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Fax: 202-885-2938

Burgtorf, Michael R
Sr. Administrative Assistant

Battelle Tompkins, Room 237

Literature 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016-8047 United States

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Financing Your Degree

Merit Awards

The Literature Department offers Merit Awards that include partial tuition remission and a (non-taxable) stipend for each of two years of full-time study. The competition for these merit awards is keen.

  • Factors that contribute to selection for merit awards are: an outstanding undergraduate academic record, strong GRE scores - usually above 600 in the Verbal section - and other supporting evidence in the student's application. (Please note that MFA applicants are not required to submit GRE scores for merit award consideration.)

In order to be considered for a Merit Award, students must submit their completed application by February 1.

Merit Award Fellowships include:

  • Writing Consultants
    Graduate Student Fellows join the Writing Center's group of writing consultants and are charged with creating outreach, workshops, handouts, and events aimed at the particular writing needs and challenges of students in AU graduate programs.
  • Teaching Assistants
    Gain experience while assisting professors teaching General Education courses or undergraduate survey courses.
  • Work Study Assistantships
    Collaborate with Department of Literature staff and faculty on upcoming programs and events within the Department.

Merit Award fellowships usually require 10 hours of work/week. These optional hours of work provide not only further financial assistance but also valuable hands-on experience to students interested in teaching.

Students accepted for graduate study in the Literature department who are not receiving other fellowship funding are encouraged to apply for Writing Center fellowships, which carry partial tuition remission and a (non-taxable) stipend in return for tutoring work at the Writing Center.

  • The Fellowship is selective and competitive.
  • Interested students should contact the Writing Center director for more information and an application at

Need-Based Financial Aid

  • The University also offers need-based financial aid and assistance through various federal loans. For more information, please contact Graduate Financial Aid at 202-885-6500 or
  • Scholarships from "outside" organizations are an additional method of financing your graduate education.


  • Students are encouraged to contact the university's Human Resources Office (202-885-2591) for information about part-time and full-time employment opportunities on-campus. The university provides eligible faculty and staff members with educational benefits including tuition remission for graduate courses taken at American University. Note: You must have completed four months of active full-time employment before the last day of late registration for any given semester in order to qualify for tuition remission benefits for that semester. The maximum benefit available is eight credits per semester. In addition, your total credits for courses taken under the program may not exceed 20 credits per academic year. For more information, please contact the university's Human Resources Office.

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