Summer Support

The Department provides extensive summer support, in the form of fellowships and teaching positions for pre-candidates and candidates, respectively.

Advanced students can receive summer support, and gain professional experience, teaching their own seven week courses during Michigan's spring or summer half-terms. Courses include intermediate-level or topical offerings in such areas as formal logic, philosophy of science, moral problems, philosophy and literature, and philosophy of religion. Students must have achieved candidacy before taking up a spring/summer teaching position. Positions are posted; for additional information, contact the Graduate Coordinator.

The Department guarantees summer fellowship support to all first-, second-, and third- year students in the Ph.D. program who have submitted (and are committed to undertaking) an approved plan of study to the Chair of the Graduate Studies The fellowship is designed to provide sufficient living expenses to free graduate students from the need to work for pay over the summer, so that they can focus on their studies. To that end, the Department will award $3,500 to each eligible student. This stipend may be combined with funding from other sources, including competitive fellowships.

To be eligible for a summer stipend, students must undertake an acceptable plan of study. To be accepted, a plan of study:

  1. Should be designed to advance one's progress toward degree, either by satisfying, or making  progress toward satisfying, a formal degree requirement, or by advancing one's knowledge and skills in fields relevant to one's projected areas of philosophical expertise
  2. May not ordinarily consist solely in a plan to complete outstanding incomplete courses
  3. Should fill the bulk of the Spring/Summer terms (May-August)
  4. Is presumed to be undertaken in Ann Arbor, so that one does one's part in sustaining a philosophical community here over the summer. This presumption may be rebutted by showing that the plan of study can only be undertaken in another location, and that no intellectually equivalent studies are available here, or that one has compelling personal reasons to be elsewhere.

Second-year students are encouraged to undertake the Dossier Reading course or other independent research that would contribute to a dossier, and third-year students to undertake research that helps them define their dissertation project.

To submit a plan of study, you should e-mail the Chair of Graduate Studies, requesting a summer stipend and briefly explaining:

  • what you will study
  • with whom you will be working (if the plan involves independent study, you will need to get advance approval from the faculty member who will be advising you)
  • when you will be studying
  • where you will be studying
  • how this will contribute to your progress toward degree, if this is not evident from your description of study (a few sentences should be sufficient)

If you are petitioning for tuition expenses as well, include an additional paragraph explaining the tuition charges. Many institutions charge higher tuition if one wants to take a course for academic credit than if one simply wants to audit the course. Students may receive program certification the logic requirement without taking a course for credit. For courses intended to fulfill this requirement, the Department will approve at most the tuition charge for auditing, if it is lower than for credit.

The Chair of Graduate Studies will handle any questions about summer support up to the point that release of funds has been approved. The Department's graduate coordinator will take care of any technical questions relating to the actual release of funds already approved.