Awards and Funding

Funding for Incoming Students

Our Department can offer packages of up to five years of financial support. Usually we offer five. In any given year, students may be teaching assistants (assisting in philosophy  courses and/or interdisciplinary humanities courses for which the philosophy department has a share of responsibility), or it may involve research or some other project. Bi-Weekly payments are subject to the collective bargaining agreement made between the university and the Graduate Employees Union. The benefits, all five years, include a tuition waiver of nine credits per semester, waiver of registration fees, and health insurance. (Any additional tuition fees are charged at the instate rate.) We also have a low number of Research Assistantships available that are not in all cases tied to teaching. Continuation of financial support is conditional on the  candidate’s making timely progress, and continued eligibility for teaching opportunities requires adequate teaching performance.

Engaged Philosophy Internship Program (EPIP)

Funding: $10,000
Due date: usually in December

The Engaged Philosophy Internship Program (EPIP) is intended to enable graduate students in the MSU Department of Philosophy obtain professional experience in a non-academic environment that contributes to their development as philosophical researchers. Consonant with the department’s mission, EPIP assumes that philosophers can engage as philosophers in addressing problems and concerns that confront people and communities outside the academy. EPIP seeks to provide graduate students with meaningful opportunities to develop their philosophical research skills and their professional networks in ways that could open alternate career paths for them to work as philosophers. Graduate students who participate in EPIP will work for at least six to eight weeks in the summer with a partner organization (e.g., a business, a government agency, an NGO) on a project or projects that takes advantage of their philosophical training. EPIP is for students who have demonstrable research training that will enable them to contribute to a partner organization and profit as researchers. These will be paid internships – they will not be associated with course credit. Through EPIP, MSU’s Department of Philosophy is hoping to change how the world views philosophy. More information can be found on CAL’s newspage and on the dedicated EPIP page (including information about recent projects and recipients, forthcoming). Also read Daily Nous on our program.

Broader Impact Fellows (BIF)

Funding: $3,000 (up to 3 awards)
Due date: usually in April

The Broader Impacts Fellowship (BIF) will support graduate student research endeavors, academic projects, and educational opportunities that fall under the domain of engaged philosophy. Projects that support and expand the department’s strengths in Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy and Ethics of Healthcare, Neuroethics, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Technology, Environmental Philosophy, and Social & Political Philosophy are strongly encouraged and will be prioritized during the review process. Potential projects include writing research papers, co-authoring research papers, organizing grad student led conferences and symposia, engaging in collaborative projects, building relationships with communities, thinkers, or stakeholders relevant to the applicant’s research, etc. Up to three BIFs will be granted by the Philosophy Department each year. The award is competitive.

Philosophy Scholar Summer Fellowship

Funding: $2,000 (student); $750 (faculty)
Due date: usually in April

The Philosophy Department awards up to two fellowships to graduate students so that they can work closely with a faculty member to revise and polish a paper for publication. The funds will be available in the summer. 

The Charles McCracken 1965-1999 Memorial Award

Funding: $250Due date: usually in DecemberThe Charles McCracken 1965-1999 Memorial Award is given for the best seminar paper submitted to a seminar during the spring or fall semester of the calendar year of the award. Eligible graduate students are in their first or second year during the award year. A student may submit no more than one paper per award. Students are encouraged to consider submitting the winning paper or a version of it at a conference shortly after the award period. 

Degree Completion Fellowship (DCF)

Funding: $10,000
Due date: usually in February

This fellowship provides a stipend of $10,000 to support the student in their final semester towards the degree. This fellowship from the GradSchool does not come with health care or a credit waiver. The college currently provides up to $1,000 for health care support and offers 1 credit waiver. Students who receive financial aid need to pro-actively make sure with the proper MSU offices that the DCF does not interfere with their financial aid. More information about health insurance can be found here:

Summer Support Fellowships

Funding: $4,500
Due date: usually in March

With support from with the Graduate School, the College of Arts & Letters makes summer funding available in the form of Summer Support Fellowships. These awards go to students to support scholarship and creative activity that enhances degree progress.

Summer Teaching

Funding: bi-weekly stipends for the entire Summer
Due date: usually in Fall

Students can either teach brick & mortar classes or sign up for online teaching. In some cases, employment is contingent on meeting enrollment minima (5 students for graduate courses; 10 students for 300-400-level courses; 15 students for 100-200 level courses). In some cases, the minimum number may be higher to meet the cost of delivering the course.

Basic Needs Fellowship

Funding: $1,500
Due date: ongoing

In the event that a graduate student is assigned to teach a class and it is canceled (e.g., due to low enrollment), the student will be eligible to apply for a $750 teaching supplement, which will be matched by the department ($1,500 total).

Summer College Research Abroad Monies (SCRAM)

Funding: $3,000
Due date: usually in February

The College of Arts & Letters offers fellowships up to $3,000 each intended for students in the latter stages of degree completion whose research requires significant use of facilities, sources, or resources abroad.

Travel Support

Funding: $250/$350/$600
Due date: ongoing, last due date: March

The College of Arts & Letters provides up to $350 per graduate student per year toward expenses of travel to conferences: Travel Funding Guidelines. The philosophy department usually matched the amount that the college gives. Students can apply for up to $600 from the GradSchool for the entire time of a student’s career.

Varg-Sullivan Awards (VSA)

Funding and due date: check the fellowship web page of the college

Paul Varg and Richard Sullivan are former Deans of the College of Arts & Letters who dedicated their professional lives to excellence in the College. This award endowment was established in their name. Graduate students in the College of Arts & Letters are eligible to be nominated for the award by their major unit. Recipients are selected based on best performance/exhibition at a national or international event in the Arts and best presentation at a national or international event or best published article in the Letters.

GradSchool Emergency Fellowships

Funding: up to $3,000
Due date: ongoing

A brief statement (1,000 words maximum) that includes an explanation of the unusual or unforeseen expenses; the total dollar amount of funding that is being requested; a description of the student’s financial situation; and other avenues that have been explored for possible funding. A budget detailing the amount of funding requested that includes a list of current expenses as well as a description of how the Emergency Fellowship Funding will be used. A statement from the student’s major professor indicating that the student is making satisfactory progress towards their degree in a graduate program. If the student feels comfortable sharing information pertaining to their situation with their major professor, they may do so. This information can also be included in the major professor’s statement. Optional: Applicants have the option of including other supporting documents with their application (e.g., bills, receipts, etc.) PLEASE NOTE: If you have federal loans or other needs-based loans/aid, the amount of your fellowship award may cause a reduction of your loan(s) or other financial aid. You may still wish to consider the fellowship as this will most likely reduce your total loan debt at graduation. Please seek advice from your Office of Financial Aid Counselor before you turn down a fellowship: Form.

Forms and Fellowships

Other Resources for External Funding