Graduate Program F.A.Q.

Could you please send me application materials?

We do not send materials by postal mail, since all of the needed information and required forms are available on this website.

Can I apply to begin the program in the Spring semester?

We strongly discourage applications to begin the program in the Spring and only rarely admit students who submit applications.  The reasons are that (1) courses that are offered only in the Fall semester are often prerequisites for Spring semester courses; (2) funding is rarely available in the Spring for new students; and (3) office space is rarely available in the Spring.

How many students apply each year?  How many are admitted?

Application volumes can vary substantially from year-to-year.  Lately, we are seeing about 50 applications per year. Incoming cohorts are generally 5-8 students. The number of admittees usually depends on the availability of funding to support the students.

What proportion of admitted students receive funding?

Currently, all of the students admitted to our program have some form of funding.  Most receive teaching or research assistantships.  Some have external (i.e., non-University of Iowa) funding.  A very small number of students receive fellowships from the University of Iowa's Graduate College.

What is the difference between a fellowship and a teaching or research assistantship?

A fellowship generally includes a 12-month stipend and a full tuition scholarship, renewable for four or five years (provided that the student is making adequate progress in the program).  Usually, the first and last year of a fellowship are free from assisting faculty with research and teaching (while the middle years require that the student work with faculty on assignments related to teaching or research).  In contrast, teaching and research assistantships are generally 9-month appointments, carrying a stipend and partial tuition scholarship.  Students who receive teaching or research assistantships are expected to work an average of 20 hours per week on assignments related to teaching or research.

Is funding available for students who are not U.S. citizens?

Yes.  Students who are not U.S. citizens are eligible for teaching assistantships, and in most cases, research assistantships.  Note, however, that students who receive teaching assistantships must be certified by the English as a Second Language Program.  International students are also eligible for Presidential Fellowships.  International students do not apply for the Presidential Fellowships themselves.  The Department will decide if a student should be nominated for a Presidential Fellowship and, if so, will submit the nomination to the Graduate College.