Graduate Funding

Department Funding Packages

Our current funding package consists of 50% FTE Academic Student Employee (ASE) appointments (mostly Teaching Assistant positions) for the first five academic years of the program (Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters). All department funding is contingent upon continued satisfactory academic progress.

See TA/RA/SA Employment Information for details on ASE appointments.

Note: While we only guarantee department funding for the first five years in the program, it is our current practice to do our best to maintain financial support to all of our students who are in good standing.

Fellowship Quarter

We do our best to provide first year students with one quarter of fellowship funding (a quarter off from teaching) in order to focus more deeply on research. This funding is dependent upon available department resources.


In recent years we have been able to provide incoming students with a small moving stipend in the first year, and summer stipends in the first two summers, contingent upon satisfactory academic progress. This funding is dependent upon available department resources.

Teaching Assistant

Most department funding comes in the form of Teaching Assistantships. TAs are an integral part of our undergraduate teaching in the department and our graduate students get a broad range of experience teaching multiple subfields of philosophy. Teaching assistants work with the faculty, attend lectures, lead discussion sections, hold office hours, and grade weekly assignments, essays, and exams.

Research Assistant

The department currently has a few Research Assistant positions. These include:

Program on Ethics Research Assistant – The Program on Ethics typically hires one RA per year in order to provide administrative assistance, outreach and event planning, as well as research assistance for the Program Director and core faculty. Graduate Students beyond the 2nd year are eligible to apply for this position.

Managing Editor of Philosophy of Science – The PHOS RA works with Editor-in-Chief, Andrea Woody, to handle various administrative duties for the journal Philosophy of Science.

Neuroethics Research Assistant – Neuroethics RAs report to the Neuroethics Thrust Lead, Sara Goering, and work closely with her and with scientists at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) on neuroethics-related projects.

Summer Teaching

Students who are Ph.D. candidates and are eligible to teach their own courses may be able to teach during summer quarter. Teaching a course during summer quarter does not count as part of a guaranteed funding package. Many factors go into assigning summer teaching positions. Satisfactory progress and teaching performance are important considerations for these positions, as are the number of positions available, whether the student has exhausted funding eligibility, the length of time the student has been in the program, the kinds of courses offered during that term, and the kinds of courses a particular student is prepared to teach. Summer teaching is run by the Summer Programs office and courses run based on enrollment.

Hourly Student Appointments

In some instances, graduate students may be hired for other employment on an hourly basis. Pay rates for hourly work depend on the nature of the work, and as of January 2021 range from $16.69 to $32.21/hour.

Writing Center Supervisor

The Department typically hires one graduate student each academic year to serve as the supervisor of the Philosophy Writing Center. The Writing Center Supervisor oversees the running of the writing center, supervising and scheduling undergraduate tutors and covering some tutoring shifts themselves. This is a part-time hourly position usually held in addition to a TAship.

Travel Funding

The Department has some funds available for graduate student travel to conferences, and is able to apply for travel funding from the Graduate School on behalf of students. See the Department Graduate Student Travel policy for information on eligibility and procedures.

Students may also apply for travel funding from the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS). See GPSS Funding Opportunities for more details.

Melvin Rader Summer Grants for Innovative Philosophical Projects

Thanks to generous support from the Melvin Rader fund, the philosophy department is sometimes able to offer a competitive program to distribute small summer grants to advanced philosophy graduate students (3rd year and beyond). These grants, for up to $2,000, help fund innovative philosophical projects that contribute to the student’s scholarship, teaching, and/or professional development. Projects that are related to the student’s dissertation topic are encouraged. This funding is dependent upon available department resources.

Non-Departmental Funding

Fellowships & Scholarships

In addition to support from the Department of Philosophy, our graduate students frequently make use of a variety of external fellowship and employment opportunities from across campus as well as national and international competitive fellowships.

  • Philosophy for Children Graduate Fellowships – Several of our graduate students participate in this affiliate program.
  • The Graduate School List of FellowshipsThe Graduate School provides its own fellowships and administers several external national fellowships as well. The list also includes other fellowships for graduate students that are not administered by the Graduate School.
  • GO-MAP Diversity Fellowships – This is a subset of the Graduate School’s fellowship list and includes information on fellowships intended to support underrepresented minority graduate students who show evidence of strong academic achievement in the face of social, economic, and/or educational disadvantages. Many of these require departmental nomination.
  • College of Arts & Sciences Humanities Scholarships – The Dean’s Office at the College of Arts & Sciences administers several humanities scholarships. Philosophy students have recently been awarded Alvord Endowed Fellowships in the Humanities as well as Fritz/Hunter/Macfarlane Humanities Scholarships. These fellowships require departmental nomination.
  • Simpson Center for the Humanities – The Simpson Center is an excellent source of Humanities funding for a variety of projects.
  • GFIS – The Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS), based in the Allen Library Research Commons, provides information for funding beyond campus as well. Besides their blog, their resources include funding databases (personal consultations are available for help with using the databases).

Teaching & Other Employment

  • Instructor positions at the Robinson Center for Young Scholars
  • Graduate student employment in other UW departmentsFrom time to time other Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, or Staff Assistant positions for graduate students may be available in other academic departments, administrative offices, or even the University Press. Keep abreast of current opportunities by following the Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) Blog (subscribe for email updates) and checking the UW jobs page, UWHires (search for category “Academic Student Employee”).
  • Teaching Outside the UW – Advanced PhD candidates who are beyond their funding packages and/or are seeking additional teaching experience may also consider seeking employment at other Seattle-area institutions such as Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, and Seattle Colleges (Central, North, South, SVI).
  • Off-Campus Employment – Some graduate students seek non-academic job experience while completing their dissertations. The Department and the Career & Internship Center have resources available to help in a non-academic job search.

Financial Aid

You might also explore UW Student Financial Aid for additional options.

Emergency Aid

Emergency Aid assists students who are experiencing unexpected financial hardships that may disrupt their education or prevent them from earning their UW degree.