Funding Information for Graduate Students

Financial Support | Department Funds | Non-departmental Funding |Campus Resources

Funding Information for Applicants

Financial Support

We encourage applicants to seek financial support (non-departmental fellowships, scholarships, etc.) from sources outside the department (e.g., NSF Traineeships, etc.) since there is a limited amount of fellowships/scholarships available within the department. To be assured of consideration for any of the possible fellowships/scholarships that may be awarded by either the Department of Anthropology or the University of Washington, all application materials must be received by the applicable deadline. 

Balancing funding can be one of the trickiest things in graduate school. Students are encouraged to obtain funding prior to admittance to the program. Once here, several courses are available in each subdiscipline on grant- and application-writing in order to help students obtain funding while in school. Opportunities for scholarships, fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships may be forwarded to anthropology by other departments on campus. The main avenues of disseminating Academic Student Employee job information is through e-mail and on the Human Resources employment page.

Available Funds within the Department of Anthropology

Recruitment Package: The department recruits one student each year using an assortment of research assistantships and teaching assistantships to fund students. Requests made to the Graduate School to obtain Graduate School Top Scholar Research Assistantships and additional funding for teaching assistantship appointments provide the main basis for this funding. The Department of Anthropology subdisciplines use this recruitment package on a rotating basis to recruit the top applicants to their graduate program. 

Ronald Leroy Olson Fellowship: The annual Olson Fellowship originates through the generosity of the late Ronald Leroy Olson, who reserved a portion of his estate to provide financial support for “worthy University of Washington graduate students in the field of anthropology.” Preference is given to applicants who are members of Native American or Native Alaskan Tribes recognized by the US or Canadian governments. Proof of membership is required. Secondary preference given to any student who intends to specialize in linguistic, ethnological, archaeological, or biological studies of Native American peoples, particularly those of the Pacific Northwest. Deadline is January 15th

Brett E. Baldwin Memorial Scholarship: This scholarship was established by Mr. And Mrs. Brooks Baldwin in memory of their son who died shortly after graduating with a BA in Anthropology in 1979. The Baldwin Scholarship is open to both current and newly admitted undergraduate and graduate students. The award amount is approximately $1000 but is subject to change. Applicants for this scholarship must request a nomination letter from a faculty member on their behalf. Deadline is January 15th

Evan David James Endowed Fellowship: This fellowship was established by the James family to enable admitted and continuing graduate students in the Department of Anthropology to complete a graduate degree. Preference is given to students who are studying any phase of Pacific Northwest Anthropology, and selection is based on evidence of dedication to studies, ambition to engage in anthropology, and academic merit. The award amount is approximately $5000 but is subject to change. Applicants for this fellowship must request a nomination letter from a faculty member on their behalf. Deadline is January 15th

Regional Studies Fellowship Nominations: China Studies (in the Jackson School) accepts anthropology faculty nominations for Culp-Jackson Fellowships for China Studies. Nominations will be forwarded by faculty to this programs, some fellowships may be available to non-US citizens. Students who apply for a Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship are automatically considered for REECAS (Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asian Studies) Fellowships, and South Asian Studies Fellowship.

Graduate Student Equity and Excellence: The Anthropology Department has been relatively successful in obtaining a Graduate Student Equity and Excellence Diversity Fellowship for one year for an admitted US citizen. These funds are available to US minority students, as well as students who will contribute to the intellectual and cultural enrichment of our program (i.e. first generation college students, students who have overcome economic barriers or adverse educational disadvantages). Students are considered for this fellowship by faculty nomination, and submission of a GSEE diversity statement. The department will secure two additional years of funding for Graduate Diversity Fellowship awardees in the form of either TA or RA appointments.

Teaching and Research Assistantships: There are approximately 40 departmental quarterly teaching assistantships (TA) available per year. However, most first-year students are ineligible to hold TA appointments, and the faculty do not usually recommend that they do so unless they have considerable prior teaching experience. Teaching appointments become available and are awarded after the first or second year in the program. Faculty have various research assistantships (RA) available in each subdiscipline, which is subject to vary depending on grant money for research projects. TA and RAships generally come with a tuition waiver and stipend to live on. Applicants are encouraged to speak with their advisors or potential advisors about funding and apply for FAFSA student loans and work-study in the event that they wish to be eligible for work study research assistantships. Work study research assistantships are sometimes available for eligible applicants.

Please see the Fellowship and Funding page for more information on available fellowships, scholarships, and other funding.

Funding Outside the Department:

Funding within the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington is obtainable, but limited in some cases. We would like to stress strongly the importance of applying for outside funding to support your graduate studies. Applicants should apply for outside funding prior to or while they are applying to various institutions. Most funding deadlines are in early autumn. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Financial Aid regarding work-study, and other departments at the university about hourly employment, and RA/TA appointments. Departments that do not have graduate programs of their own sometimes have funds available to anthropology graduate students.

Please visit the Fellowships and Funding link for more on outside funding sources. If you have prior language training which you will pursue as part of your graduate studies you will wish to refer to the FLAS program information.

Here are some of the reasons why outside funding is important to consider:

  • It allows you to choose which graduate program to attend. If more than one institution has accepted you, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and some other fellowships are “portable” and may be taken wherever you wish to go.
  • It pays your tuition and other fees, and provides you with a stipend on which to live. This is usually adequate (though not kingly) and will allow you to attend graduate school without incurring (further) debt.
  • It is regarded as an accomplishment and recognition of excellence. It also adds to the prestige of the program you attend. In short, it makes a really good impression all around!
  • It allows you to concentrate on pursuing your studies and completing your degree by freeing you from the obligation to work.
  • It reduces the anxiety of your first years in graduate school.
  • By establishing a track record of success, it helps you get more funding in the future, which will be important for as long as you remain in academia.
  • It lets you help put tax dollars and charitable contributions to good use - your education and your scholarly work!

Campus Resources

Office of Student Financial Aid

Student Employment, Work/Study, Emergency Loans
105 Schmitz Hall Box 355880
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-5880 Phone: (206) 543-6101

Fellowships and Assistantships/External Funding Opportunities

G-1 Communications Building Box 353770
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3770 Phone: (206) 543-5900

The Graduate School/Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS)

G-1 Communications Building Box 353770
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3770 Phone: (206) 543-5900


On-Campus housing options for graduate students are plentiful and varied. Singles and families are encouraged to contact Housing & Food Services for information.

Housing and Food Service
Office301 Schmitz Hall Box 355842
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-5842

Graduate Student Equity and Excellence

G-1 Communications Building Box 353770
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3770 Phone: (206) 543-5900

Washington State Residency Office

264 Schmitz Hall
1410 NE Campus Parkway
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195 Phone: (206) 543-5932

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