Financial Support

Established in 2017-2018, UA’s Religion in Culture MA has so far obtained full funding for 100% of its first MA students, between either GTA positions or successfully nominating them for the Grad School’s competitive campus-wide fellowships (each of which are discussed below in more detail).

Although full or partial funding cannot be guaranteed and is always determined on an annual basis, prospective students should understand this to mean that our faculty, under the direction of the Graduate Committee and department chair, proactively seek funding to assist our graduate students to carry out their studies.

Teaching Assistantships

A limited number of Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) in REL, awarded on a competitive and including a tuition waiver and stipend, are available. Partial GTA positions are possible. All GTAships are for one year and thus are awarded on an annual basis. The full GTA comes with a full tuition waiver (for Fall/Spring), health care, and a monthly stipend (in exchange for up to 20 hours per week of assistance in undergrad REL classes).

REL GTAs do not teach their own classes but, instead, gain supervised undergraduate teaching experience while working with a faculty member.

Note: A half GTA position, if awarded, includes half of the above benefits and requires 10 hours of work per week.

Competitive Fellowships

Exceptionally strong applicants can be nominated, by the Department, to the Graduate School, for consideration as possible recipients of either a Graduate Council Fellowship (GCF) or a National Alumni Association Graduate Fellowship (only in-state students are eligible for the latter).

Both Fellowships, awarded on an annual basis, are worth more than a GTA stipend and comprise an outright scholarship (that is, recipients do not have GTA duties) plus tuition for Fall/Spring and health care benefits. Recipients are mainly incoming graduate students but a student receiving these awards can be renominated to compete for the honor of holding the position the following year.

The nomination process involves no work on the part of the applicant and relies on the Department to submit a nomination letter along with the applicant’s already-submitted letters of reference. Nominees must have been accepted to the program and already receiving a full GTA position. If successful, the recipient will retain the GCF or Alumni Fellowship only, thereby enabling the Department to use the GTA position to support another student.

Find more information about these competitive fellowships on the Graduate School’s website.

Online Teaching

MA students in REL who have earned at least 18 graduate credit hours in the field, and who have also completed UA’s online pedagogy certificate, are eligible to teach their own online course during the summer that falls between their first and second years. This online teaching is mentored and takes place in a small number of pre-developed 100-level online REL Core courses. Where undergraduate demands warrant it, a maximum of two such can be taught in the summer by graduate students, with priority always going to returning MA students.

Should a returning MA student not receive full funding during a Fall or Spring semester, there is also an opportunity for them to teach up to one online course during either the Fall or Spring semester of their second year.

More Information

For more information about these teaching opportunities, contact Dr. Steven Ramey, graduate director.