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School of International Service, PhD

Financial Aid

Dean's Fellowship

Applicants who are admitted to the SIS PhD program as full-time students, and who maintain good progress towards completing the degree, are granted a Dean's Fellowship, unless they have their own external funding. For students making satisfactory academic progress, the Dean's Fellowship can be renewed for each of the first four years of study. There are two components to the award. First, the School of International Service provides full tuition remission for graduate course work to meet the requirements of the PhD program. The second component of the Dean's Fellowship is a stipend that requires a research or teaching assistantship. Students may waive this assistantship requirement and receive only the tuition remission.

Students accepting the stipend will be given a faculty assistantship assignment for up to 20 hours per week for two semesters per year. Each student works directly with a member of the SIS faculty during the fall and spring semesters (15 weeks per semester; 28 weeks for the year). Students who have successfully completed their first year of study may, with the approval of the Director of Doctoral Studies, opt to receive their stipend over the summer and fall semesters, or over the summer and spring semesters. In such cases, students will work with assigned faculty during the specified semesters only.

Faculty assistantship assignments are made by the Dean of SIS with input from relevant faculty members and the Director of Doctoral Studies. During their first two years, students receive a research assistantship, usually with a faculty member whose work is closely related to the student's research interests. Research assistants typically help their faculty supervisor with research, teaching preparation, and other scholarly activities. During their third and/or fourth year, students will normally be teaching assistants.


Travel Grants

Each academic year SIS provides the PhD program with funds to be used to cover up to $600 of the costs students incur when traveling to conferences to present scholarly papers. All students who contribute to the intellectual community of the PhD program are eligible, but please note that funds are limited and are allocated on a first come, first served basis and require the approval of the Director of Doctoral Studies.

For more information on the Dean's Fellowship and applying for a travel grant, see the PhD Program Handbook.


Contact Professor Boaz Atzili, the Interim Director of Doctoral Studies, at 202-885-1648 or atzili@american.edu

We encourage prospective candidates to visit the University to meet faculty members and current PhD students. To arrange a visit, contact Graduate Admissions at 202-885-1646 or sisgrad@american.edu