Ph.D. Funding Opportunities

Teaching French at KU

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

The department does its best to provide funding in the form of a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) appointment to all incoming graduate students pursuing an M.A. or Ph.D. in French.  In the event of additional GTA positions, GTA contracts may be offered to KU students in other programs in closely related fields, such as linguistics or education. 

The appointment includes a starting stipend of approximately $18,650 for the academic year (Fall and Spring), a 100% tuition waiver and payment 3 hours’ worth of campus fees.  The contract is renewable for up to 6 semesters for terminal M.A. students, and 12 semesters for students pursuing both and M.A. and Ph.D. at KU. 

It is assumed that the duties of Graduate Teaching Assistants in French and Italian at the University of Kansas will occupy one half of their time. New GTAs generally teach first-year classes (two five-hour courses over the academic year). Experienced GTAs may be assigned courses at the second-year level which meet three hours per week. GTAs teaching second-year level courses teach two sections per semester, four over the academic year. All newly accepted GTAs are required to participate in university and department orientation programs before the start of classes. Teaching assistants also receive continuous guidance in their teaching throughout the year from members of the staff. Teaching Assistants are expected to spend the other half of their time as students working toward advanced degrees in their home department. Those holding the normal 50% appointment must enroll in a minimum of 6 graduate credit hours per semester in French; those holding an appointment at less than 50% must enroll in at least 3 graduate credit hours per semester. International students must maintain an enrollment of 6 hours in graduate courses in French per semester.

Candidates for Teaching Assistantships require fluency in French and English. International GTA candidates for whom English is not the native language must demonstrate English proficiency per the Kansas Board of Regents policy by providing English proficiency scores that meet Regular Admission status and Speaking scores that meet the English Proficiency Employment benchmark.

For more information about GTA positions or the graduate application process, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Aley Pennington ( or Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Van Kelly (

Lecturer Positions

Lecturer positions in French are also available for graduate students in other departments such as International Studies, Political Science and American Studies. During the first and second year of such an appointment, lecturers generally teach one five-hour section of elementary French per semester with a team of teachers under supervision of Dr. Kim Swanson. Lecturers are paid approximately $5000 for each 5-hour course or approximately $3000 for each 3-hour course. There is no tuition remission for lecturers, but lecturers qualify for in-state tuition rates. The application for this position is due in mid-March for the following semester. For additional information contact Kim Swanson at


In addition to the generous financial support offered through GTA appointments, the Department encourages graduate students to apply for the following fellowships. Students interested in applying should direct inquiries to the Director of Graduate Studies (Professor Van Kelly) or to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Graduate Studies Summer Fellowships

Summer stipends (approximately $5,000) awarded to meritorious doctoral students.

Dissertation Fellowships

Intended for doctoral students who have passed their comprehensive exams. For one academic year, non-renewable.

Additional Funding

Graduate Scholarly Presentation Travel Fund

Intended for graduate students presenting a paper at a national or regional meeting of a learned or professional society. A one-time award for a maximum of $500.

Funding Opportunities through the Office of Graduate Studies

Other funding opportunities for graduate students include the Office of Study Abroad’s Springer award, various Hall Center for the Humanities graduate student grants and fellowships, the Department’s Cornell and Mahieu fellowships for research abroad, and French university exchanges.