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Fellowships & Funding

The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures offers all students in the Ph.D. program a complete five-year package of full funding support. The pattern of departmental support we propose includes a mix of graduate student instructorships (GSI-ships) and fellowship support. Unless otherwise indicated in your admission’s offer letter, all support is for the academic year only, and includes predetermined stipends and fringe benefits, as well as a tuition waiver. Summer support is not guaranteed by the department.

In order to receive continued assistance, you will need to be a student in good standing; meet degree requirements; perform GSI duties acceptably; and make progress towards the graduate degree according to schedule.

Questions? Contact the Student Coordinator at or by telephone at 734.764.8018.



Fellowship support includes department fellowships or competitive fellowships from sources like the Rackham Graduate School, the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, or national/international funding institutions such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD); the department encourages and strongly supports applications to these institutions, and we have had great success in obtaining external grants for our graduate students in recent years. Finally, the University offers a number of short-term funding opportunities for the final stages of completing the degree, such as a One-Term Dissertation Fellowship administered through Rackham. The university also offers generous resources for conference travel and short-term research travel.

Graduate Student Instructor Positions

The department offers several Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) positions in the Fall, Winter, and Term III semesters. German graduate students and affiliated graduate programs are first considered for these positions and are contacted by the Graduate Program Coordinator about preferences and assignments in February/March (for Fall term) and in October/November (for Winter term).

The remaining positions are then posted for two weeks in April (for the Fall term) and November (for the Winter term) for graduate students from outside of the department to apply. In addition to the online application, applicants will be asked to upload a cover letter, which should address the graduate student’s specific interest in the position and outline skills and experiences that directly relate to the position, curriculum vitae and former GSI’s at U-M should attach summary sheets from teaching evaluations. Postings can be found on under "Graduate Student Appointments."

Decisions will made by the faculty member teaching the course after review of applications and possible interviews.

Summer Funding and Additional Funding Opportunities

The Department, together with the Graduate School and other university offices, often is able to provide funding for spring/summer study or research. These awards are intended to reduce graduate students’ reliance on teaching or other employment as they prepare to fulfill the requirements for the Ph.D. degree (e.g. prelims, prospectus, dissertation, etc.). They are not intended to support travel to conferences, the writing of seminar papers or the writing of articles for publication. These awards do not entail waiver of tuition or other fees.

For summer research trips students can apply each Winter term to the Department for a cost-sharing contribution and to Rackham for Research Grants. Rackham Research Grants can award up to $1,500 for pre-candidates and $3,000 for candidates.

In some years, it may be possible to teach in the summer as well, for extra compensation. Summer teaching does not count against the total number of GSI-ships we offer in our admissions letter, or the maximum of ten terms of College of LS&A funding.