Financial Assistance for Graduate Study in History

The cost of graduate study can be daunting. See below for the most common forms of financial support for graduate students in History. For additional funding opportunities, visit the Graduate Division site Financial Support for Graduate Study.

For estimated costs of attendance, see:

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. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for questions about your specific case.  

Graduate Assistantships (GAships) in History

Graduate Assistantships constitute the largest source of financial support available to students through the History Department. Graduate Assistants serve as teaching assistants (TAs) for our World History program. The work includes grading papers and conducting weekly discussion sessions with students in History 151, 152, 156, or 157. For more information, see the World History TA Guidelines (PDF) (updated June 2022).

The GAship includes full tuition and a stipend, renewable upon ranking and review, for up to two years for M.A. students and three years for PhD students. The workload is calculated at 20 hours per week, so World History TAs are limited to a maximum course load of nine credit hours per semester. For further details about Graduate Assistantship compensation and benefits, see Graduate Assistantship benefits.

Prospective applicants to the M.A. and PhD programs are encouraged to apply for a Graduate Assistantship in History at the time of application for admission.

Because the availability of GAships is extremely limited, PhD students receive first priority.

Graduate Assistantship application requirements

To apply for a Graduate Assistantship in History, submit the following via the Graduate Application Supplemental Documents Upload Website by December 15:

The deadline to apply for a Graduate Assistantship is December 15. 

NOTE re: the Graduate Assistantship Evaluation Forms: Complete Part I on each of the three forms first before sending them to your designated evaluators. Your GAship evaluators should complete Part II and submit the form directly to the Graduate Application Supplemental Documents Upload Website together with the recommendation letter they are writing on your behalf.

*Although application to the M.A. Program only requires two (2) letters of recommendation, if you are applying for a Graduate Assistantship, you must submit three GAship Evaluation Forms and an additional letter of recommendation, for a total of three (3) letters.

Graduate Assistantship renewal

Students may reapply for the History Graduate Assistantship every year. Renewal is contingent upon performance. M.A. students are eligible for up to two years of GAship. PhD students are eligible for up to three (3) years of GAship. Because our Graduate Assistantships are extremely limited, PhD students receive first priority.

The History Department recognizes the right of graduate student workers to form a union and support the efforts of Academic Labor United (ALU) to organize for effective and fair labor conditions and benefits. View our official statement here.

Other funding opportunities

The Department of History encourages current and prospective students to seek out and apply for all sources of extra-departmental funding for which they might be eligible. These include the following:

Graduate Assistantships outside of History

Students can apply for Graduate Assistantships elsewhere on campus. These positions may take the form of teaching, research, or clerical work. Openings are posted at

Residential Housing and Fellowships through the East-West Center

Students focusing on Asian or Pacific Islands history, as well as students from Asia or the Pacific Islands, are encouraged to explore the residential housing options and fellowships offered by the East-West Center. For information, see:

The East-West Center is a federal agency that works closely with the University of Hawai’i to 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. For further details, see:

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships (FLAS)

Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents can apply for a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) if their research is related to a FLAS-funded language. The FLAS provides a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend and may be renewed if funding is available.

At UH Mānoa, FLAS fellowships are awarded in a wide range of languages, including Cambodian (Khmer), Indonesian, Tagalog (Filipino), Thai, and Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, and numerous Pacific languages.

FLAS applicants must be U.S. citizens and permanent residents and must have studied the relevant language for at least one year (or two years, in the case of East Asian languages) by the time their FLAS funding begins. If you meet these qualifications, you can apply for a FLAS at the same time as applying for admission to the M.A. or PhD program.

See specific language and area studies program websites for application information:

Other funding opportunities

Students who are not Hawaiʻi residents may qualify for a non-resident tuition exemption (NRTE) or reduced tuition administered through the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE). Visit the Graduate Division Financial Support for Graduate Study page for relevant links.