Financial assistance for graduate students is available in the form of assistantships and fellowships. An assistantship is an appointment to specified teaching or research duties. Assistantships carry a bi-weekly stipend and cover tuition and health insurance costs. A fellowship is a non-service award made to superior students to assist in the pursuit of an advanced degree. This award carries a monthly stipend and usually covers tuition costs.

New students accepted to a graduate program in Educational Policy Studies will be considered for all available assistantships and fellowships, unless they notify the Director of Graduate Studies otherwise.

Continuing students will be made aware of assistantship or fellowship opportunities via the EPE student listserv and other mechanisms (e.g., announcements in class).  All continuing students should also be aware that performance in the program (including GPA, timely progress toward degree, etc.) will be considered in the decision-making process.

The Department, College of Education, and UK Graduate School may also have sources of support available for master’s and pre-dissertation research and for travel to present research at professional meetings.  Students are encouraged to apply for these sources of funding, as appropriate, to support their research endeavors.

Students should also investigate funding possibilities outside the University of Kentucky.  A wide variety of local, state, and federal agencies, as well as various foundations and scholarly organizations/associations, provide support for myriad aspects of graduate education.  Students are strongly encouraged to talk to other students, faculty, and professionals in their areas of interest to investigate sources of support.  And again, pay attention to the student listserv; as faculty become aware of funding opportunities, pertinent information will be posted to the list.

Teaching and Research Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships:  The Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation typically has about 7 teaching assistantships available each academic year.  To the extent possible, we try to fill these positions with EPE students.  Teaching assistants (TAs) work with courses such as EPE 301 “Education and American Culture” and EPE/EDP 557 “Gathering, Analyzing and Using Educational Data.”

For EPE 301, TAs function as instructors for classes of roughly 20-25 undergraduate students.  They are supervised by an EPE faculty member who also acts as a resource for the TAs.

TAs for EPE/EDP 557, the Department’s introductory statistics course, serve as lab instructors/assistants and work under the supervision of the faculty member teaching EPE/EDP 557.

Research Assistantships:  The number of research assistant (RA) positions available in the Department can vary considerably from semester to semester and year to year depending on faculty research funding, since RAs are paid from faculty research grants.  A faculty member who has secured research support has considerable say in who is selected as an RA for their research project.  The specific duties associated with a research assistantship can vary tremendously depending on the particular project.

Graduate Assistantships:  EPE students serve as graduate assistants (GAs) in a wide variety of offices around campus, including Residence Life/Housing, The Study, Student Activities, and the Center for Academic & Tutorials Services (CATS), among others.  While EPE is not involved in the hiring decisions of these units, we enjoy a close working relationship with these offices and our students are frequently hired as GAs.

NOTE:  A full-time assistantship is understood to entail 20 hours of work per week.


There are a wide variety of fellowships available at UK.  Many of them are awarded by the Graduate School on a University-wide competitive basis; there are a few fellowships that are determined at the College level.  The Director of Graduate Studies is frequently responsible for nominating students for these awards. However, a few fellowships are open for self-nomination.  Visit the Graduate School’s Student Funding page for more information.

Also keep in mind that several foundations, agencies, and organizations/associations sponsor fellowships.  These tend to be national competitions but may be worth pursuing given a particular topic/area of interest.

Support for Graduate Student Travel

On a competitive basis,  the Graduate School provides funding to support travel to present at a professional meeting or conference.  Student support is not provided for participation in or presentation at professional workshops or tuition for conference courses.  Priority for funding in each cycle will be for:  1) doctoral students who have passed qualifying exams and 2) other doctoral students.  Current students who have had a presentation proposal accepted may receive support of no more than $400 per fiscal year for presentations at domestic locations and $800 per year for presentations at international locations.  Applications are due the 15th of each month, prior to the month of travel.  Details and applications can be found on the Graduate School Support Funding web pages.

Dissertation Enhancement Award

Dissertation Enhancement Awards are available to doctoral candidates who have successfully completed the post-qualifying examination and are required to conduct research at a site away from campus. The maximum award amount is $3000, and this award requires nomination by the Director of Graduate Studies. Two students may be nominated by the DGS per year.  Please consult the Graduate School Support Funding web pages for additional information on deadlines and applications.