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Financial Support

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 02/08/2007 - 4:25pm

Departmental Funding

PhD students and thesis-based MA students are typically admitted with a funding guarantee.  Financial support comes in the form of teaching assistantships and research scholarships; advanced PhD students may also be hired as Graduate Teaching Fellows to teach their own courses. Funding is contingent on satisfactory progress in the program.

  • Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GATs): Teaching and instruc­tional service to an instructor in an under­graduate course. Stipends in 2016-17 amount to $8,762 per term (four months), funded and awarded by the Department of Philosophy. No more than an average of 12 hours per week of service (including preparation) may be required of teaching assistants.
  • Faculty of Graduate Studies Research Scholarships (FGSs): Awarded for research tasks directly related to the student's own research. Stipends range from $1000 to $10,000 per term (four months), funded by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and awarded by the Department of Philosophy. No teaching or service duties are required of research assistants. 

GATs and FGSs are normally tenable at the University of Calgary. The terms are September-December, January-April, and May­-August.  New applicants interested in GATs and FGSs should ensure that all application materials (references, samples of philosophical writings) reach the Department by January 15. There is no separate application form for GATs or FGSs.

MA students who are fully funded will receive financial aid for four semesters and one summer. PhD students who are fully funded will receive financial aid for eight semesters and four summers. The department can make offers of admission to MA students without a funding guarantee. This applies in particular to students who want to pursue part-time MA degrees or those that have their own funding. Course-based MA students are not funded.

Each student who is admitted into our PhD program will receive not less than $19,000 for each of four years, subject to availability of funding and satisfactory progress. Special consideration will be given to those who enter the PhD program without an MA. The average amount of financial support to a PhD student has been significantly more than the minimum that is guaranteed.

The Department has no funding commitments to any student readmitted into any one of its graduate programs or with deferred admission.


Departmental funding is generally sufficient to cover the cost of study and living for our graduate students. As a student, you are responsible for the following fees (per year). Details are available in the Graduate Studies Calendar

  • General fees: $1,696.21 (includes $515.16 health and dental insurance and $390 UPASS fee, which provides free access to public transport)
  • Tuition: $5,593.50 for first year MA, and PhD students pre-candidacy, or $1,627.38 thereafter (figures current for 2016-17 academic year).
  • International students pay $12,695.88 for first year MA and all PhD students pre-candidacy, and $3,693.48 thereafter. The higher cost for international students are taken into account in the funding packages offered to international applicants.

Housing and cost of living are difficult to determine. According to our students, rent in a shared housing situation runs between $500 and $900. The Faculty of Graduate studies has additional information available on costs for prospective students.

University and External Scholarships

It is important for students currently in the program or applying for admission to seek funding through fellowship and scholarship competitions at the University of Calgary and from outside sources. Not only does this help the Department in achieving its goal of supporting all its graduate students, it is also important for you, the student: it obviously provides an additional source of funding and, in some cases, allows you to devote more time to your research, it also provides an opportunity to obtain independent recognition of your achievements. Being able to list fellowships on your CV will help you get into a good Ph.D. program or to obtain a job after graduation.

In order to be a candidate for financial support, continuing students must apply for the major awards for which they are eligible. Among the major awards that  you should consider are the SSHRC fellowships (applications due October 26); Queen Elizabeth II Scholarships (applications to the Department due January 15); Killam Scholarships (applications due January 15); a Research Grant (applications due April 1 and October 1); and Commonwealth Scholarships (applications due October 31). See the section on "Awards and Financial Assistance" of the Graduate Calendar for further information about these major awards as well as other awards available.

The following is a partial list of external funding opportunities for prospective and current MA and PhD students in philosophy. This list is, of course, not exhaustive. Prospective students are encouraged to apply for scholarship support before or simultaneously with their application for admission (e.g., by applying for SSHRC doctoral fellowships). Please note application procedures and deadlines below. Also, please visit the Funding Portal of the Faculty of Graduate Studies for more fellowship opportunities, including fellowships offered by the University of Calgary. Note that some internal awards need special applications; you are not automatically considered for them by applying through the Graduate Award Competition.

An application to the Killam and Open Doctoral scholarship competition is a prerequisite  for PhD students for consideration for departmental funding (assistantships). Prospective students apply for these scholarships together with their application for admission. For P.h.D students, a separate "Graduate Award Application" must be submitted online, while MA students may also apply online for the Special Awards and Bursaries competitions.

The Department will utilize information submitted in the Graduate Award application for the internal QE II Scholarship Competition. If you feel you do not qualify for any of the awards listed in the Graduate Award Competition, you may elect to submit to the Department a letter of intent requesting consideration for the QE II Scholarship Competition. All applicants are strongly advised to apply for a scholarship.

Although you will complete the application form itself online, you will still have to submit to the Department two letters of reference (students applying for admission can designate two of your three letters to be considered for use in the fellowship application; students in program will need Scholarship Reference and Request Forms found on the Faculty of Graduate Studies forms page).

MA applicants not submitting a Graduate Award application must submit a scholarship package to the Department which includes: a letter of intent requesting consideration for scholarship, two letters of reference (students applying for admission can designate two of their three letters to be considered for use in the fellowship application); a 1-page research proposal; a bibliography; and, if applicable, a letter outlining any special circumstances to be considered in your scholarship application.

Details and guidelines are available on the Online Application page. Students should note that the research proposal is not the kind of "statement of purpose" required by many graduate programs, but should ideally be a clear and concise program for a thesis project. Many students will, of course change, their thesis objectives as they progress toward the degree, and that's fine. The proposal you submit now will only be used for the current fellowship competition.

Deadline for Graduate Award competition: January 15 in the Department.

Fellowship Opportunities for Prospective and Current PhD students

> Jump to scholarships for MA students

SSHRC CGS Doctoral Scholarship and SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship

Funding for study towards the PhD. The CGS provides $35,000 per year for 3 years (years 1-3 or 2-4). The Doctoral Fellowship provides $20,000 per year for up to 4 years and can be applied for even after your first year in the program.

Prospective students, please check with your home institutuion for application deadline. If you are not currently registered at a Canadian university, you have to apply to SSHRC directly.

Deadline for current students: October 24 in the Department.

Trudeau Scholarships

For students applying to or in their first two years of a Ph.D. program, working in human rights and social justice, responsible citizenship, Canada and the world, and humans and the natural environment. Nominations will be made by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Four year award; $50,000 per year.

Deadline: November 1 (in Graduate Studies)

Commonwealth Fellowships

For citizens of Commonwealth countries wishing to study in Canada.

Canadian Federation of University Women

Offer various scholarships to women enrolled in graduate programs.

Deadline: November 1

Fellowship Opportunities for Prospective and Current MA students

SSHRC CGS Master's Scholarships

Prospective students: please check with your home institution for application deadline, which will be prior to your application for admission at the University of Calgary. If you are not currently registered at a Canadian university, you have to apply to SSHRC directly. Note: you must complete your application for admission by January 6 to be considered for a SSHRC CGS by the University of Calgary.

Deadline for current M.A. students: November 15 in the Department

Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction

For students from Alberta to support graduate study outside Alberta: of interest to current MA students who will continue in a doctoral program outside the province.

Deadline: February 15

Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship Program

The University of Calgary annually awards 60-70 graduate scholarships and fellowships endowed by the Province of Alberta for MA and PhD students. Application is through the open scholarship competition.

Deadline: January 15

Note: Information on deadlines and amounts for information purposes only. Please check the relevant sites for up-to-date information.

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