Financial Assistance for Graduate Study

Important Note: If you have applied for financial aid at the University of Hawaiʻi, any scholarship or tuition waiver you receive may affect the amount of aid awarded to you. We suggest you contact the Financial Aid Office for details about your specific case.

Teaching Assistantships

Graduate teaching assistantships constitute the largest source of financial assistance available to students through the Department of History. The primary duty of graduate teaching assistants is to assist faculty in the World History Program by grading papers, counseling students, and conducting weekly discussion sessions with students taking History 151 or 152. The Department of History calculates the work load of graduate teaching assistants at 20 hours per week, so assistants carry course loads of no more than nine hours per semester.

Prospective students must apply for graduate teaching assistantships separately from admission to the Department of History and the Office of Graduate Education. The assistantships are renewable, assuming satisfactory progress toward the degree, for a maximum of two years at the M.A. level and three years at the Ph.D. level (though never longer than necessary to complete a degree program). Complete applications for assistantships are due by 15 December.  For details about graduate teaching assistantships and application forms, please view our Prospective Graduate Student Information page, or contact the Graduate Secretary.

Tuition Waivers and Fellowships

The Department of History has limited amounts of other forms of financial assistance. The Office of Graduate Education has authorized the Department to award merit-based tuition waivers. This requires students to be enrolled for at least one credit or more of degree-related courses, and maintain a grade-point average of 3.5 or better.

Students majoring in Chinese intellectual history are eligible to apply for the Hung Family Fellowship, which the Department of History awards. The Department also awards a few fellowships and grants for small amounts of money to advanced students. These include John F. Kennedy Fellowships, usually between $1,250 to $2,500, for dissertation research travel; Sakai Awards, usually no more than $750, for travel to professional meetings and job interviews; and Kwok Grants for dissertation-related expenses. Questions about and requests for consideration for these awards should be directed to the Graduate Secretary.

Financial Assistance from Extra-Departmental Sources

Students majoring in Asian or Pacific Islands history, as well as students from Asia or the Pacific Islands, should note the availability of several forms of financial assistance beyond those offered by the Department of History. The East-West Center, a federal agency that works closely with the University of Hawaii, awards scholarships to American, Asian, and Pacific Islands students. The scholarships are granted for 12-month periods and are renewable up to 24 months for M.A. students and 48 months for Ph.D. students. Application forms and detailed information concerning these awards, which have a value approximately equal to that of graduate teaching assistantships, and the various deadlines may be found on their website:

The School of Pacific and Asian Studies (SPAS) administers the awarding of Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for students of Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islands languages and area studies. These fellowships are particularly valuable for students whose graduate programs require intensive language study. The fellowships are for the academic year and are contingent upon funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Each fellowship includes a tuition waiver and a stipend of approximately $15,000 for the academic year. Summer fellowships are also available, with stipends of $2,500 and tuition waiver up to $4,000. Recipients must pursue a full-time graduate program in Asian language and area studies during the tenure of the fellowship. For further information and deadlines, please contact the Fellowships Coordinator, Ms. Chizuko Allen, by telephone, (808) 956-2210, or by email,

Some of the area studies centers in SPAS—the Center for Chinese Studies, the Center for Japanese Studies and the Center for Korean Studies, for example—also offer fellowships for which graduate students in history may apply. Prospective students may inquire about these fellowships at the appropriate Centers.

The Department of History encourages prospective students to inquire about and apply for all sources of extra-departmental funding for which they might be eligible.