Graduate Funding


The principal form of financial aid that the Department provides is its graduate assistantships. In addition to financial support, these assistantships offer instruction and experience in teaching composition and literature at the college level. All applicants to the graduate program are automatically considered for these positions; there are no additional steps to apply for an assistantship. There are three types of assistantships:

PhD Graduate Assistantships (4 year appointment, unless otherwise specified)

  • 100% UHM tuition waiver (excluding student fees) for Fall and Spring semesters
  • Stipend of approximately $23,952 per year, effective Fall 2024
  • 20 hours of work required per week, typically apprenticing or teaching in an undergraduate writing or literature class

Since most students do not complete their degrees in four years, the department attempts to provide options for lectureships through the seventh year. Such lectureships are dependent upon funds available to the department for lecture positions and progress in the program.

MA Graduate Assistantships (2 year appointment, unless otherwise specified)

  • 100% UHM tuition waiver (excluding student fees) for Fall and Spring semesters
  • Stipend of approximately $23,028 per year, effective Fall 2024
  • 20 hours of work required per week.  MA GAs work in the Writing Center for their first year.  In the second year, they work 10 hours as an assistant in an upper-level English course with a faculty member as their mentor and for 10 hours they would either assist one of the journals in our department or assist in planning and managing the events for Words@Mānoa.

MA Mentoring Teaching Assistantships (2 year appointment, unless otherwise specified)

  • 50% UHM tuition waiver (excluding student fees) for Fall and Spring semesters
  • Stipend of approximately $11,514 per year, effective Fall 2024
  • 10 hours of work required per week, either tutoring in the Writing Center or mentoring in a First Year Writing or Writing Intensive class.  Mentors attend classes and schedule out-of-class conferences with students to help with writing, overall class performance, and adjustments to college life more generally. They also develop and deliver workshops for the courses being served by the program in a given semester. Additionally, mentors might be asked to lead small group discussions and assist with lessons in their class under the instructor’s supervision.

The Paul Lyons Scholarship

This scholarship benefits MA students at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa whose scholarship and research interests focus on the Literatures and Languages of Oceania (Pacific islands, including Hawai‘i and Aotearoa). No preference will be given to which degree program as long as the scholar’s academic focus is related to this purpose. Funds shall be used for costs associated with attendance (e.g. tuition, books, fees, etc.).

The Red Mandarin and Lady Yi-suen Shen Scholarship

This scholarship was endowed by a former English Department faculty member, Yao Shen, in honor of her mother and her father, a high official in the Chinese court. Currently it provides the equivalent of resident graduate tuition for a Master’s candidate in English. Awardees are selected by the Graduate Director based on eligibility and ranking at admission; there is no application process for this scholarship.  Recipients must be Hawai’i residents and enrolled full-time to receive the award.


The Grace KJ. Abernethy Apprenticeship with Mānoa offers a $6,000 stipend and the opportunity to gain professional experience in editing and publishing by working in the editorial offices of the literary journal Mānoa. Both Master’s and Ph.D. candidates with interest or experience in creative writing are eligible to apply. Information on the apprenticeship can be viewed on the STAR Scholarships website.

Prizes and Awards

A number of prizes are offered each year to graduate students in English, including the Abemethy Creative Writing Award for Master’s candidates in Creative Writing (which includes an approximately $4,000 scholarship); the Biography prize, a cash award for the best publishable paper in biography by a Ph.D. student; The Elizabeth McCutcheon Endowed Scholarship for Literary Studies; and, supporting travel to present papers at conferences, the UH Foundation Tu Travel Fund, GSO and English Department Travel Fund awards, and the Alan Mac Gregor Travel Scholarship. Details are announced in the Department at the appropriate time.

Need-based Financial Aid

Information about sources of need-based financial aid, including tuition waivers, loans, and work-study positions, may be found on the Financial Aid Office website.

Employment Opportunities

On- and off-campus job opportunities are available through the Student Employment & Cooperative Education website.

External Funding Opportunities

Information about grants and fellowships offered by external agencies may be found on the Office of Graduate Education website. Below is a list of fellowships that graduate students in English may be eligible for:

American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship

Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

Council on Library and Information Resources Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources

Dissertation Completion Fellowships

East-West Center Graduate Degree Fellowship

Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

Founder Region Fellowship

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad

Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust

Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellowship

National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship Program

Research Corporation of the University of Hawai‘i Graduate Fellowship Fund

Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship Program

Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship