Financial Support

Select students in the MA graduate programs are funded by graduate assistantships available through the Department of English.

These are awarded on a competitive basis and are generally renewable for up to two years.


The graduate assistantship (GA) is the MA program’s primary source of funding for its students. Currently, MA assistantships include a stipend of $14,000 but do not cover tuition. While most graduate assistants will be assigned to a professor teaching a large section of an introductory course (typically ENGL 215), from time to time graduate assistants are assigned to help with faculty research projects.

For the fall 2024 admissions cycle, the MA program will consider all full-time applicants for a limited number of possible stipend-only graduate teaching assistantship positions. Decisions about assistantships will be made based on the following criteria: academic success in relevant courses, quality of writing sample, promise of teaching success, and area of interest.

If you are hired as a graduate assistant and you file the FAFSA, keep in mind the federal loan eligibility will be impacted by the funding of the GA contract. Total resources from loans, grants, scholarships and GA funding cannot exceed the cost of attendance.


In addition to graduate assistantships, each fall semester the department will award a single student the Craig Sirles MA in English Scholarship. This scholarship confers a one-time payment to an outstanding first-year graduate student enrolling in the master's program. All applicants for full-time fall admission are automatically considered for the Sirles Scholarship.

The Dr. L. Terry Oggel Scholarship, funded by colleagues, friends and family of the current faculty member, honors his long-standing commitment to the Department and to MA program. This scholarship will be awarded to a student in good standing pursuing an MA in English.

Other Funding Opportunities

Other scholarship support may be available to qualified students from the School of Graduate Studies. For more information, see the VCU Graduate School’s resources on financing graduate study.