Fulbright, the Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship, the Phi Beta Kappa Walter J. Jensen Award, the Bourse Jeanne Marandon, the Bourse États-Unis and the Bourse Gaston-Miron.  

Dissertation Fellowships

Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship

Each year, the Graduate School awards numerous Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowships. The fellowships provide support for one semester. They carry a stipend of $15,000 and fellows receive candidacy tuition remission and a credit for mandatory fees. They are intended for students who are in the final stages of writing their dissertations and criteria include the likelihood of the student finishing the dissertation during the fellowship year.

Mary Savage Snouffer Dissertation Fellowship

The Mary S. Snouffer Scholarship Fund supports up to four fellowships for qualified students pursuing the doctorate within any discipline in the humanities, including the study of language, literature, culture, philosophy, history or the arts. Preference will be given to students in English; scholarships can be awarded to students in other disciplines within the humanities. Recipients of the scholarship shall be selected by a committee appointed by the dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. Criteria for selection shall be based upon both academic merit and need. Students receiving the Mary Savage Snouffer Dissertation Fellowship are expected to enroll full-time and to devote full time to work on their dissertation. The academic year (9.5 months) stipend for the Mary Savage Snouffer Dissertation Fellowship is currently $20,000 and includes tuition remission for up to 6 credit hours (this amount does not cover health benefits and is not tax exempt).

Graduate Academic Achievement Awards

The Dr. Mabel S. Spencer Award for Excellence in Graduate Achievement

The Spencer Award, established by the daughters of Dr. Mabel S. Spencer, honors the memory and outstanding professional achievements of Dr. Spencer. It carries a stipend of $17,500 and candidacy tuition remission (if not covered by other tuition remission). Dr. Spencer taught at the University of Maryland from 1948 to 1968. Her energy, dynamic personality and commitment to bringing about positive change made her a leader in the university community. Dedicated to programs and activities that advanced the interests of women at the university, Dr. Spencer was also known for her extraordinary ability to communicate with and provide assistance to her students, especially those from underrepresented minorities and from foreign countries. The Spencer Award, established by the daughters of Dr. Mabel S. Spencer, honors the memory and outstanding professional achievements of Dr. Spencer. It carries a stipend of $17,500 and candidacy tuition remission (if not covered by other tuition remission).

The Michael J. Pelczar Award for Excellence in Graduate Study

After earning multiple degrees at the University of Maryland culminating with a doctorate in 1941, Dr. Michael J. Pelczar’s professional career at the university began in 1946 and spanned over 30 years.  He was a distinguished university professor of microbiology and served as vice president for graduate studies and research for many years.  In honor of Dr. Pelczar’s retirement in 1977, the Michael J. Pelczar Graduate Award was established from contributions made by friends and alumni and the award is intended to honor excellence in graduate studies.

The Michael J. Pelczar Award for Excellence in Graduate Study offers $1,000 to an outstanding University of Maryland doctoral candidate who has demonstrated excellence beyond his or her coursework and who has served at least one academic year as a teaching assistant with a commendable performance.

Additional information about support for graduate research can be found on the Graduate School’s website.