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Impact x2 Qais

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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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With your help, students like Qais gain the skills they need to tell their story and give us a broader understanding of the world.

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Aid for PhD Students

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences awards various types of fellowship aid to PhD students.  All newly admitted PhD students will receive a 5-year fellowship offer, which may be a combination of a non-service fellowship, teaching fellowship or doctoral research assistant, depending on the department of admission.  Review detailed information about the fellowship awards and the policies and privileges associated with each fellowship by clicking any of the links below.

Cost of Attendance * Medical Insurance * Employment Policy *
Academic Progress * Privileges

Non-Service Fellowships

  • Dean’s Fellowships
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Fellowship
  • Whitney M. Young Jr. Fellowship
  • Trainee Fellowships
  • Various prestigious departmental fellowships.

Non-service fellowships provide a stipend and scholarship for exceptional students to focus primarily on their degree coursework in the first year with no departmental research or teaching responsibilities. Students awarded non-service fellowships are required to enroll in a full load of academic courses as determined by the department. The scholarship would be credited directly to your student account and cover tuition costs only for courses needed to fulfill degree requirements as well as all mandatory fees.

Stipend Amount $10,250/semester
Payment Period Fall: September-December
Spring: January-April
Summer: May-August (only for those awarded 12-month fellowships)
Payment Structure Stipend is paid on the 4th Friday of each month in the semester
Taxes The portion of financial aid that exceeds the expense of tuition, books, and fees maybe subject to income tax.For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, this stipend is not subject to tax withholding by the University; however, it is your responsibility to report it accurately to the IRS and make payments on the taxable portion of your award.For international students, your stipend will have a taxation rate of 14% unless you are claiming exempt under a tax treaty.
Medical Insurance The University will provide for your participation in the University’s basic student medical insurance plan


Teaching Fellowship

A teaching fellowship at Boston University is a kind of apprenticeship, providing an opportunity for graduate students to gain classroom experience under the close supervision of the faculty members who have the formal responsibility for the courses to which the teaching fellows are assigned. Your obligation in this fellowship would include instructional duties assigned by your department and participation in a specific course in the pedagogy of your discipline. Instructional and other duties total approximately 20 hours per week. Recipients may carry no more than four full courses per semester plus a 2-credit teaching course. Credits for this course, which is required for all teaching fellows, will not be counted toward degree requirements, but will appear on the transcript as evidence of instruction and evaluation in teaching. Specific questions regarding this course may be directed to individual departments.

The scholarship provided by this fellowship would be credited directly to your student account and cover tuition costs only for courses needed to fulfill degree requirements as well as all mandatory fees.

Stipend Amount $10,250/semester
Payment Period Fall: September-December (17 weeks)Spring: January-April (17 weeks)Summer: May-August (18 weeks)
Payment Structure Stipend/salary is paid weekly on Fridays
Taxes The portion of financial aid that exceeds the expense of tuition, books, and fees is subject to income tax.This stipend is subject to tax withholding by the University who is required to report the stipend portion of the award as income to the federal government.
Medical Insurance The University will provide for your participation in the University’s basic student medical insurance plan


Doctoral Research Assistantship

Doctoral Research Assistantships provide a stipend and scholarship for exceptionally qualified students in return for research work done for the department. Your obligation in this assistantship would include research duties assigned by your department that total no more than 20 hours per week. Recipients may carry no more than 18 credits per semester.

The scholarship would be credited directly to your student account and cover tuition costs only for courses needed to fulfill degree requirements as well as all mandatory fees.

Stipend Amount $10,250/semester
Payment Period Fall: September-December (17 weeks)Spring: January-April (17 weeks)Summer: May-August (18 weeks)
Payment Structure Stipend/salary is paid weekly on Fridays
Taxes The portion of financial aid that exceeds the expense of tuition, books, and fees is subject to income tax.This stipend is subject to tax withholding by the University who is required to report the stipend portion of the award as income to the federal government.
Medical Insurance The University will provide for your participation in the University’s basic student medical insurance plan


Graduate Research Abroad Fellowship

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and the Humanities Foundation have established a fellowship program, Graduate Research Abroad Fellowships, to support foreign-based research by doctoral students whose research requires an extended period of residence in another country or countries. This program is primarily intended for students in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, where the opportunity to conduct foreign research is often crucial and where sources of funds are limited, but students from all Arts & Sciences disciplines will be eligible for consideration.

