Jump to content

Arizona PhD funding for 4 years only..so what happens for year 5?


Recommended Posts

I'm applying to about 7 linguistics departments in the US and kinda just assumed that linguistics PhDs will generally be funded for 5 years. Just found out that Arizona only guarantees funding for 4 years, so I'd like to know what happens in that case for the 5th year - are students expected to apply for extra funding, or work, or something else, and do people usually get through without much of a problem? Thanks for any comment!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if there are regular posters here who would know. It's really a question for UA, not us. It's a totally fair one, too, so I don't you have anything to worry about if you choose to email a POI and simply ask them. I'd do that even if you do get an answer here, because having decent funding would be a critical part of choosing where to apply and where to attend. The answer could be anything from "we can't officially guarantee 5th year funding, but we've been able to provide it to all students in the past 20 years" to "students are able to teach/TA to cover tuition and get benefits in their 5th year" to "yeah, you'll have to figure it out." 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also applying to UA. Normally I won't worry much about what will happen in the 5th year. In the last year of the Ph.D program, you will have quite a lot of opportunities to work as instructor for certain introductory courses, and you are basically finishing up your dissertation. So, there is little if any tuition fee you will have to pay in the last year of the Ph.D program. All you need to worry about is to get enough of maintenance fees, but teaching intro courses can get you enough money to get through the year.

 Another possibility would be that you may simply finish your Ph.D in 4 years.  You simply graduated before the 5th year comes. So, in this case, you may work as a Research Fellow or Post-DOC Fellow, or instructor during the 5th year.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, fuzzylogician said:

It's a totally fair one, too, so I don't you have anything to worry about if you choose to email a POI and simply ask them.

Ahhh, sorry and thanks! Was worried that I was over-worrying (...) about things five years down the road, but yes I would email and ask.

1 hour ago, historicallinguist said:

I am also applying to UA. Normally I won't worry much about what will happen in the 5th year. In the last year of the Ph.D program, you will have quite a lot of opportunities to work as instructor for certain introductory courses, and you are basically finishing up your dissertation. So, there is little if any tuition fee you will have to pay in the last year of the Ph.D program. All you need to worry about is to get enough of maintenance fees, but teaching intro courses can get you enough money to get through the year.

 Another possibility would be that you may simply finish your Ph.D in 4 years.  You simply graduated before the 5th year comes. So, in this case, you may work as a Research Fellow or Post-DOC Fellow, or instructor during the 5th year.

I see! Thanks so much and all the best!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, historicallinguist said:

I am also applying to UA. Normally I won't worry much about what will happen in the 5th year. In the last year of the Ph.D program, you will have quite a lot of opportunities to work as instructor for certain introductory courses, and you are basically finishing up your dissertation. So, there is little if any tuition fee you will have to pay in the last year of the Ph.D program. All you need to worry about is to get enough of maintenance fees, but teaching intro courses can get you enough money to get through the year.

 Another possibility would be that you may simply finish your Ph.D in 4 years.  You simply graduated before the 5th year comes. So, in this case, you may work as a Research Fellow or Post-DOC Fellow, or instructor during the 5th year.

Be careful and verify this:

- International students are limited and where/how many hours they can work.

- Verify that you are indeed the one who will get priority in being assigned teaching opportunities. I.e., if there are more people who want to teach than available hours, what happens? 

- Verify that you can teach (as opposed to TA), if that matters to you. Some schools will only allow PhD holders to be instructor of record (salary might be different between teaching and TAing). 

- Ask about salary, tuition remission, and benefits.

Keep in mind that some cities have high living costs, and that some schools have high tuition costs. Figure out what holds for your situation. And also keep in mind that graduating early may not be the best move. It means you'll have less time to work on your research and your dissertation. You'll most likely be less productive than people who took 5-6 years to finish, and that may mean you'll have a hard time on the job market. On the other hand, having to take on a significant teaching load will also slow you down, because teaching can be very time consuming, so you'll want to know exactly how much teaching you'll have to do to make ends meet. Getting good postdocs is not guaranteed. Even visiting prof positions with a high teaching load are competitive. I don't mean to bring you down, but make sure you think through what your plans mean. It's hard to think about what will happen 5 years from now, but don't put yourself at a disadvantage before you even start, if you can avoid it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 13/12/2015 at 2:39 AM, fuzzylogician said:

Be careful and verify this:

- International students are limited and where/how many hours they can work.

