Funding for graduate students

Graduate students can expect anywhere from one to four semesters of financial support, including the summer semester in some cases. Much of the support at the MA level is in the form of teaching assistantships (TAships) but MA and PhD students may also apply for such funding as graduate fellowships, entrance scholarships, private awards, SSHRCs and travel awards.

Teaching Assistantships and Tutor Markerships

Teaching Assistants direct undergraduate tutorials, evaluate papers, and mark examinations. The current value of a TAship in the History Department is $6,426.00 per semester for MA students and $7,576.00 per semester for PhD students for a full load of five base units (approximately 210 hours per semester). When tutorials are cancelled due to poor enrollment, TAships that are conditional on enrollment numbers may be decreased to fewer than five base units or cancelled altogether. Tutor markerships (TMships) are also available for distance education (CODE) courses, and are paid by CODE according to enrollment numbers.

Graduate students may, at the time of admission into the program, be offered a number of semesters of support from TAships or TMships. Every effort is made to assign students to undergraduate courses which fall within their own field of specialization. The Department sends notification of available TAships and TMships to all current and incoming students approximately 9 to 10 weeks prior to the semester in which they will be taken up. Students must submit an application to be considered for these positions, even in the circumstance of having been offered TAship or TMship funding in their admission letters. The criteria for the awarding of TAships in the Department of History can be found in Appendix II.

Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Tutor Markers (TMs) are represented by the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU). View the 2014–2019 TSSU Collective Agreement.

More information on TSSU Wages can be found at this link:

Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships may also be available to graduate students through faculty research grants.

Graduate Fellowships

The History Department awards its graduate fellowships (GFs), worth $7,000 or $3,500 for a partial GF, generally in the summer semester. We accept applications at the time of application to the program and, for current students, in the spring semester, for awards tenable in the summer semester of the following year. Students who have been awarded a GF in their admission packages nevertheless must submit an application via the GA3 system. See the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for more information on GFs.

Academic merit is the primary criterion for ranking eligible applicants for a Graduate Fellowship (GF). When awarding GFs, the History GPC may also consider equity among and between graduate student cohorts, as well as recruitment of incoming students.

Other Scholarships and External Fellowships

See the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for information on entrance scholarships and details on other awards and scholarships administered by the federal government, the University and other institutions and associations. In addition to the University scholarships, students may apply for private awards via the GA3 system.


We encourage all eligible MA students to apply for a Canadian Graduate Scholarship, Master's Program (CGS M), $17,500 for 12 months, non-renewable. SFU’s internal deadline for the CGS M is usually December 1.

Eligible PhD students should apply for Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarships ($35,000 a year) and SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships ($20,000 a year). SFU’s internal deadline for SSHRC doctoral scholarships is usually November 1.

Travel and Minor Research Awards

Travel and Minor Research Awards supports the travel component of the scholarly activity of graduate students related to their research. Applications for travel and minor research awards may be made three times a year, but most of the Department’s funding is allotted in the summer semester. The Department accepts applications in April for summer semester awards, August for fall semester awards, and December for spring semester awards. In the History Department, priority for conference travel will go to students who are presenting original research and, among MA students, to those in semesters 4 through 6. Priority for research travel will go to those who are conducting research that is essential to their thesis and, among MA applicants, to those in their 3rd or 4th semesters.

The History Department also supports graduate student travel to the annual Qualicum Conference in Parksville on Vancouver Island. This student-faculty history conference is well attended by UVic, UBC and SFU history graduate students. Travel reimbursement valued at up to $225 (for those attending without presenting) and up to $400 (for those presenting) and depending on funding availability will be given to participants of this conference, with priority going to presenters.