There are two kinds of Graduate Research Abroad Fellowships:

  • The Short-term GRAF provides $4,000 to support travel and living costs during a relatively brief period of study abroad, during the summer or for a portion of an academic semester.
  • The Long-term GRAF enables a student to spend an extended period of foreign-based study. It provides $10,000 to cover living, travel, and research expenses. This award also provides, while the student is abroad for one semester to one year, Continuing Study Fees and participation in the BU student health plan.

    Fellowships will be awarded to students nominated by their departments and selected by a committee of Directors of Graduate Studies. At the time of nomination, students must be well advanced in their doctoral studies and will typically have completed all doctoral program requirements except the dissertation. Each department or doctoral program may nominate up to three students each semester, using this nomination form nomination form. Forms should be submitted by departments to the Graduate School by November 1 for the fall round and by March 21 for the spring round. Up to ten Short-term and ten Long-term Fellowships will be awarded each year.


    GSO Travel Grants

    Twice a year, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Graduate Student Organization (GSO) accepts applications for travel grants. The GSO offers two types of awards:

    • Presentation travel grants: For students planning on directly participating in a conference or research forum by presenting a paper or poster, participating in a discussion panel, or chairing a discussion or paper session.
    • Research travel grants: For students planning to visit an archive, attend a training workshop, or use a research facility.

    For instructions, application, and more details please visit the GSO website.

    Cost of Attendance

    For a breakdown of the tuition and fees for an academic year at Boston University as a student in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences as well as an estimated cost of attendance, please check the GRS Financial Aid page.

    Medical Insurance

    As part of your fellowship award, the University will cover your individual participation in the Boston University Basic Medical Insurance Plan. Students who opt to purchase the Boston University Student Plus Plan will be responsible for payment of the additional premium amount. Please refer to the Student Accounting Services page for more information. Students also have the option to purchase Dental Care through the University, which is not included in the fellowship award. The University will not cover any medical or dental insurance costs for dependents. Family coverage is available at an additional cost to the student.

    Who is required to have medical insurance?

    Under the laws of Massachusetts, the following students are required to participate in a qualifying medical insurance plan:

    • Students certified as full-time
    • Students who are registered for 75% or more of a full-time course load (nine or more credit hours for most schools)
    • International students (students who are not U.S. citizens and who do not have approved refugee or permanent resident status)

    Students who are required to have medical insurance are automatically enrolled in the Boston University Basic Medical Insurance Plan. If a student wants to waive the insurance, a medical insurance waiver form must be completed and filed with Student Accounting Services. For more information about insurance coverage and deadlines for enrollment/waivers, please consult the Student Accounting Services website.

    Student Health Services

    Employment Policy

    During the period of the fellowship, you may not be employed outside the university nor be otherwise employed within Boston University. If you have been or are awarded any fellowship or other financial support for your studies from outside Boston University, you must inform the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Financial Aid Office.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress

    Fellowships will continue for the duration of the five-year commitment if the student is making satisfactory academic progress each year, confirmed by the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Financial Aid Office.

    The GRS minimum standard for satisfactory academic progress is:

    • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher
    • Have no more than 2 failing grades (lower than B- or an incomplete grade older than 12 months)
    • Pass qualifying exams and other milestones on the schedule specified by the program

    Privileges

    The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences provides special privileges to all eligible GRS Fellows/Assistants. To receive the privileges listed below, the student must be officially registered and settled for the current semester, and must also have completed and submitted all supporting documentation for stipend payment (i.e. form I-9, visa updates, Patent Policy agreements, etc). Please note that until this is done, privileges cannot be granted.

    • Barnes & Nobles at Boston University: Fellows/Assistants received a 10% discount privilege in accordance with those extended to faculty. Students must go to the 5th floor of the Bookstore with their activated Terrier Card to receive a Bookstore discount card.
    • Boston University Libraries: 24-hour loan for periodicals and when you are actively writing your PhD dissertation, permission to apply for a study carrel.