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TAship at UCSD?


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I was accepted into a graduate program at UCSD without funding, but was told that I would have a good chance of getting a TAship at another department (linguistics) given that I have a BA from a Spanish speaking institution and that since I'll be entering as a PhD student that I will have priority over other candidates. This TAship, I'm told by my graduate adviser, will cover my tuition (including my non resident one), plus roughly a $20,000 yearly salary and that they tend to last a year. Does anyone have any experience with these types of assistantships? Are they doable for first year students? I know SD is expensive and that not having funding for some is a no go, but my poi at UCSD is my academic soulmate and he even called me to say how he was looking forward to having me (most of his mentees are finishing up their degrees). Any advice would be immensely helpful.

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@transmodalnut I wouldn't recommend going to any PhD program-- even if your POI is your academic soulmate-- without funding. As you mentioned, this $20K TAship tends to last one year, in which case, you have to consider how you will manage the remaining 5-6 years financially. I would ask your POI if they can try to obtain more than a year's worth of funding before attending. Honestly, I feel rather bothered that he would encourage you to go, even with the knowledge that the program can't afford to fund you. That strikes me as selfish and self-centred. Has he thought about how you will pay rent, eat, etc.? Every single academic I've spoken to has consistently mentioned that one should never attend any program that isn't funded (maybe, unless your parents are super loaded, and even then, I'd pause because you would essentially be working your butt off without any compensation). The job market is as bad as it is, and going into debt over a PhD in anthropology frankly does not sound wise. I say this as a fellow anthropologist.

Edited by runningwithquills
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