There are four types of financial aid for graduate students: major university funding, minor university funding, external funding, and funding for research and conferences expenses. Each of these is described below.
Major University Funding
Three major kinds of financial support are awarded by the department to graduate students: Fellowships, Graduate Assistantships (GAs), and Teaching Assistantships (TAs). All of these provide full tuition remission, a stipend, and some fringe benefits, including health insurance (benefits vary by award type).
Students admitted to the program with major financial aid typically receive a multi-year package of support. This package commonly consists of two years of Fellowship followed by three years of TA or GA support. Annual renewal for each year of funding offers made at admission is dependent upon satisfactory progress toward the degrees (see IX. REASONABLE PROGRESS).
- University Fellowships are awarded at the time of admission. Fellowships have no work obligation and allow students to devote full time to their studies. Fellows are expected not to hold jobs inside or outside the University during that academic year.
- Teaching Assistantships (TAs) provide support for two semesters of the academic calendar year. Teaching Assistants attend course lectures, lead discussion sections for lecture courses, assist with writing and grading examinations, hold office hours, and otherwise support the instructor for a course. Experienced TAs may be given full responsibility for teaching a course.
- Graduate Assistantships (GAs) are usually funded through faculty research grants. GAs work 15 hours per week assisting with all aspects of the faculty member’s project.
Minor University Funding
A wide variety of minor funding sources are available. These positions do not include tuition remission or benefits. Sources of minor funding include the following:
- Part Time Lecturer (PTL) positions that pay a fixed salary for teaching a specific course.
- Wages for working on research grants or on specific department projects.
- Wages for helping professors grade student work in large courses.
- Teaching during the summer session, the winter break, or at one of our satellite campuses which is paid on a per course basis.
Competitive External Funding
Banking of Funding Years
Graduate students who receive funding from an external source during the years included in their original funding offer made at the time of admission are not guaranteed that they can defer (i.e., bank) their sociology funding for use in future years in the program. We try to find a university fellowship or TA position for a student who gets outside funding on a one-to-one year substitution for years beyond the original funding offer (assuming reasonable progress). However, we cannot promise that such a substitution will be available. No such substitutions of funding will be made beyond the seventh year in the program. We hope that this policy does not dissuade students from applying for prestigious external fellowships. Fellowships from the National Science Foundation and other organizations are an important indicator of one’s potential as a scholar, and can open doors on the job market and for future funding opportunities from such organizations.
Domestic students: During the first year in the program, all tuition (in-state or out-of-state) is paid for domestic (U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents) sociology graduate students funded on fellowships or as TAs. In subsequent years, the department continues to pay full tuition (in-state or out-of-state) for funded students. However, students are strongly encouraged to apply for New Jersey residency following their first year in the program. Note that individuals must reside in New Jersey for 12 months to establish residency and become eligible for in-state tuition.
International students: Out-of-state tuition is paid for all international sociology graduate students funded on fellowships or teaching assistantships.
Before the end of each semester, funded students should pick up their tuition remission form (RT-100) from the Sociology Graduate Administrator. Students must submit this form to the Cashier’s Office along with a copy of their term bill. Fellows must also pay their campus, computer, and school fees online. Tuition remission forms are due to Student Accounting by the term bill deadline. If a student does not submit their tuition remission form by the deadline, they must pay a $125 late fee.