Financial Support

Financial Support

A limited number of incoming graduate students may be nominated for financial awards from the university-wide multi-year fellowship competition. The funding program is for entering students only and is highly competitive. Special fellowships exist within this competition for diversity candidates, so such students are especially welcome to apply for admission to the department. See the Graduate Fellowships website through the Graduate Division for more detailed information about available multi-year fellowships for incoming students.

The RLL program also has a small amount of discretionary Block Grant money that can be used for support of graduate students. These funds typically take the form of stipends, tuition grants, and, if possible, summer support.

At some point in graduate school, all students support themselves through appointments as Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs). In addition to financial support, teaching provides crucial professional training through pedagogical seminars and classroom experience. Students in RLL are typically offered teaching appointments in their Host department. Students who are qualified to teach more than one of the Romance languages may request appointments in additional language departments affiliated with RLL at some point in their residence at Berkeley. Teaching includes courses in the basic language sequence in each department, as well as Reading and Composition courses taught in English (and designed by each GSI) that satisfy the undergraduate Reading and Composition requirement. For qualified students, contingent upon course availability, GSIs may also teach content courses in Literature, Culture, and Linguistics. According to the most recent GSI contract, most registration fees (but not Non-Resident tuition) are waived during the time of appointment as a GSI.

All students who advance to candidacy in a timely manner (in RLL, this means successfully completing the PhD Qualifying Exam within 4 years of beginning the program), and who have a satisfactory academic progress report qualify for the Graduate Division’s Doctoral Completion Fellowship (DCF) program which provides a full year of support. Students who entered RLL in or after Fall 2010 and advance to doctoral candidacy within normative time are eligible for the DCF, which provides a $23,000 stipend that covers all fees for two semesters that do not need to be consecutive. Normative time to candidacy is eight semesters. Students may elect to take the DCF provided they have a satisfactory Academic Progress Report on file for the most recent year after being advanced to candidacy; the last year they can take the DCF is “Normative Time to Degree plus one year,” which is the 7th year of the program in RLL (NTD=6 + 1). By accepting the DCF at any time, students are agreeing that they will receive no university support, including campus employment, after the NTD + 1 year.