Departmental Support Philosophy

The Anthropology Department is sensitive to the financial challenges doctoral study brings.  In a time of limited resources, there are several strategies that the department employs to maximize and equitably distribute support sources.  Students are encouraged to speak to the Graduate Program Coordinator about any individual concerns.  Furthermore, the department supports coordinated efforts between students, faculty, and staff to address current issues.

The department recognizes that transparency in financial decision-making, where appropriate, is important to cultivate trust, to assist students in their financial planning, and to introduce students to the complicated structure of a university system.  To this end, this section of the handbook provides an overview of the Anthropology Department’s current philosophy, rationale, and practices for managing and allocating support. 
 
Please note that these are general practices, not policies, and are subject to change.  For the most up-to-date and individualized information, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Means of Support Are Communal

The department has two sources of support for graduate students: a block allocation provided by the Graduate Division, and a Teaching Assistant allocation determined by both Graduate Division and the Social Sciences Division.  These sources are allocated to students based on their year in the program, financial need, and are conditional on satisfactory academic progress. 
 
The department dedicates resources to aid students in their applications for fellowships/grants and training to become outstanding teaching assistants.  The primary purpose of these resources is to develop graduate students professionally, intellectually, and academically.  However, there is an added advantage as this enables students to secure extramural financial support.
 
Students who earn fellowships obviously benefit from the prestige and financial security, but they also enable departmental resources to be reallocated to other students.  For example, the teaching assistantships a fellowship recipient may have needed can now be assigned to another student who has no other means of support.  Thus, students who are awarded fellowships have lowest priority for department support in the form of employment or fellowships.  
 
All students are expected to apply for TAships outside the department.  With the Anthropology New TA Mentorship Program (ANTAMP), anthropology students are trained and mentored in pedagogy.  Besides providing professionalization to students, ANTAMP also gives students a competitive edge in applying for outside TAships.  Again, students who are able to find employment outside the department enable the department to reallocate resources for other anthropology students in need.
 
A communal approach to means of support maximizes the availability of resources, thus benefiting a higher number of students.  In times of support scarcity, the department encourages students to partner with the department in finding and utilizing support sources effectively.  Each successful effort can make a difference in another student’s academic career.

Junior Students Receive Priority

Students who are early in the program, primarily first through third years, are less likely to have the means of securing outside support due to their junior stature.  Students who have not advanced to candidacy also have limited employment options.  For example, they typically cannot hold Teaching Fellow positions.  Furthermore, first through third year students are required to enroll and complete specific course requirements, and they are not allowed to utilize cost-saving enrollment statuses such as in absentia or part time enrollment.  As these junior students have less flexibility and less support options, the department prioritizes them in support allocation.

Post-QE Students’ Support Factors

The department acknowledges that students mid-program, such as those in the field or just returning from the field, are also in a precarious position when it comes to support.  Reintegrating from the field is a challenge, and it is difficult for students to actively seek means of support at a distance.  For these reasons, the department is working towards integrating support allocation for these students.
 
Currently, the department typically covers in absentia fees, including health insurance, for students while in the field.  The availability of these fees depends on a myriad of factors, and thus this support is not guaranteed.  It is important for students to notify the Graduate Program Coordinator of their plans to be in the field, and their need for in absentia fee coverage, as early as possible (preferably in the preceding winter quarter).  The Graduate Program Coordinator will do his/her best to budget for in absentia fees when notified by the preceding winter quarter.
 
Priority for support steadily declines as students advance through the program.  Thus, students in their fourth year typically have priority over fifth year students, and so on.  Other factors, such as academic merit or, conversely, failure to maintain good academic standing, also impact priority considerations.

Students beyond Normative Time

Normative time for a Ph.D. is seven years from the admit year.  The department acknowledges that students beyond normative time may still be making satisfactory academic progress.  Pending faculty endorsement, students in their 8th year and beyond may be considered for support resources.  However, support is very limited and these students have lowest priority.
 
For students beyond their seventh year but in good academic standing, Teaching Fellowships (GSIs) may be an option, if available.  In the event, albeit unlikely, that there is an excess of TA or GSR positions, students in their 8th year and beyond are eligible to be hired.  The department cannot provide support in the form of in absentia fees, fellowships/grants, etc.

Students Who Are Not in Good Academic Standing

In all cases, students must be in good academic standing to be eligible for support.