Funding for Grad Students

Teaching Assistantships

anthropologist facilitating a lab outsideWe provide approximately 20 graduate teaching assistantships. These assistantships are awarded on an academic year basis, contingent upon a satisfactory performance review. A full award is currently nearly $15,000 for the nine month academic year, plus tuition.

The workload associated with these assistantships averages 20 hours per week, and the student is required to be enrolled in 3 classes (9 credit hours) per semester.

Research Assistantships

Graduate research assistantships also are frequently available, if a student is well matched to a faculty member’s externally funded research program.

Other Funding Sources


We strongly support students in competing for University-wide or external funding. We nominate several incoming students each year for University-level Graduate Council Fellowships, McNair Graduate Fellowships, and National Alumni Association Graduate Fellowships, which carry a higher stipend level than teaching assistantships and no teaching obligations. We also nominate returning students for Graduate Council Research Fellowships, Southern Regional Education Board Dissertation Fellowships, and other fellowship programs. Our students have an excellent track record in competing for National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grants.


There are five scholarship programs specific to the anthropology department, all of which are awarded annually:

  • The David and Elizabeth DeJarnette Endowed Scholarship in Anthropology supports students conducting research in the archaeology of complex societies of the Americas.
  • The Allen R. Maxwell Endowed Anthropology Scholarship supports students conducting ethnographic or linguistic fieldwork.
  • The Vernon J. Knight Endowed Scholarship in Anthropology supports students who are conducting research on the anthropology of art and design, with a preference for iconography projects.
  • The Dr. Milady Murphy Endowed Scholarship in the Anthropology of Health and Wellness Scholarship supports students conducting research on the anthropology of health, illness, and wellness.
  • The Dr. John Cottier Endowed Scholarship supports students conducting research in archaeology.

Availability of Funding

All doctoral students are guaranteed a minimum of 2 years of GTA support, subject to adequate academic progress. However, this minimum is routinely exceeded, because our students’ consistent efforts to apply for and success in receiving non-departmental funding frees up assistantships that can be used to support doctoral students beyond their second year, as well as master’s students. As a result of these energetic efforts by the department and by our students, while this is never guaranteed, it is common for our rate of doctoral and masters student funding to approach 100 percent.