- Verify that you are indeed the one who will get priority in being assigned teaching opportunities. I.e., if there are more people who want to teach than available hours, what happens? 

- Verify that you can teach (as opposed to TA), if that matters to you. Some schools will only allow PhD holders to be instructor of record (salary might be different between teaching and TAing). 

- Ask about salary, tuition remission, and benefits.

Keep in mind that some cities have high living costs, and that some schools have high tuition costs. Figure out what holds for your situation. And also keep in mind that graduating early may not be the best move. It means you'll have less time to work on your research and your dissertation. You'll most likely be less productive than people who took 5-6 years to finish, and that may mean you'll have a hard time on the job market. On the other hand, having to take on a significant teaching load will also slow you down, because teaching can be very time consuming, so you'll want to know exactly how much teaching you'll have to do to make ends meet. Getting good postdocs is not guaranteed. Even visiting prof positions with a high teaching load are competitive. I don't mean to bring you down, but make sure you think through what your plans mean. It's hard to think about what will happen 5 years from now, but don't put yourself at a disadvantage before you even start, if you can avoid it. 

I'm marking this for hopefully not-so-future reference..many thanks for the pragmatic and extremely useful answer!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

I thought I'd chime in because I'm currently a phd student at AZ in both the linguistics and anthropology departments. PhD students in linguistics are a "priority" for funding for 4 years, and then they are a lower priority for the 5th year. I can say that our department has a fantastic record of students getting good external fellowships for the last year. I have also seen students who are further along in the program getting teaching assignments still. We also do have a lot of people powering through the program at a pretty quick pace. So I think the answer I would give is pretty much the same as fuzzylogician, if you're making good progress through the program and they can still find you a teaching appointment for the 5th year they will probably do whatever they can to help you. I don't know if the situation is different at all for international students though. 

Either way, you'll still be on the hook for the mandatory fees, which are university mandated and the dept can't pay. It comes out to ~$500 a semester, and all the students in the dept pay them regardless of their teaching appointment/funding situation. I had a fellowship my first year and I still had to put up the money for the fees so they're unavoidable. Hopefully that's helpful and if anyone who is applying wants to reach out to me and ask more questions about the program feel free. My email is in my profile. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 22/12/2015 at 8:40 AM, cotterw said:

Hi all,

I thought I'd chime in because I'm currently a phd student at AZ in both the linguistics and anthropology departments. PhD students in linguistics are a "priority" for funding for 4 years, and then they are a lower priority for the 5th year. I can say that our department has a fantastic record of students getting good external fellowships for the last year. I have also seen students who are further along in the program getting teaching assignments still. We also do have a lot of people powering through the program at a pretty quick pace. So I think the answer I would give is pretty much the same as fuzzylogician, if you're making good progress through the program and they can still find you a teaching appointment for the 5th year they will probably do whatever they can to help you. I don't know if the situation is different at all for international students though. 

Either way, you'll still be on the hook for the mandatory fees, which are university mandated and the dept can't pay. It comes out to ~$500 a semester, and all the students in the dept pay them regardless of their teaching appointment/funding situation. I had a fellowship my first year and I still had to put up the money for the fees so they're unavoidable. Hopefully that's helpful and if anyone who is applying wants to reach out to me and ask more questions about the program feel free. My email is in my profile. 

Thank you very much! Really reassuring :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/29/2015 at 9:09 AM, ylsun136 said:

Thank you very much! Really reassuring :)

No problem! As someone who is in the thick of this program, I just want to say it is a really great department and it's an incredibly comfortable and welcoming group of people to work with every day. So, best of luck in the application process!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.