Financial Support and Housing
All applicants, including non-US citizens, are eligible for financial support to cover tuition and living expenses. Except in cases where external funding is provided, an offer of admission to the program comes with an offer of a University Fellowship. Students who stay in good academic standing can expect to receive funding, including tuition waivers, for their first five years.
The First Year
Financial support for first-year students comes in the form of University Fellowships. To apply, simply check the appropriate box on the application form; a separate form is not required. In 2007-08, for example, University Fellowships paid tuition plus a stipend of approximately $19,620 ($1,635 per month). This amount varies from year to year to reflect inflation.
Students required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) must achieve a score of at least 600 on the paper test or 250 on the computer-based test to be eligible for financial support.
The Second through Fifth Years
Students who make satisfactory academic progress are supported in their second through fifth years as Teaching or Research Assistants. In 2007-08, for example, these positions paid tuition plus a monthly stipend of $1,686 for nine months. In addition, admitted students were eligible for funding (approximately $1,635 per month) during the three months of the summer quarter. These amounts vary slightly from year to year.
Students from countries where English is not the native language must achieve a satisfactory on score on the Educational Testing Service's Test of Spoken English (TSE) to be eligible for a teaching assistantship. The score must be at least 45 for examinations taken before July 1997 or at least 50 for examinations taken in or after July 1997.
Beyond the Fifth Year
Numerous opportunities exist for students to obtain competitive university-wide fellowships through The Graduate School and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Some students may continue to be supported as Teaching or Research Assistants within the department, while others may take advantage of the opportunity to develop their own courses by teaching in the School of Continuing Studies.
The department shares the university's philosophy of actively encouraging students to seek outside funding, believing this not only to be an indicator of scholarly achievement but also an invaluable exercise in professional development. The Office of Fellowships compiles information about graduate external fellowship opportunities, including links to diversity-based and awards available to international students.
Conference Travel Grants of up to $500 are available, from The Graduate School, annually to graduate students who have completed their first year. The grants are to enable students to travel to conferences to present scholarly work. Grants are also available from BCICS and from the Department of Political Science.
Graduate Reseach Grants of up to $3,000 are available quarterly to fund research travel and materials deemed essential to students' work. The Graduate Research Grant may be awarded only once in a student's academic career.
Summer Language Grants of up to $2,000 are available to students in their first three years to fund travel, during the summer quarter, to obtain language skills not otherwise obtainable in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Graduate Student Summer Research Travel Grants of up to $1,000 are available from BCICS to fund travel for research purposes during summer. For the record, 16 graduate students in political science won these grants for the summer of 2007.
For more detailed information:
Many graduate students rent apartments near campus. Information on university housing can be found at:
Alternatively, the Evanston campus is readily accessible by public transport from Chicago. The most common methods of finding housing in Chicago are through: