Financial Aid

University of Alberta-Administered Awards

If you would like to be considered for the University of Alberta Recruitment Scholarships your completed application for admission and all supporting documentation must arrive in the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies by November 1.

To be eligible for recruitment scholarships, applicants are required to be in either a degree program in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Alberta or in the process of applying to a Program (Comparative Literature, Religious Studies or Humanities Computing ) in which admission is sought. 

Applicants admitted with qualifying graduate student status are not eligible for scholarships during their qualifying period. They may be considered for funding once their qualifying status has been cleared.

Recruitment Scholarships are offered on the basis of superior academic standing and demonstrated potential for advanced study and research.  Each Program is responsible for nominating its own students.  Applicants are assessed according to a combination of Program evaluation and recommendation, grade point average, reference letters, statement of program, research potential and productivity where it has been demonstrated, evidence of publications and other scholarship achievement.  In all cases only applicants who have been nominated by the Program will be considered.

A number of scholarships are awarded by the University of Alberta for students pursuing graduate programs in Comparative Literature, Religious Studies and Humanities Computing. Among these are the University of Alberta PhD/F.S.Chia Scholarships. They are awarded in the first two years of the program to superior scholars who are being newly admitted to the PhD Program at the University of Alberta. The value of these awards is approximately $24,000 plus tuition for Years 1 & 2.  In addition, the Programs guarantee that a recipient will receive continued funding, from any combination of sources, for Years 3 & 4 of the doctoral program, based on the rate for Graduate Assistantship appointments for 12 hours per week, non-Principle Instructor doctoral students. 

Similarly, the University of Alberta Master's Scholarship is awarded to Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents or International students who are being newly admitted to a thesis-based master's program, with first priority given to newly admitted students who have completed their previous degrees at an institution other than the University of Alberta. It is valued at $17,000 plus tuition for Year 1. In addition, the Programs guarantee  that a recipient will receive continued funding for Year 2 of the master's program based on the rates for Graduate Assistantship appointments for 6 hours per week. If you would like to be considered for this scholarship your completed application for admission must arrive in the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies by November 1.

The University of Alberta offers a  Course-Based Master's  Scholarship to superior Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents or  International students who are being newly admitted to the University of Alberta, with a clearly defined research component. First priority will be given to newly admitted students who have completed their previous degrees at an institution other than the University of Alberta. The value of this award is $13,000. The scholarship also provides payment of tuition and fees, up to the maximum cost for registration in the equivalent of 9 normal credit weights (equivalent to 18 fee index units) in courses, plus the differential fee if applicable, for the first Fall Term and Winter Term of the master's program only.  If you would like to be considered for a nomination for this scholarship, your completed application for admission must arrive in the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies by November 1.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships & Graduate Research Assistantships Funding

The Programs within the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies annually appoint a number of Graduate Teaching and Research Assistants at stipends from approximately $3,550 to approximately $15,000 for services requiring three to twelve hours a week for 4 or 8 months per year.  At the time of application, prospective graduate students may want to indicate whether they wish to be considered for an assistantship, but no appointment will be offered to any student until he/she has been formally admitted to graduate studies. Appointments are normally not made until May/June. 

Ranking of students by merit is generally done in conjunction with decisions on admission; when the graduate committee ranks applicants, it generally takes into consideration the applicant's statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, record of awards and publications and gradepoint average (not necessarily in that order).

It is the normal policy of the Programs to award an assistantship to all PhD students, although reasonable exceptions do occur with the consent of the student.  PhD students are normally awarded an assistantship of 12 hours per week.

The Programs in the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies cannot guarantee funding for  MA students.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

The function of a Teaching Assistant is to provide assistance for Faculty in the teaching function in a way that makes a signficant contribution to the Faculty member's teaching efforts, while providing additional opportunities for specialized training of the Teaching Assistant.  Students holding teaching assistantships may be required to assist with lecture preparation, marking or seminars.

If assigned a teaching assistantship, the graduate student is given a contract to take to the assigned supervisor to discuss and record the duties required by the assistantship. Signatures of both the student and supervisor are required on the contract and then returned to the Graduate Programs Coordinator in OIS. The graduate teaching/research assistant is evaluated by the assistantship supervisor at the end of the contract. The evaluation is filed in the student's file. 

The number of assistantships is determined each term, based on teaching/research requirements and resources available to the Programs.

Graduate Research Assistantships

For incoming graduate students, the strength of the reference letters and statement of purpose, as well as the appropriateness of their background, will be taken into account when paired with one or more professors in the performance of research work which will enhance their program skill-set. The Comparative Literature program will continue to provide RA’s support in research skills by working with a professor or a scholarly journal (Canadian Review of Comparative Literature). The Religious Studies program, whose supervisors need RA’s to conduct their research or who have a unique expertise, will receive priority. 

The next priority shall be to provide Graduate Internship Supplements (GITS) for international students as a recruitment incentive. The Comparative Literature and Religious Studies programs will continue to provide Graduate Internship Supplements for international students. For the Humanities Computing program, in a year where top students already received funding from other sources, but where students need a supplement, Humanities Computing may allocate funding primarily to GITS or allocate funds towards travel related to the student’s research. (A Research Travel Grant Application must be submitted to the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies)

Normally, students who have already received some type of funding (e.g. SSHRC, FGSR Recruitment Awards) will be considered on a lower priority for distribution of  further funding.

Admission and funding priorities are determined by each Graduate Program Committee, which serves as both the admission committee and the graduate awards committee and it makes the decision regarding the internal distribution of the Program's funding.  Note:  MA applicants who want funding must apply by the PhD date. 

Awards Administered by Other Agencies

Canadian students in, or applying to, the doctoral program are also expected to apply for federal scholarships from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in the Fall prior to the SSHRC application deadline (January of the following year). As awards are limited, prospective students are expected to pusue alternative sources of funding. For more information on SSHRC please go to the website at .

Canadian and Permanent Resident students applying for the master's program or who are currently in a master's program and have completed no more than 12 months of full-time study are expected to apply for the Canada Graduate Scholarships Program - Master's Scholarship through SSHRC.

International students shall also inquire about financial aid from agencies or governments in their home country; those from Commonwealth countries are eligible for Commonwealth Scholarships and can write to the Canadian High Commissioner in their home country.  More information can be obtained by contacting the University of Alberta International Centre.