Last updated January 2015

The Department of Linguistics has a mission to welcome and financially support graduate students in its master's and doctoral programs. We have been very successful in offering a number of sources of funding to graduate students through a combination of teaching assistantships, research assistantships and fellowships. Note that different sources of funds can be held concurrently, and that continuation of TA-ships and RA-ships is dependent on performance. Teaching assistantships are dependent on enrolment and budget considerations, research positions are dependent upon individual faculty members' grants, and scholarships/fellowships are competitive.

Teaching Assistantships

A major source of funding comes from teaching assistantships. For the year 2014-15, we expect that students will receive a minimum of 5.5 base units per year. One base unit salary plus scholarship is worth $1,107 for a master's student and $1,312 for a doctoral student. For additional information on TA/TM appointment processes in the Linguistics Department refer to Teaching Assistantship and Tutor Marker Appointment Priorities. Teaching assistants mark for professors or conduct tutorials for undergraduate classes. Advanced doctoral students also sometimes receive a sessional instructorship, where the student has complete control of a class. A sessional instructorship is worth $6,069 for a four-month term. Teaching assistantships and sessional instructorships are also sometimes available in the Language Training Institute.  For example, in recent years, our graduate students have taught and TA-ed for German, Mandarin, and Japanese, and have worked as TAs in the Preparation for Academic Success in English Program. For information about the union governing TA, TM and sessional appointments see the TSSU webpage. All TA positions are centrally located on the DGS website.

Research Assistantships

A second primary source of funding is research assistantships (RA-ships). Many faculty members are able to support students as research assistants, paid from research grants. RA-ships average about $3,200 per semester, but the range of funding varies extensively , and  most students are not employed all three semesters each year. New students should contact potential supervisors (see research projects and faculty) to ascertain the possibility of such employment. Some research assistantships result in coauthored publications and conference papers, which may also include some travel funding.

Entrance Scholarships

The Department of Linguistics enters qualified new applicants for  entrance scholarships,. Very highly qualified applicants are eligible to receive a Special Graduate Entrance Scholarship ($2,000-$10,000) to match competing major awards from other universities. Typically, one highly qualified PhD applicant per year is nominated for a Multi-Year Funding Award. Extremely highly qualified Canadian and International doctoral applicants may be eligible for the Vanier Scholarship, which provides $50,000 for up to three years.

Graduate Fellowships

Eligible students can compete each spring for a graduate fellowship ($6,500) to be received during one semester of the following academic year. Students will normally be eligible to receive graduate fellowship support only during the first nine semesters of a master's program and during the first fifteen semesters of a doctoral program. In the last five years, almost every student has received a graduate fellowship at least once during the course of their program. For information on the process of awarding graduate fellowships in the Linguistics Department refer to Adjudicating Graduate Fellowships.

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SSHRC Fellowships

The department strongly encourages eligible new and continuing students to apply for external scholarship support through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). SSHRC awards include: the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship Program - Master's Scholarship ($17,500 per year), the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship Program - Doctoral Scholarship ($35,000 per year), and the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship Program - SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship ($20,000 per year). Application for these major external awards is made in October or early November. Masters students are eligible to take up these awards during their first two years, and doctoral students are eligible to take up these awards during their first four years. The department offers a workshop every year to help students prepare their SSHRC applications. Students in the areas of cognition and language, neurolinguistics, and computational linguistics might also be eligible for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) awards, but note that years of eligibility are lower than SSHRC. Only Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents are eligible for SSHRC and NSERC awards. International students are encouraged to explore sources of national scholarships/fellowships from their home countries. Extremely highly qualified Canadian and international doctoral applicants may be eligible for the Vanier Scholarship, which provides $50,000 for up to three years. Information about each above award is available on the Dean of Graduate Studies – Major External Awards webpage.

Private Graduate Scholarships

Students also may be eligible for private graduate scholarships such as the Dr. Tai Whan Kim Memorial Scholarship in Languages & Linguistics, which is valued at $1,400. This and other private scholarships can be found on the SFU Graduate Awards webpage. Bursaries, loans, and the work-study program are additional sources of funding for graduate work (see the Graduate Student SFU Financial Aid website). 

