PhD Graduate Fellowships

The Department of English currently has available several teaching fellowships for incoming students, and two dissertation fellowships for fifth-year students. These Fellowships are awarded on the basis of merit. Fellowships include tuition, certain fees, and a stipend. The stipend for 2022-2023 is $17,000. Further details about the fellowships are outlined below.

*NEW* -- Duquesne University is now offering the "Nimick Forbesway Foundation English Graduate Diversity Teaching Assistantship" for a qualified Master's or Doctoral applicant from an underrepresented population; this award adds an additional $4000 to the current Master's or Doctoral Teaching Assistantships.

 Applications are due on or before January 15th.

Teaching Fellowships

Students seeking the the doctorate degree may hold a Teaching Fellowship for four years, providing students make satisfactory progress in the program.

In order to provide students with solid training and ample opportunity to teach independently without creating an overwhelming workload, a tier system has been developed for our fellowship program. The following guidelines are typical for teaching fellows, but because students have varying strengths and experience, adjustments are often made to the tier system with the approval of the Director of Freshman English and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Training for Teachers

The Center for Teaching Excellence at Duquesne University offers a three-day workshop to all new teaching fellows, usually the week before the fall semester is scheduled to begin. Besides providing new teaching fellows with books and articles relevant to teaching at the college level, this workshop covers important advice for teachers such as how to promote classroom discussion. The Center for Teaching Excellence also offers workshops regularly during the school year.

The Director and Assistant Director of Freshman English also offer a workshop before classes begin that is designed specifically for English Teaching Fellows.

All first year fellows must complete a year-long course on Teaching College Writing.

New Teaching Fellows with little or no teaching experience will spend their first semester co-teaching a first-year writing class with a more experienced teacher/mentor.

Teaching workshops for the English department are held during the academic year. These sessions are usually led either by English faculty or teaching fellows, and the topics may cover anything from dealing with plagiarism to creating a teaching portfolio.

The Writing Center Director and Assistant Director offer an orientation session before the Writing Center opens for the fall semester and professional development meetings throughout the academic year to provide ongoing support and training.  The Writing Center also offers workshops for teachers during the year.

Teaching Opportunities and Responsibilities

Typically, teaching fellows teach one section of first-year writing in the fall semester and one section of introduction to literature in the spring semester. Department guidelines are provided for each course. The introductory literature courses are structured around theme-based clusters; sections are taught independently, but the cluster group of teachers provides a forum where methods and ideas may be exchanged. In addition:

First Year Teaching Fellows will serve five hours per week as tutors in the Writing Center, where they will tutor students one-on-one.

Second and Third Year Teaching Fellows will spend five hours per week doing research for a faculty member, usually in a field that intersects with the student’s interests.

Teaching Fellows in the Duquesne English department have the opportunity to teach a wide variety of classes. All Teaching Fellows teach "Thinking and Writing Across the Curriculum" and "Imaginative Literature and Critical Writing" multiple times, and after their second year many have the opportunity to teach outside of the writing sequence. Among the courses that graduate-student Teaching Fellows have taught in the last ten years are:

Sex, Violence, and Comic Books
Who Runs the World: Power and Performance in World LiteratureChaucer
Survey of Cinema
Writing and War
Children's Literature

American Literature 1 & 2
British Literature 1 & 2

Introduction to Drama
Introduction to Poetry
Introduction to Fiction
Introduction to Film

Health Care and Literature
Science Writing
Multi-Genre Creative Writing
Fiction Writing
Poetry Writing
Feminism and Writing

Fourth Year Teaching Fellows may take advantage of various opportunities including:

  • Serving as Assistant Director of the Writing Center: each year, one fellow is selected among applicants to work with the Writing Center Director, helping to train Writing Center consultants, create instructional materials and workshops, and manage the day-to-day operations of the Writing Center.
  • Serving as a mentor to a new teacher: usually in the fall semester, this position involves co-teaching a section of first-year composition and advising the first year fellow.
  • Teaching advanced writing and sophomore/junior level survey courses.

Every effort is thus made to provide graduate students with teaching and leadership opportunities that will prepare them for future academic work.

Dissertation Fellowship

Doctoral students who have an approved dissertation proposal and are in the early stages of work on the dissertation may be eligible for one of the department's two dissertation fellowships. Priority will be given to students who have a particularly strong overall record in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service; who have made sustained progress through the Ph.D. program; and who have demonstrated a commitment to Duquesne University’s mission of Education for the Heart, Mind, and Soul.

The goal of a dissertation fellowship is to enable a student to dedicate a significant amount of attention to the dissertation and, hopefully, complete the dissertation by the end of the academic year in which the student receives the award. The student will also present her/his dissertation work to the department in the form of a Colloquium.

Advanced students are also eligible to apply for a McAnulty College and Graduate School fellowship.  For details, please contact the English Department's Director of Graduate Studies.