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Department of History

College of Arts & Sciences

The Department of History is able to offer highly competitive funding opportunities for Masters Students. Almost all full-time students in the program receive some form of funding package from the Department, or from other offices at the University. Packages are generally divided into two distinct types: Graduate Assistantship (GA) positions; and Tuition Scholar (TS) positions. The department is also able, on a year-to-year basis, to offer additional funding to support student research. The following pages contain specific information about the various types of funding available to our students, through the History Department, the Graduate School, and other sources.

Funding Packages

Graduate Assistants

Students awarded a Graduate Assistantship will have their full tuition covered (including out-of-state tuition), and will receive a small stipend of $6,000 for the school year. GA's are expected to work 20 hours per week for the department as a part of their funding package. Students are generally assigned to work with one or more faculty members. Typical duties include assisting with classroom management, grading tests and assignments, leading study groups. GA's may also be asked to assist in performing research, or in performing administrative functions.

Tuition Scholars

Students receiving a Tuition Scholarship will have their full tuition covered, including out-of-state tuition. The TS award does not include a stipend, but only requires 8 hours of work for the department per week. Duties expected of TS recipients is in line with those required of GAs; only the time commitment differs.

Neither award covers University fees such as Student Activity Fees, parking passes, etc.

Applying for a GA / TS Position

Incoming first year masters students are automatically considered for both funding packages, so long as their applications are received at the Graduate School by the March 15 deadline. Further information about the application process may be found here.

Students in other situations, including TS students who wish to apply for an open GA position, should contact the Graduate Coordinator.

Extra-Departmental Funding

If the Department is unable to provide funding, prospective students are encouraged to apply for other GA and TS positions available at ETSU. The University posts current vacancies here .

The University has very specific guidelines regarding the use of graduate assistants by faculty members. You will be given a copy of these guidelines during your orientation and class assignments. Student's performance is evaluated on at the end of each semester, and have the opportunity to request a change of assignment at that time. GA and TS positions are renewable to cover up to 4 semesters of full-time study.

Travel and Research Funding

Traveling to attend professional conferences and for research purposes is an unquestionable requirement of professional historians. The History Department believes in supporting our masters students' work in all stages, including research and presentation. On a year-to-year basis, the Department is able to provide funding to assist our students in their endeavors. In the past we have funded student research trips to archives in Oaxaca, Mexico, London, England, Yorba Linda, California, and Nashville, TN. In addition to Department funding, graduate students may apply for funding from the Graduate School, and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA).

History Department Research and Travel Grants

These awards will be made based upon complete applications for assistance prepared by the student in consultation with a faculty member. Each application should include a narrative, a budget statement, and a statement of endorsement from a faculty member. Each of these should follow the following guidelines:

  1. The Application Narrative should be between two and three pages (500 to 750 words) clearly stating the research problem to be funded by the grant, describing the research-related activities, indicating the significance of the project, and providing a reasonable timeline for the project. Successful proposals will be clear and specific in addressing these matters.
  2. A one page Budget Statement should include the anticipated expenses, even those exceeding the amount requested from the department. These may include expenses for travel and lodging, to access materials, photo-copying and duplication costs, access fees associated with archive, library, and historic site admissions, as well as translation and other direct research expenses. The budget statement should also indicate any institutional or grant support already received or anticipated for the research.
  3. The Endorsement Statement should include an assessment of the project itself, the student's ability to complete the project, and an evaluation of the reasonableness of the proposed timeline.

The call for applications for these grants usually comes in December. For further information, contact the Graduate Coordinator.

Graduate School Student Research Grants

The ETSU Graduate School offers competitive research grants on a yearly basis. These grants are to support graduate student thesis or dissertation research projects. The minimum amount for the award is $500, the maximum amount is $800 and up to 8 will be awarded each year depending upon availability of funds.

Complete information about this grant program may be found here.

Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) Grant

Any graduate or professional student at East Tennessee State University who has a completed GPSA membership form on file and has paid the annual $5 membership fee can apply for use of GPSA travel funds. These funds are awarded as competitive grants in amounts up to $250.

Complete information about this grant program may be found here.

Other Sources of Funding

The Department of History offers two competitive avenues of funding for second year graduate students. Neither award may be applied for by students -- the Departmental faculty is responsible for determining award recipients in these cases. Students are judged on their work in the department, both in terms of their scholarship and in terms of their service.

Barbara Jaffe Silvers Memorial Scholarship Endowment

The Silvers Scholarship is given to those students in their second year and beyond who have demonstrated superior drive, ability, and promise. Award winners are chosen by the Department faculty. The amount of the award varies on a yearly basis, depending on available funding.

Dale J. Schmitt Outstanding Graduate Student Award

The Dale J. Schmitt Award is given annually to the second-year graduate student who best exemplifies the combination of academic excellence, integrity, and departmental service that Dr. Schmitt embodied. The award winner is chosen by the Department faculty, and is announced in April of each year. The award carries with it a $1,000 prize. Award winners are recognized at the Graduate Awards Ceremony, and have their names added to a plaque in the History Graduate Student Office.


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