Teaching Assistantships and Other Funding
The University of Idaho offers more than $25 million in scholarship awards annually, and the majority of these scholarships do not require separate applications. Students are automatically considered once they apply for admission. These scholarships are awarded based on merit, financial need, outstanding achievement in specialized field, or any combination of these criteria.
In addition, the Department of English offers teaching assistantships, scholarships, fellowships, and awards administered through our department’s generous endowments to help you fund your graduate education.
Our graduate students are offered teaching assistantships, all of which are fully funded. TA’s receive in-state and out-of-state waivers, teach a 2-1 course load, and receive substantial instructional support from our Director of First-Year Composition and staff.
Offers for admission and teaching assistantships will be made based on your graduate application materials. Teaching assistantships are renewable provided students have demonstrated satisfactory progress toward completing their degree and a strong performance in their teaching.
All English Teaching Assistants (TA’s) are offered full tuition waivers. TA’s are responsible for payment of in-state fees and insurance. Teaching Assistants are given a stipend of $14,000 per year.
TA's are assigned to teach three sections of introductory composition courses per year (two sections one semester and one the other) under the supervision of the Director of First-Year Composition. MFA candidates typically teach an undergraduate Creative Writing course in their third year in addition to two Composition courses. TA's usually take 18 credits of course work during the academic year and may also be expected to perform such duties as reading diagnostic or exit essays.
Students who are appointed as TA's must attend a one-week pre-semester workshop. In addition to the workshop, TA's must complete English 523 during their first semester in the program and participate in teaching collaborative groups throughout their time teaching for the English Department.
The English Department offers three major scholarships for graduate students. Decisions on most scholarships are made by April of each year. To be eligible for scholarship support, graduate students must enroll for at least nine credits.
- Awarded to entering English graduate students “who demonstrate literary talent and creativity, with preference being given to students who show the potential to succeed as professional writers, journalists, etc., after graduation.”
- $1,500 - $3,000, depending on year.
- Open to English graduate students who intend to teach English.
- $1,000 - $2,500, depending on year.
- First-year recipients need a minimum G.P.A. of 3.5 in their last two years of undergraduate study, or other evidence of superior preparation and ability. Second and third-year applicants must have completed at least 15 credits of course work toward a degree with a minimum G.P.A. of 3.5.
- Open to all English graduate students, though preference is given to those entering their second year of study.
- $600 - $3,500, depending on need.
- Based on need as well as merit.
- Students must have a processed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with the UI Financial Aid Office. For priority consideration, please have this done by January 16. Visit to complete the form online.
M.F.A. Creative Writing Fellowships
We also award three outstanding fellowships to support qualified MFA graduate students pursuing degrees in our program. To apply for a fellowship, complete the MFA fellowship application. Applications are accepted each year. The deadline is March 21.
Those selected attend the summer Port Townsend Writers' Conference free of charge and have no responsibilities other than to attend one of the conference faculty's workshops and whatever other events they choose. The cost of the conference, which includes tuition, lodging and meals, is covered by the scholarship. Travel to and from Port Townsend is not covered (but a student may request travel funds from the university, GSPA, department or program).
The scholarship is open to all program candidates, in all genres each year. If you would like to be considered for a Centrum Fellowship, please email a short paragraph requesting consideration when applications are solicited.
For more information about the conference, please visit: .
This fellowship gives two MFA students per year the opportunity to work in Idaho’s world famous wilderness areas. The fellowship fully supports a week at either the McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS), which borders Payette Lake and Ponderosa State Park, or the Taylor Wilderness Research Station, which lies in the heart of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Both campuses offer year-round housing.
The writing retreats will allow students to concentrate solely on their fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Because both locations often house researchers, writers will also have the opportunity to collaborate with foresters, geologists, biologists and other scientists. Students visiting MOSS or Taylor Ranch will access expansive forests, rivers and lakes. Applications are accepted each year. Contact Tobias Wray for instructions on applying.
Awarded to an outstanding third-year fiction writer from our M.F.A. program. The fellowship provides substantial time to support writing a book-length work of fiction. Applications are accepted each year. Contact Toby Wray for more details about applying.
- Two-course excusal
- Private office
- Optional one-week retreat at PCEI's Artist's Cabin
A few words from Kim Barnes
Kim Barnes, Pulitzer Prize finalist and professor of writing at the University of Idaho, remembers a day in October when she was fly-fishing her favorite river. “The leaves were beginning to fall off the cottonwood and willows into the current, and I said to my husband, ‘I feel like I'm in a Hemingway short story.”’
Barnes goes on to say:
It's not just Hemingway’s brilliant craft that we in Idaho appreciate — it’s his characters' connection to landscape and the rhythms of the natural world. To perpetuate Hemingway's deep attention to the art of the story and to draw inspiration as he did from Idaho's wild beauty is why so many of us choose to live and teach here, and why a large number of our students come here to study. It's not just our legacy — it's our literary lineage. Being a part of the committee that is tasked with selecting the outstanding M.F.A. fiction candidate in his or her final year is both a joy and a challenge. Across the genres, our candidates are producing exceptional work that is gaining international attention, and their competitiveness is pronounced.
Because the selection of the Hemingway Fellow is based solely on the quality and potential of the student's writing, it is the creative material in front of us that determines our decision. Nothing else. In this way, we focus on the art and craft of fiction and the Hemingway Fellowship Fund's goal of giving the chosen candidate the time she or he needs to complete a substantial draft of a manuscript.