Funding your graduate studies

Making a commitment to study at the graduate level can be a difficult financial decision. We work hard to support our MA students in their first and second years and our PhD students up to year four.

How much will my studies cost?

You can visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies Tuition and Fees page to find out what costs are associated with your graduate studies at UVic, including the ancilliary fees (e.g. health and dental benefits, bus pass, athletics - scroll to the bottom of the page). You can also get a good estimate on this handy tuition estimator. You can also check the Tuition and Fees schedule for information.

Based on a brief, fairly informal survey conducted among graduate students in September 2015, monthly living expenses (aside from tuition fees) are in the following ranges:

  • Rent: $500-$1000 (average: $670)
  • Transportation: $0 unless you own a car (tuition includes a bus pass, and many students get around by bike)
  • Food: $200-$300
  • MSP: $75 (medical service plan: basic health insurance; extended health and dental insurance is covered in your UVic ancilliary fees)
  • Other: $100-$250 (phone, internet, clothes, books, hobbies, household items)

In total then, and very approximately, you can count on spending about $1200/month on living expenses + $570-$640/month on tuition fees.

How can I fund my studies?

There are a variety of funding opportunities available, from both within and outside the Department of Linguistics. Students in our graduate programs normally fund their studies through a combination of fellowship funding and research/teaching assistantships (see below).

You can find out more about internal and external funding sources on the Graduate Studies website. In addition, awards, scholarships, and bursaries geared specifically towards Humanities students are listed on the Faculty of Humanities website.

The Graduate Studies also has a very useful webpage on "how to receive and retain UVic graduate funding" - you are encouraged to consult this page regularly.

Internal UVic funding

As a student in our department, you are eligible for four kinds of internal funding: 1) scholarships and fellowships (including donor awards), 2) research assistantships, 3) teaching assistantships, and 4) travel grants. Students are normally funded through a combination of 1-3 above; see accordions below for more information on each.

This year (2017), base-funding for students without external funding is approximately as follows:

  • MA, first year: $5,000-$13,500 (awards/fellowships)
  • MA, second year: $6,500 (awards/fellowships) + $2,500 (TAships, 50 hours/term) = $9.000
  • PhD, first year: $17,500-$20,000 (awards/fellowships)
  • PhD, second through fourth year: minimally $7,000 (awards/fellowships) + $2,500 (TAships, 50 hour/term) = minimally $9,500

Note that the amounts above only include fellowship/award and TA funding; they do NOT include funding from external sources (e.g. SSHRC), from donor awards (4 departmental awards x $700-$1000), or RA funding through individual faculty member grants (often $2000-$3000/year). In addition, these base amounts do not include summer fellowships, which provide additional funding during the summer months, often in the range of $1,000-$3,000.

Many of our students have, in the past, supplemented their income through work at the English Language Centre and the Centre for Academic Communication. You can find information on job opportunities at these Centres on their websites.

Scholarships and fellowships

As a student, you cannot apply for scholarships and fellowships yourself, these are awarded by the department/university.

University of Victoria Fellowships and awards (awarded in the Spring for the following year)

UVic graduate fellowships and awards are awarded competitively each year to students entering and continuing in the department. The fellowwhips/awards for incoming students currently have the value of $11,500 (MA students) or $16,500 (PhD students). Subequent to first year, funding amounts vary. This year (2015), we offered $6,500 to MA students in their second year and $8,100 to PhD students up to their fourth year. There are also some funds available for the summer on a competitive basis from May-August. These have ranged in value from $1,000 - $3,000 recently.

Outstanding Graduate Entrance Award (awarded in the Spring for the following year)

OGEA entrance awards are for $5,000 and are for recruiting excellent graduate students to the department. We typically offer one to an outstanding MA student and one to a PhD student.

President's Research Scholarships (awarded in the Spring for the following year)

President's research scholarships are awarded to all students who are also the holders of major national or international research awards from sources external to the University of Victoria (e.g. SSHRC). They are in the amount of $4000.

UVic Donor Awards

Linguistics-specific awards

We are fortunate in the Linguistics department to have some wonderful alumni. Thanks to their generous donations, we have been able to set up four Linguistics-specific awards, each worth approximately $700-$1000. These are normally awarded in the Fall, to students selected by the Linguistics Department Graduate Committee. Decisions are based on year and academic standing. 

