Awards & Financial Aid

The Department of German is committed to supporting all of its students. Our graduate students usually enter the program with a fellowship and further support themselves in their studies by teaching courses within the department. A fair number of fellowships are awarded to outstanding students not only at the incoming level, but also at continuing and dissertation levels. Students are encouraged to apply for extra-departmental funding throughout their graduate careers. The Graduate Division provides an excellent listing of further funding opportunities.

All students applying for university fellowships or financial aid are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Graduate students may apply for need-based loans and work study through the Graduate Financial Aid Office. Under federal guidelines, all graduate students are considered independent. In order to receive aid, students must also be enrolled and be making satisfactory academic progress toward their degrees.

Grants and Fellowships

Each year the department is given a block grant from the Graduate Division to award fellowships to its students. Such grants may take the form of fee offset grants, tuition grants, stipends, or a combination of any or all. Students must complete the fellowship section in the Graduate Application to be considered for financial aid upon admission.

Multi-year university-sponsored fellowships are awarded through an annual campus-wide competition administered by the Graduate Fellowship Office. Departments select nominees for fellowships from the prospective applicant pool. Nominations are submitted for the following fellowships: Berkeley Fellowship, Chancellors Opportunity, Eugene Cota Robles, University Predoctoral Humanities, Regents Intern, GOP, and FLAS.

The GOP Fellowship is a need-based fellowship for under-represented individuals who have shown academic achievement despite social, economic challenges, or educational obstacles. The Graduate and Professional Unit (GPU) of the Financial Aid Office also administers three need-based programs for UC Berkeley students: the Federal Student Direct Loan Program, Federal Work Study Program, and the UC Parent Grant Program, which offers a need-based grant for Berkeley graduate students with dependent children.

Graduate students may apply for need-based loans and work study through the Graduate Financial Aid Office. All graduate students are considered independent under federal guidelines. In order to receive aid, students must also be enrolled and be making satisfactory academic progress toward their degrees.

For dissertation research abroad later in the student's career, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers several programs and funding opportunities. Many of our students also apply for fellowships from the  Fulbright ProgramMellon/ACLS, and the Freie Universität's Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies. Further opportunities are listed on the Graduate Division website.

Teaching Positions

Part of our graduate students’ training includes teacher training as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI). Teaching also provides for a large portion of our students’ financial aid.

The guaranteed GSIship for entering students who hold a BA is normally limited to four years, while students entering with an MA are normally accorded only three years of teaching. A student who is on fellowship is allowed to teach only one semester per year while on fellowship.

GSI salaries depend on how long the student has been teaching. For normal periods of service, GSIs earn a pay increase after two years of teaching at the university, and again after three years of teaching. A higher appointment is normally reserved for students with four years of teaching experience who have advanced to doctoral candidacy, and who have a record of outstanding college teaching, a record of scholarly achievement (papers presented/published), have earned a minimum GPA of 3.4, and who will have a teaching assignment involving exceptional responsibility.

For further information, see Teaching and Pedagogy. More information about teaching and research opportunities is also available through the Graduate Division.