Financial Aid & Special Appointments

Financial Aid & Special Appointments

In addition to general UCSB fellowships and grants, the Department has a special endowment fund, the Ralph W. Church Fund, a certain amount of which can be used each year to award fellowships, teaching assistantships, and readerships. The Department also has a fund, the Fingarette Fund, which is used to support research travel for our graduate students. Contact the Director of Graduate Studies for details on how to apply for this funding.

Application Fee Waivers

Some applicants qualify for fee waivers. There are various paths to a fee waiver. First, they are available to participants in certain programs, for instance the Minority Student Enrichment Program (MSEP) and the McNair Scholars program. (The full list is available through the application portal.) Second, they are available on the basis of household income, for instance those with a gross income of under $29,685 for a family of three. Third, students who have received significant financial aid from their current university may be eligible for a fee waiver. Fee waiver requests and supporting documentation must be received by the Graduate Division two weeks prior to the application deadline.


Fellowships are awarded for up to $25,000 plus fees, insurance, and tuition for the first year of study; two to six awarded per year.

Teaching Assistantships

The pay for these positions varies based on teaching experience as follows: 

0-3 quarters: $9,708.35
4-6 quarters:  $9,999.65
6+ quarters: $10,299.65

These totals are for a full assignment (50% FTE) per quarter, and additionally cover tuition, insurance and most fees. Appointments are made for one, two, or three quarters per year. TAs assist in lower division classes such as Introduction to Philosophy, Critical Thinking, Introduction to Ethics, Biomedical Ethics, and sometimes in upper division classes, by holding discussion sections and grading papers and exams. Teaching Assistantships may also be available in other departments and programs of the University. They are normally given to students who have demonstrated promise in course work here. Our primary financial aid to first year students are the fellowships mentioned above.


There is no specific number of readerships, as this depends on enrollments and the decision of the instructor whether or not to use a reader. Readerships pay about $20.28 per hour.


Students who are appointed as teaching assistants, tutors, readers, or teaching associates fall under an agreement between the Regents of the University of California and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW). Information about the current contract can be found here. All University of California graduate students on every campus are eligible for membership in UAW 2865. Membership entitles one to vote in union elections, including votes on whether to ratify the contract one works under. More information on how to join can be found here.