As part of my series on How to Fully Fund Your PhD, I provide a list of universities that offer full funding for a PhD in Creative Writing. PhDs in Creative Writing can lead to a career as a university teacher, professional writer, and more.
“Full funding” is a financial aid package for full-time students that includes full tuition remission and an annual stipend or salary for the three to six-year duration of the student’s doctoral studies. Funding is typically offered in exchange for graduate teaching and research work that is complementary to your studies. Not all universities provide full funding to their doctoral students, which is why I recommend researching the financial aid offerings of all the potential Ph.D. programs in your academic field, including small and lesser-known schools both in the U.S. and abroad.
You can also find several external fellowships in the ProFellow database for graduate and doctoral study, as well as dissertation research, fieldwork, language study, and summer work experience.
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University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH): Every PhD student has the opportunity to teach creative writing, with many also teaching literature classes. Most students are funded by teaching, with two or three at a time funded by editorial work at The Cincinnati Review, and others funded in their dissertation year by college- or university-level fellowships.
Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL): The majority of students in the Graduate English Program receive support in the form of a teaching assistantship. PhD students receive a four-year assistantship but are eligible to apply for a fifth year contingent on satisfactory progress. Teaching assistants are provided with a stipend, a tuition waiver, and a health insurance subsidy. For 2020-21, the stipend amounts were $16,200 for PhDs. The FSU Graduate School offers several fellowships and awards.
University of Houston (Houston, Texas): Through the Department of English the Creative Writing Program offers teaching assistantships to and PhD students. PhD students can receive a teaching assistantship for 5 years. Starting salary for PhDs $17,169/9 months. As part of the assistantship, students are awarded either a Graduate Tuition Fellowship, which remits tuition, or a Creative Writing Program Fellowship, which covers the cost of tuition and the University will pay up to 50% of the costs of medical insurance.
University of Illinois (Chicago, IL): Accepted doctoral students are normally awarded six years of departmental funding via a teaching assistantship. The Graduate College and the Department both offer a number of fellowships and awards in varying amounts for graduate students. Limited amounts of travel funding are available through the Department and the Graduate College.
University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE): Students who enter the Ph.D. program with an M.A. or M.F.A. are eligible for up to 5 years of funding as Teaching Assistants. The TA stipend was $17,640.00 plus tuition remission and health insurance. The stipend for Research Assistants is $13.155.00 plus tuition remission. Each year the English Department awards several fellowships to graduate students.
University of New Brunswick (Fredericton, Saint John): PhD students at UNB are eligible to compete for $19,420 of assistantship funding per year for four years (2019-2020), providing academic progress is satisfactory.
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA): Students admitted to the Ph.D. program in Creative Writing and Literature receive financial support and assistance in the form of fellowships and teaching assistantships, which include full tuition remission, year-round health and dental benefits, and a stipend at the current rate.
Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX): When students apply to the onsite PhD program, they are automatically considered for funding. The funding for incoming students consists of a teaching position with a competitive stipend—guaranteed $20K/year for four years with opportunities to apply for a fifth year of funding—and significant tuition and fee waivers.
Ulster University (Northern Ireland): The University is proud to be able to regularly offer scholarship awards to support PhD study for applicants from across the globe. These scholarships generally pay full tuition fees and provide a tax-free maintenance grant of over £15,000 per year.
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