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Funding in Canadian Philosophy PhD Programs


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Hi, guys. I am an applicant to philosophy PhD programs this cycle. I am applying to programs in both America (15) and Canada (3). However, it is not until last week did I know (at least some) Canadian programs have a different funding policy as American programs.

In America, the programs usually waive the tuition and health insurance, and grant you 4,5-year funding that's barely enough to support your living, as they decide to admit you. For at least some Canadian programs, however, it seems they do not waive the tuition (though the tuition and insurance are cheap compared with America's), and the guaranteed funding doesn't suffice to pay your tuition + health insurance + all living expenses. Calgary requires applicants to attend their scholarship competition to get enough funding. And Western's website says its minimum funding add up to only 20,000 CAD?  I don't think this is enough to live and pay tuition.

I'm confused, guys -- Do philosophy PhD students in Canadian schools still pay a considerable portion from heir own pockets for their own study? Is there somewhere I can see the actual funding level of these programs?

Edited by Vague Donut
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I've been wondering about this as well. It does seem to depend on the university/city. I know that offers at Calgary range from 25k-30k; if you're an international student then you're also nominated for a 3k tuition scholarship, leaving you with little over 5k to pay. This leaves you just enough to scrape by (though keep in mind you can cover tuitions just fine if you succeed in obtaining funding through the Graduate Award Competition). But I can't imagine that 25k-30k would be anywhere near enough in more expensive cities like Vancouver or Toronto. This is especially daunting because funding offers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto seem to float around the same range as in Calgary. 

Edited by AJ9721
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On 1/26/2021 at 4:51 PM, Vague Donut said:

Is there somewhere I can see the actual funding level of these programs?

I'm guessing you're going to have to ask admitted students about the funding offers they've received. Bearing in mind that it may be misleading (often offers are reflective of how badly a department wants particular a student and we can heuristically assume that most universities are exceptionally strained in their finances in this cycle), one way of getting a feel for how much a department is willing to offer its students is by looking at past admissions here on Gradcafe. Sometimes accepted students will share this information in the comment section. 

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On 2/15/2021 at 9:55 PM, AJ9721 said:

I've been wondering about this as well. It does seem to depend on the university/city. I know that offers at Calgary range from 25k-30k; if you're an international student then you're also nominated for a 3k tuition scholarship, leaving you with little over 5k to pay. This leaves you just enough to scrape by (though keep in mind you can cover tuitions just fine if you succeed in obtaining funding through the Graduate Award Competition). But I can't imagine that 25k-30k would be anywhere near enough in more expensive cities like Vancouver or Toronto. This is especially daunting because funding offers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto seem to float around the same range as in Calgary. 

Hey, I got into Calgary in a PhD program. My school's website says that they offer minimum  18k but I haven't received the official admission letter. I am an international student . But i am not aware that my tuition will be reduced to Canadian fees. Can you share the link of same? Did you attend Calgary?

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9 minutes ago, ImissTraveling said:

Hey, I got into Calgary in a PhD program. My school's website says that they offer minimum  18k but I haven't received the official admission letter. I am an international student . But i am not aware that my tuition will be reduced to Canadian fees. Can you share the link of same? Did you attend Calgary?

I really don't know anything about other schools. I was sent information about funding with my acceptance letter. So, if you got in without any mention of funding, then the schools might be operating differently. I would expect the amounts offered to differ though: for one thing, my school promises a minimum of 22k. It's also safe to assume that each funding offer is unique to each student (though definitely would fall into a range, which itself is unique to each department given its own size/financial standing). 

I wouldn't worry about it too much at the moment. If they say they're offering a minimum of 18k, then you've got something to work with (if you must plan now, planning as though you'll receive 18k might be a good plan). If it helps, I think it's quite fair/acceptable to write them an email and ask when you'll be hearing back about funding. 

I am also an international student, so we might be in the same boat. I think when you apply, you're automatically considered for the International Graduate Tuition Award, which amounts to about 3k that goes towards paying your tuition fees. That's something to ask about as well. 

Hope this helps!

 

P.S. I'm not sure what links would be useful but here's an ugly looking one with the details about the International Graduate Tuition Award: https://iac01.ucalgary.ca/FGSA/Public/SpecificAward.aspx?AwardID=5925

 

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19 hours ago, AJ9721 said:

I really don't know anything about other schools. I was sent information about funding with my acceptance letter. So, if you got in without any mention of funding, then the schools might be operating differently. I would expect the amounts offered to differ though: for one thing, my school promises a minimum of 22k. It's also safe to assume that each funding offer is unique to each student (though definitely would fall into a range, which itself is unique to each department given its own size/financial standing). 

I wouldn't worry about it too much at the moment. If they say they're offering a minimum of 18k, then you've got something to work with (if you must plan now, planning as though you'll receive 18k might be a good plan). If it helps, I think it's quite fair/acceptable to write them an email and ask when you'll be hearing back about funding. 

I am also an international student, so we might be in the same boat. I think when you apply, you're automatically considered for the International Graduate Tuition Award, which amounts to about 3k that goes towards paying your tuition fees. That's something to ask about as well. 

Hope this helps!

 

P.S. I'm not sure what links would be useful but here's an ugly looking one with the details about the International Graduate Tuition Award: https://iac01.ucalgary.ca/FGSA/Public/SpecificAward.aspx?AwardID=5925

 

Hey,

Thanks for your detailed reply. Its super helpful.  I am yet to receive my offer letter. As of now, i have just received an email from graduate chair about my acceptance. So, hoping that funding details will come with it. Maybe, i will wait for few more days before i inquire about the official acceptance from the school.

Thanks for sharing the link, hoping that they will consider me as well for International Graduate Tuition Award.

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6 hours ago, ImissTraveling said:

Hey,

Thanks for your detailed reply. Its super helpful.  I am yet to receive my offer letter. As of now, i have just received an email from graduate chair about my acceptance. So, hoping that funding details will come with it. Maybe, i will wait for few more days before i inquire about the official acceptance from the school.

Thanks for sharing the link, hoping that they will consider me as well for International Graduate Tuition Award.

Happy to be of service. 

Congrats on being admitted, by the way - best of luck! 

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On 2/15/2021 at 11:33 AM, AJ9721 said:

I'm guessing you're going to have to ask admitted students about the funding offers they've received. Bearing in mind that it may be misleading (often offers are reflective of how badly a department wants particular a student and we can heuristically assume that most universities are exceptionally strained in their finances in this cycle), one way of getting a feel for how much a department is willing to offer its students is by looking at past admissions here on Gradcafe. Sometimes accepted students will share this information in the comment section. 

I just got admitted by Western. This is one of the top choices for me (academically).  I will have an annual funding of 25000CAD in total. The tuition and fees are to be deducted from this amount. And I also wrote to a few their PhD students. Per their replies, they really lived THRIFTY lives with the funding. 

What I also knew from their replies is it's not very likely to own a car in Western with the funding. Ontario's auto insurance rates are insanely high. I might need to pay 330CAD monthly premium for my old shabby nissan. But I really don't want to stand there, waiting for a bus in chilling lake effect snowstorms because I don't have a car.

I have also been admitted and waitlisted by a few PhD programs in the US. Though their funding are not able to make me rich, at least I can afford the premium.

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