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FAQ

Frequently asked funding questions:

Can a student hold a scholarship and a GA (T or NT) simultaneously?

Graduate Assistantships (GAs) Teaching and Non-Teaching (T/NT)s are considered part-employment and part-scholarship. Scholarship holders are eligible for GA assignments. A full or partial GA award may be held in combination with any other award provided that it does not violate the terms of the other award. External scholarship holders normally receive a maximum of one GA assignment per academic year. The Graduate Director, the supervisor and the student must consider the interplay of various factors in determining any additional remuneration and judge responsibly whether a student's academic program will be jeopardized by the service requirement of a Graduate Assistanship. In the sociology department, priority for GAs will be given to those who meet the criteria for GAs as noted in the funding section.

Can a student hold a GA and other internal funding?

Yes. However, in situations involving candidates who appear to be equally meritorious, priority for GA funding will be given to those who have no other financial assistance.

Can I choose not to take a GA appointment?

Yes. Students are able to refuse GA assignments without prejudice.

How does time to completion affect funding?

Upon admission, it is assumed that Masters' students will take 20-24 months to complete the requirements of their program. A student may indicate, either indirectly through his or her progress in the program or directly through discussion with the Graduate Director, that this timeline may not be followed. In the case of speedy progress, obviously the department will anticipate that less funding will be needed to facilitate completion than in the case of satisfactory progress. In the case of slower-than-usual progress, funding arrangements will be decided on a case-by-case basis, taking individual circumstances into account.  Changes to the departmental timeline for progress through the program should be identified as early as possible.

How does the department make funding decisions?

The primary selection criteria for funding decisions are: academic merit (which may include overall GPA); suitability for teaching or research duties (when applicable, including past GA performance); and progress in the program. For decisions with respect to scholarships, the department considers (1) academic qualifications (including overall GPA); and (2) progress in program. Funding is competitive.

What types of funding might I be eligible for post-candidacy?

Post-candidacy, efforts are made to place doctoral students in GTF positions. Under normal circumstances, doctoral students are eligible for one GTF. Other teaching opportunities may be offered under the terms of sessional contracts. GTFs and sessional positions are based on departmental need.

Under what circumstances might I not get funding?

Outside of departmental financial constraints, the main reasons why students might not get funding would be that they had deficits in one or more of the following areas: (1) academic qualifications; (2) suitability for teaching or research placement; (3) past TA performance; and (4) progress in program.

What happens if I'm doing work for a professor?

Faculty can take one of two routes to assist students financially: faculty may work through the department and set up a GA (Trust) position for a particular student, or they may hire students on a more casual basis to work for them. In either case, the expectation is that faculty will inform the department so that these arrangements might be taken into consideration for funding decisions with respect to particular students. Faculty arrangements do not disqualify students from scholarship opportunities, but will impact on non-scholarship funding decisions.

How does financial need figure into funding decisions?

As indicated above, most of the funding opportunities are based on academic merit. Given the numbers of excellent students that we have, however, there are cases when financial need may be brought to bear. In the event where two equally meritorious individuals appear eligible for a particular GA position, for example, departmental decisions to award that GA will take financial need into consideration. Students who are funded through formal or informal arrangements with faculty will be given lower priority than individuals who are not similarly funded.