To determine the amount of financial aid you will need, you must first estimate your graduate tuition and fees for each semester. You can do this by going to the Bursar's Office website. Financial aid for graduate study is available in the form of teaching positions, fellowships and research assistantships. Please note that the following funding opportunities are generally available only to doctoral students. To be considered for a fellowship, indicate your interest in fellowship support on your graduate application. Applications must be received by the deadlines to ensure consideration for financial aid for the forthcoming academic year. Do not plan to work more than 20 hours per week while you are a full-time student.

Research Assistantships

Research grants to individual faculty members provide funds for some graduate research assistants. These positions provide a stipend, CU health insurance discount and tuition waiver. The size of each depends on the percentage time of the appointment.

Graduate Teaching Positions

About fifteen teaching positions in undergraduate Linguistics courses are available each academic year. The majority of these positions are teaching assistant (TA) positions. A small number are graduate-student instructor (GPTI) positions. Teaching positions are generally offered only to doctoral students and GPTI positions only to advanced doctoral students.

The stipend for graduate teachers depends on the nature of the position (whether the position is a TA or GPTI position) and the percentage time worked: depending on Departmental needs, a graduate student may be offered either a 35-percent-time appointment (14 hours per week) or a 50-percent-time appointment (20 hours per week). In addition to the stipend, teaching appointments include a tuition waiver; the size of this waiver depends on the percentage time of the appointment. A 33-percent-time TA appointment, the most common type of appointment made in the Department, currently includes a 7-credit tuition waiver, while a 50-percent appointment includes a tuition waiver for up to 18 credits. Student teaching positions of at least 20-percent-time also carry a substantial CU student health insurance waiver, of about 89 percent of the semester premium. Keep in mind that you must pay student fees whether or not you are employed as a TA/RA/GPTI.

For those who qualify, there are also occasional opportunities for teaching in CU language departments, including East Asian Languages and Civilizations, French and Italian, Germanic and Slavic, and Spanish and Portuguese. While the language departments give preference to their own graduate students, some Linguistics students usually obtain such positions each year. Application should be made directly to the department in question.

The Program for Writing and Rhetoric seeks qualified graduate students from all departments to teach undergraduate courses in expository writing. Application should be made directly to that program. 

The International English Center for teaching English awards several part-time honorarium positions each semester to those qualified to teach English as a second language (TESOL). Minimum qualifications for these positions are experience and training in TESOL and a completed MA in a related field. These appointments provide salary only. Application should be made directly to the International English Center.

To apply for teaching positions in Linguistics, submit a statement of your interest in teaching and your teaching qualifications along with the admissions application. Some of your letters of recommendation should reflect your teaching qualifications, if possible. Notification of appointments is sent out by early March.


All applicants for the PhD program whose completed admissions applications have been received by January 2 are considered automatically for the following fellowships if they indicate a need for financial aid.

University Fellowships

All PhD applicants will be considered for fellowship support provided by the Graduate School to the Department. A fellowship award offer is made at the time of admission.

Chancellor’s Fellowship

Entering PhD graduate students are eligible to compete for a Chancellor’s Fellowship, which includes a stipend of at least $20,000 per year, for two years, tuition, fees and health insurance. This fellowship is also accompanied by a promise of three additional years of support from the Department. The Department will select a nominee for this fellowship each spring from among its top-ranking applicants.