Graduate Program Financial Aid

Some students accepted into the Department of Philosophy program at Western Michigan University receive financial aid through graduate assistantships. The department has a range of other funding opportunities, including, but not limited to grading, research assistantships, grant work, administration (e.g., event organizing), etc.  Be proactive and seek out opportunities.  The University also supports a range of other student jobs, some of which carry tuition remission.

Graduate assistantships

We have a small number of graduate assistantships that offer stipends and tuition remissions. These are very competitive. Graduate assistants typically teach discussion sections under the supervision of faculty during their first year, then teach independently in their second year. The graduate assistantship consists of a stipend and a tuition waver.  

Graduate assistant appointment awards are contingent upon the following conditions:

  • Satisfactory completion of 12 graduate credit hours during the academic year;
  • Maintaining a program grade point average of 3.0 or higher;
  • Completing 600 hours of service activities as assigned, averaging 20 hours per week for weeks classes are in session over the course of the award; and
  • Adherence to all University policies, regulations, directives, guidelines and student codes


In their first year, most graduate assistants in the Department of Philosophy are assigned to assist professors teaching large classes, perhaps including leading discussion sections. Beginning in the summer sessions and through their second year, most have responsibility for teaching classes on their own with the guidance of a faculty mentor. Some graduate assistants may alternatively be assigned to provide research assistance.

Mark Rochon Graduate Fellowship

Two Mark Rochon Graduate Fellowships of $1,000 each will be offered, chosen on the basis of academic merit.

Sylvia Culp Memorial Fellowship

A Sylvia Culp Memorial Fellowship of $1,000 will be offered; preference will be given to members of underrepresented groups within the discipline.

Heraclitean Society Essay Prize

Philosophy graduate students--both graduate assistants and non-graduate assistants--may compete for the Heraclitean Society Essay Prize. The award is $1,000 and is often divided between two or more winners.

Additional funding sources