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Funding/Stipend question (religious studies)


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I am coming with a background in both theology (MA) and philosophy (MA), and I would like to apply to both philosophy PhD programs and religious studies programs. However, I am wondering about the basics of funding that one can expect/hope for from Religious Studies PhD programs. For philosophy, most of the programs I plan to apply to don't offer incoming students stipends—through TA-ships, etc.—of less than 20k a year (and many offer more). But with religious studies, it seems that funding is often less than 10k a year. Is this the case? Or, am I just looking in the wrong places? If you are applying to religious studies PhD how much are you hoping to receive in terms of funding?

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If you're applying to top tier programs, chances are the funding for all humanities or "school of arts and sciences" students is the same across the board. E.g. Northwestern and Yale offer students about $30k/year (NU five years guaranteed, Yale six) regardless of department (things vary when you get into the hard sciences of course, but among humanities students, the base pay is the same.) 

There are certainly less well-funded programs particularly if you're looking at seminaries, divinity schools or other religiously-affiliated schools (though some of those are competitive.) However, I'm not sure I've heard of a program that has guaranteed funding for less than 15k/year for a PhD in RS--meaning, I'm not counting programs who offer no official funding package, who can't guarantee consisting funding year to year, who make students compete for better funding, etc.

Off the top of my head, here are some programs that offer near or more than 20k/year in RS and have people (faculty and grad students) working in "philosophy" broadly conceived:

Yale, Northwestern, UNC-Chapel Hill, Stanford, Duke, UVA, Syracuse, UChicago (Divinity), UC Santa Barbara (I don't think all students are guaranteed funding, but the vast majority get it, and I've heard they're moving toward a fully guaranteed situation.)

I'm positive there are more. Some of these may not be as competitive as they used to be--I was applying five years ago, so things certainly could have changed!

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21 minutes ago, marXian said:

If you're applying to top tier programs, chances are the funding for all humanities or "school of arts and sciences" students is the same across the board. E.g. Northwestern and Yale offer students about $30k/year (NU five years guaranteed, Yale six) regardless of department (things vary when you get into the hard sciences of course, but among humanities students, the base pay is the same.) 

There are certainly less well-funded programs particularly if you're looking at seminaries, divinity schools or other religiously-affiliated schools (though some of those are competitive.) However, I'm not sure I've heard of a program that has guaranteed funding for less than 15k/year for a PhD in RS--meaning, I'm not counting programs who offer no official funding package, who can't guarantee consisting funding year to year, who make students compete for better funding, etc.

Off the top of my head, here are some programs that offer near or more than 20k/year in RS and have people (faculty and grad students) working in "philosophy" broadly conceived:

Yale, Northwestern, UNC-Chapel Hill, Stanford, Duke, UVA, Syracuse, UChicago (Divinity), UC Santa Barbara (I don't think all students are guaranteed funding, but the vast majority get it, and I've heard they're moving toward a fully guaranteed situation.)

I'm positive there are more. Some of these may not be as competitive as they used to be--I was applying five years ago, so things certainly could have changed!

Thank you! This is very helpful. And it is a huge relief, since I was really looking forward to applying to religion programs.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I can confirm what was said above. The stipends at most tier 1 or 2 (top 50) schools are similar across the humanities. Philosophy and RS graduate students make the same money and as far as I know take on many of the same teaching responsibilities throughout their programs. State schools always have the lower stipends and many (most, in fact) do not offer summer funding. It is normal for state schools to offer less than 20k as your yearly stipend; private schools, on the other hand, at least in the top tiers, often offer over 20k and many offer summer funding (or the option to apply for it), resulting in 25k+ stipends. Though, cost of living natural factors into all of this. 

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