Financial Aid

All newly admitted Ph.D. students are offered five years of funding, conditional on satisfactory progress in the program. Ph.D. students are offered a Dean’s Fellowship (non-service) the first year and Teaching and/or Research Fellowships during years 2–5. A non-service Dissertation Writing Fellowship will be awarded to students who have defended their prospectus. Students will not receive more than 4 semesters of non-service funding. Funding beyond the fifth year requires a petition and will be approved on a semester-by-semester basis.

The Department’s principal source of financial aid takes the form of teaching fellowships. The teaching fellowship financial aid is designed with the goal of supporting graduate students through the completion of their dissertation. Decisions to renew teaching fellowships are made annually by the Political Science Department faculty and are contingent on the student’s academic and teaching performance. M.A. candidates are not eligible for financial aid from Boston University.

For additional information, see:

Presidential University Graduate Fellowships (Dean’s Award)

All first year Ph.D. students are eligible for a PUGF. Students who are awarded a PUGF by the Graduate School will be freed from teaching responsibilities for the first year of their fellowship. PUGF fellowships may be renewed, contingent on academic and teaching performance, for a maximum of three years beyond the first year.

Responsibilities of Teaching Fellows

Those students who have been awarded teaching fellowships must:

a) Attend lectures of the courses to which they have been assigned on a regular basis and conduct regularly scheduled discussion sections if required for the course. No discussion sections may be canceled without prior consent of the professor responsible for the course.

b) Do the required reading of the courses to which they have been assigned.

c) Register for PO 699, a course for teaching fellows, which is conducted by the professor of the course to which each teaching fellow is assigned.

d) Hold at least three hours of office hours per week.

e) Conduct teaching evaluations at the end of the term which will be forwarded in summary form to the teaching fellow, the supervising professor, and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Circumstances Warranting the Withdrawal of Support

When the department offers a teaching fellowship to an incoming student, it does so in the belief that the individual has extraordinary potential as a scholar. If this potential does not materialize, and if the student’s performance falls short of department standards, support will be withdrawn. A grade less than B-, an incomplete that is not cleared within the calendar year, or poor progress towards the completion of the Ph.D. will lead to the suspension, or withdrawal, of financial support.

Each fellow is expected to do their best as a teacher. A failure to fulfill the responsibilities listed above, a lack of responsibility towards the students who have been assigned to the teaching fellow, or a lack of responsiveness towards the goals set by the professor in charge of the course may lead to the suspension or withdrawal of the teaching fellowship.

Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship

The African Studies Center at Boston University offers a program of instruction in African languages. Any full-time Boston University graduate student who is an American citizen or a US permanent resident is able to apply for a Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship through the African Studies Center. Fellows must study an African language while pursuing graduate studies at Boston University in order to be eligible for the FLAS Fellowship. Awards may include full or partial tuition funding as well as a stipend. Applications are available on the Center’s website and are typically due in February for the following academic year. For additional information on FLAS Fellowship opportunities, please visit