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Travel Funding

Some travel funding for graduate students is available through departmental funds and the Travel and Minor Research Awards Program for graduate students. Graduate students who must travel abroad to undertake research required for their program of study may be eligible for an award valued up to $6,250 for one semester (see: Graduate [International] Research Travel Award (GIRTA). The William and Ada Isabelle Steel Memorial Graduate Scholarship (valued at $17,000 for a one-year) is also available for graduate student travel associated with research. SSHRC and NSERC have a new program, the Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement Program that awards $6,000 to Canadian graduate students for foreign study.

Medical Coverage

As residents of British Columbia, students receive medical benefits from the Medical Services Plan of BC ($69.25/month for one person, $125.50 for a family of two, and $138.50 for a family of three or more). MSP premiums are 100% covered for teaching assistants and sessional instructors, and 50% covered for research assistants. Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for premium assistance that reduces MSP premiums to $0 if net annual income is $22,000 or less. Students are eligible to buy extended health  coverage through the Simon Fraser Student Society Graduate Benefits Plan. It costs about $140/semester and covers health, dental, vision and travel. Alternatively, monthly extended health premiums for SFU employees are 75% covered for teaching assistants, and 50% is covered for research assistants. For students arriving from out of the country there is a waiting period before MSP coverage begins. SFU International has secured mandatory coverage for students during that wait period. Please contact SFU International for details.

Transit Passes

Students pay $152/semester for a Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass). The U-Pass program provides unlimited access to Bus, SeaBus and SkyTrain services in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, as well as discounts on the West Coast Express.  

Tuition

Please note that students pay tuition every semester and that international students pay the same rate as domestic students. The cost of tuition drops by half for master's students after six semesters and for doctoral students after eight semesters of full-time registration.  Additional fees are charged every semester for student services, student activities, and athletics/recreation.

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Summary Table of Graduate Student Funding Options

 

MA Students

PhD Students

Amount

Eligibility

Amount

Eligibility

Teaching Assistantship*

Typical minimum $6,088/year

During first two years

Typical minimum $7,216/year

During first four years

Sessional Instructorship*

N/A

 

$6,069/semester

Typically during later years in program

Research Assistantship*

Average $3,200/semester

During first two years

Average $3,200/semester

During first four years

Graduate Fellowship*

$6,250/semester

Typically once during program

$6,250/semester

Typically once or twice during program

Special Graduate Entrance Scholarship*

$2,000-$10,000/year

First year in program

$2,000-$10,000/year

First year in program

Multi-Year Funding Award

   

$18,000/year + tuition award

First four years in program

SSHRC Scholarship/
Fellowship**

$17,500/year

First two years in program

$20,000/year

First four years in  program

*International as well as Canadian students; ** Canadian students only.

 

Summary Table of Fees and Benefits

 

MA Students

PhD Students

Amount

Notes

Amount

Notes

Tuition*

$1,728.80/semester

During first six semesters

$1,728.80/semester

During first eight semesters

 

$864.45/semester

Seventh semester +

$864.45/semester

Ninth semester +

Medical Services Plan of BC*

$72.00/month for one person; 100% covered if TA

Only residents of BC are eligible

$72.00/month for one person; 100% covered if TA

Only residents of BC are eligible

Extended Health Care*

$151/semester; 75% covered if TA

Covers health, dental, vision and travel. Can opt out

$151/semester; 75% covered if TA

Covers health, dental, vision and travel. Can opt out

Guard Me*** medical insurance

$353.00/semester - for the first semester only

Mandatory fee for all newly arrived international students

$353.00/semester - for the first semester only

Mandatory fee for all newly arrived international students

Transit U-Pass*

$152.00/semester

Required fee; $680 value/term for 3-zone pass

$152.00/semester

Required fee; $680 value/term for 3-zone pass

Athletics, Services, & Activities fees*

$177.28/semester

Can not opt out

$177.28/semester

Can not opt out

*International as well as Canadian students; ** Canadian students only; ***International students only.


The Dean of Graduate Studies Office has complied a Virtual Orientation on the cost of living for SFU graduate students.

 

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