The Geoffrey & Alix O’Grady Scholarship in Linguistics 

One or more scholarships are awarded to graduate students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and promise as researchers in the Department of Linguistics. Preference will be given to students entering the second year of a graduate program in Linguistics.

Lucie Daigle Memorial Scholarship in Linguistics 

One or more scholarships are awarded to outstanding graduate students working toward their master's degree in the Department of Linguistics. Selection of the recipient(s) will be made by the Graduate Awards committee upon the recommendation of the Departent of Linguistics. The award is usually in the amount of approximately $900.

The Henry & Michiko Warkentyne Graduate Scholarships in Linguistics

One or more scholarships are awarded to graduate students who have demonstrated oustanding academic achievement and promise as researchers. Preference will be given to students entering the second year of a graduate program in applied linguistics or phonetics. 

University awards

Again thanks to generous donations, UVic offers many donor awards for graduate students in various programs. The following are ones that we have identified as most relevant to Linguistics students, but there may be others - let us know if you find any you think you might be eligible for!

UVic donor are also normally awarded in the Fall, and nominations are normally put forth by the Graduate Committe (* indicates that students themselves apply, as per the award description).

If any of these awards seem like a good fit for you, be sure to talk to your supervisor or graduate advisor about them.

The Ord and Linda Anderson Interdisciplinary Graduate Scholarship

An annual scholarship of at least $10000 will be awarded to a highly qualified student registered in an interdisciplinary PhD program. Selection of the recipient will be made by the Graduate Awards committee upon nomination from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Howard E. Petch Research Scholarship

Seven scholarships of $7500 each will be available to graduate students who have been successful in receiving University of Victoria Fellowships or major Canadian national awards valued between $15,000 and $25,000. The Howard E. Petch Scholarships are tenable for one year only for a post-graduate program. Selections will be made by the Graduate Awards committee

Albert Hung Chao Hong Scholarships

One or more scholarships based on academic excellence are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students attending the University of Victoria who are citizens of Hong Kong or Mainland China.

David H. Turpin Research Scholarship

A scholarship is awarded to an outstanding graduate student at the University of Victoria.  Selection of the recipient will be made by the Graduate Admissions and Awards Committee.

The University of Victoria Alumni Association Graduate Award

An additional grant of $2000 is awarded annually to a graduate student who holds a University of Victoria Fellowship and is preferably in the humanities. The award is made possible through annual fundraising by the Alumni Association. Selection of the recipient will be made by the graduate awards committee based upon recommendations from departments.

General graduate scholarships (7 donor awards total)

One or more scholarships are awarded to outstanding graduate students entering or contnuing in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Selection of the recipients will be made by the Graduate Awards Committee of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

The Martlet Chapter IODE Graduate Scholarship for Women

A scholarship to the value of $400 will be awarded to a woman student with high standing who is entering the second year of a master's program.

The Hugh Campbell and Marion Alice Small Graduate Scholarship for Scottish Studies

A scholarship of at least $10,000 is awarded to a graduate student involved in any aspect of Scottish studies at the MA or PhD level. Selection of the recipient will be made by the Graduate Awards committee upon the recommendation of the holder of the position of the Hugh Campbell and Marion Alice Small Faculty Fellowship in Scottish Studies through the dean of the Faculty of Humanities. Deadline: March 15.

Peter G. Liddell Humanities Computing Award

One or more awards of up to $1,000 for undergraduate students with minimum third-year standing or to graduate students who have completed a project in a course or thesis in the Humanities that makes a significant creative or innovative contribution to humanities computing. Deadline: March 31.

Research and teaching assistantships


Research Assistantships

Many faculty members hold research grants that fund graduate students as research assistants. These positions are offered by grant holders, on the basis of academic excellence and area of specialization. Amounts vary from project to project from approximately $2000 to $10,000 annually.

Teaching Assistantships

Graduate students can also apply for teaching assistantships (normally in July, for the upcoming fall and spring courses). These are awarded based on students' expertise and abilities, the stage in their graduate programs, and their level of financial support from other sources.

