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« The Ungodly | Main | This Week's Acquisitions »

February 22, 2008

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Brian Ogilvie

When my wife and I started in the history Ph.D. program at Chicago in 1991, the maximum department stipend was $8000, and the Century Fellowships, for top recruits, were $10000. There were a fair number of students who had only partial tuition grants, and a few with no funding at all. As for teaching assistantships, I think they paid $750/quarter, and there was no guarantee at all of getting one. Some TAs did lead sections, but in some courses, like Western Civ, they were essentially glorified gofers. On the other hand, the history of science students often got a chance to teach one standalone course (for $3000) because the undergraduate concentration in history, philosophy, and social studies of science and medicine required its undergraduates to take a tutorial taught by a grad student.

I'm shocked to learn that the stipends are still so low. At UMass Amherst, where I teach now, our TAs receive at least $13,870/year plus waivers of tuition, course fees, and the mandatory health fee. And we're scarcely generous with our funding.

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