Graduate Funding

The Department of Religious Studies offers graduate funding in the form of graduate teaching assistantships, travel awards, research or academic development awards, and departmental scholarships.

Types of funding

The Department of Religious Studies is not currently accepting applications for new GTAs.

Apply for the Mabel Jensen Travel Award

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. 

The department's Mabel Jensen Fund provides funding to support graduate students who: (a) plan to present a research paper at a professional conference, workshop, etc., or (b) plan to attend an annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion or a comparable professional meeting for the specific purpose of consulting with faculty in prospective Ph.D. programs. Students must submit a Mabel Jensen Travel Award Application to be considered. Funding will be determined on the basis of seniority of applicants, funding available, and the projected number of applicants, and is normally capped at $500 per conference. The funds will be disbursed after the eventAPPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED BEFORE YOU TRAVEL.

If you are applying for travel money from the Department of Religious Studies, you should also apply for financial support through the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Additional financial support for conference presentations is available to graduate students through the Graduate Scholarly Development Fund.

Apply for a Graduate Student Research/Academic Development Award

Academic year funding applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Summer funding applications are due by March 31. 

Contingent upon available funds, the Department of Religious Studies is able to support activities directly related to a graduate student’s academic program that are not otherwise funded by scholarships, grants, or other university or departmental funds. Eligible activities may include: intensive language study, field/archival research, short-term workshops, internships, or skill development opportunities.

* Please note that this award is not intended to support travel to conferences; the Mabel Jensen fund provides conference support. Funds are awarded based upon the relevance of the proposed activity to the student’s academic program, as well as upon the availability of funds, which may vary from year to year. Students may receive research/academic development funding only one time during the course of their MA program. 

If you are applying for travel money from the Department of Religious Studies, you should also apply for financial support through the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Additional financial support for conference presentations is available to graduate students through the Graduate Scholarly Development Fund.

Apply for a Departmental Scholarship

Deadline to apply: April 1, 2022

Students making excellent progress in their program and coursework wishing to be considered for scholarships should complete an application.

Friends of the Department of Religious Studies (FODORS) Scholarships
Awards: number and size of awards may vary; generally not less than $1,000 per year or more than $15,000 per year for out-of-state students and $7,000 per year for in-state students.
Eligibility: Students already enrolled and students newly admitted into the M.A. program are eligible to apply. Graduate students are required to enroll for a minimum of nine academic hours each semester, while GTAs must enroll for a minimum of six hours.

Zelma McIlvain Scholarships
Awards: Two or more scholarships of $1,000 to $5,000 each
Eligibility: Preference is given to undergraduate religious studies majors of all levels; graduate students in religious studies are also eligible.

St. John’s Episcopal Church Scholarships
Awards: Two or more scholarships of $500 to $1,000 each
Eligibility: Religious studies majors planning to attend divinity school or pursue careers in social work; seniors and graduate students.

Starrett-Clark Scholarships
Awards: Two or more scholarships of $400 to $800 each
Eligibility: Preference will be given to religious studies graduate students currently engaged in writing theses; undergraduate majors also eligible.