Teaching Assistantships average approximately 50 hours/term, for a total of approximately $2,400/year (100 hours * $25.15 - the union-regulated TA salary as of September 2017). The exact number of hours can vary quite a bit, as a function of needs and demands.

Travel grants

Graduate Student Society Travel Grants

These grants are available to full-time graduate students for travel to conferences or for research. You can find out more on the Graduate Studies website.

Beck Trust Student Research Travel Award

One award of $2000 is given to an undergraduate or graduate student in the Humanities or Social Sciences or Fine Arts who has already completed a course or undertaken a significant research project that is related to Icelandic language, literature, history, culture or society to travel to Iceland for the purpose of research or course work.  Applications must be submitted to the Associate Dean of Humanities by December 15th.  If an undergraduate award, selection will be made by the Senate Committee on Awards upon the recommendation of the Associate Dean of Humanities.  If a graduate award, selection will be made by the Graduate Awards committee upon the recommendation of the Associate Dean of Humanities.

Victoria Joint Scottish Council Travel Award

An award of $1,000 is given to an undergraduate or graduate student in the Faculty of Humanities who is traveling to Scotland for research or course work. Students must submit an unofficial transcript, a statement of no more than 500 words describing the purpose of study/research in Scotland and its relevance to the student’s program of study, and a letter of support from an appropriate instructor or supervisor familiar with the student’s academic work. All application materials should be addressed to the Associate Dean, Faculty of Humanities and submitted by March 15th. (If March 15th falls on a weekend, the application is due the following Monday.) Selection of an undergraduate recipient will be made by the Senate Committee on Awards and selection of a graduate recipient will be made by the Graduate Awards Committee, upon the recommendation of the Faculty of Humanities.

The James Boutilier Pacific and Asian Studies Travel Award

An annual travel award to be given to an outstanding student enrolled in a general program or major program in Pacific and Asian studies or a graduate student (by special arrangement) in the department whose thesis involves doing field work in Oceania. If no student in Pacific studies qualifies, the award may be given to a graduate student in another discipline whose thesis work involves field work in Oceania. The award will reimburse the student to a maximum of $1500 for expenses incurred during a study tour of the South Pacific region, to be taken during the summer session. In the case of an undergraduate student, selection of the recipient will be made by the senate committee on awards upon the recommendation of the Department of Pacific and Asian Studies. In the case of a graduate student, selection of the recipient will be made by the Graduate Awards committee upon the recommendation of the Department of Pacific and Asian Studies. The requirement that the award winner must return to the University of Victoria in the next regular session and must enroll in a full program does not apply to this award.

External funding

Our graduate students have also received many external awards over the years, from provincial, national, and international funding agencies such as Rotary International, the Commonwealth Scholarships, BC Science Council GREAT Awards, The BC Advanced Systems Institute, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

The accorions below provide a bit more information on SSHRC fellowships and Jacobs research grants - two of the funding sources that our students have been most successful at securing.

You can learn about other external funding opportunities on the Graduate Studies website.

SSHRC fellowships

Canadian MA and PhD students are required to apply for SSHRC fellowships to fund their graduate work. You can find out more information on the SSHRC website, and consult with your supervisor to decide whether or not to prepare an application. Note: only Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for SSHRC grants. Deadline vary each year, but area always in the fall.

  • UVic deadline for PhD applications is generally in October
  • UVic deadline for MA applications is generally in November

Jacobs research grants

Many of our students who work with Indigenous communities have received project-specific grant funding from the Jacobs Fund. This award will not fund you directly, but will fund some of the costs of conducting your research, for example honoraria for community-based language experts. The deadline for Jacobs grant applications is normally in early February.

Other funding sources

Co-op

Any of the Linguistic department’s graduate programs can be combined with UVic’s Humanities and Fine Arts Co-op program, which allows students to incorporate work terms into their studies. This is one way that international students can work, while on a study visa. More information can be obtained by contacting Allison Benner (hufacoop@uvic.ca).

Work-study

Work-study positions are also sometimes (though not regularly) available for graduate students within the Linguistics department. Eligibility is based on demonstrated financial need. More information can be found on the UVic Work Study website.

Bursaries

Whether you are a domestic or international student, you may be eligible for a bursary, a monetary award based on financial need and reasonable academic standing. The Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) office can help you determine your eligibility.