Graduate Student Resources

Assistantships and Fellowships

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

The Department of English Language and Literature offers graduate teaching assistantships to M.A., M.F.A. and Interdisciplinary Ph.D. students whose application materials and prior experience demonstrate their ability to create and teach first- and second-year composition courses.


First-year graduate teaching assistants undergo a rigorous pre-semester orientation and attend mentoring meetings twice monthly with the composition director and fellow graduate teaching assistants. First-semester graduate teaching assistants are also required to complete successfully ENGLISH 5519: Problems in Teaching English.


During their first year, graduate teaching assistants are responsible for preparing and teaching one first-year writing class in the fall semester and one second-year writing class in the spring semester. During their second year, graduate teaching assistants teach two classes of first- and second-year writing per semester. Typically, assistantships are offered for the duration of the student’s coursework, but may be offered for a lesser or greater term at the discretion of the graduate committee.


Graduate teaching assistants earn a stipend of $13,500 per academic year and receive tuition remission for 9 credit hours per semester. Students holding an assistantship are expected to take at least six credit hours of classes per semester. Graduate teaching and research assistants are evaluated during the spring semester of each year.


The application deadline is January 15 for positions that start in the fall semester. Submit the following materials with your online application for admission (contact the director of graduate studies if are already enrolled and wish to apply):

  1. 250-500 word statement addressing your interest in and qualifications for teaching
  2. Academic writing sample from an upper-level college course


Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowships

The Department of English Language and Literature offers the Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowship for I.Ph.D. students who have extensive teacher training and experience at the college level and who do not hold a major fellowship or assistantship at UMKC. The Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowship is awarded on a competitive basis no more than once a year. Students may reapply for the awards, but applicants who have not previously held the fellowship will receive priority consideration.

Responsibilities and Remuneration

Fellows teach one class per semester during the one-year appointment period and receive a stipend of $8,000 per academic year.

Fellows select a teaching mentor who will meet with them a few times each semester to help plan courses and discuss pedagogical issues. The mentor will observe the fellow’s class at least once during the year and write a teaching observation letter for the fellow’s file.


The application deadline is April 1 for fellowships that start in the fall semester.

Submit the following materials to the director of graduate studies:

  1. Application (PDF) for the Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowship
  2. 250-500 word statement explaining what role the Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowship will play in the applicant’s development as a teacher and scholar and designating a couple of preferred teaching areas. Please also indicate whether you are certified to teach online or have a preference for online, blended, or face-to-face classes.
  3. Sample course syllabus
  4. Teaching observation letter (or a general recommendation letter if a teaching letter is unavailable)
  5. The commitment from a graduate faculty member to serve as a teaching mentor (a copy of an email confirming the mentor’s support is fine)


Thesis Information

M.A. in English Culminating Experience Packet (PDF)

M.F.A. Thesis Packet (PDF)