Graduate Funding Information

Graduate Funding Information

The Department of East Asian Studies provides a base funding package to PhD students of at least $18,000 ($18,500 in 2021-2022), plus tuition and fees per year, for five years. This base funding package is described in further detail below.

MA students do not receive funding, but are eligible for a number of scholarships including the master’s SSHRC ($17,500) and the OGS scholarship ($15,000). A couple of teaching assistantship opportunities may be available each year to MA students who are qualified to TA in EAS language courses.

The tuition schedules for the graduate programs can be found here.

Please note that incoming master’s and doctoral students are eligible to apply for OGS and SSHRC awards in the fall prior to applying to the program. Please see Graduate Scholarships for more information.

The SGS provides information about scholarships and awards beyond those listed below and information about applying for other forms of financial assistance. Students are encouraged to visit SGS’s Financial Support webpage. The Department offers workshops on grant-writing in September of each year, and the University also offers a range of very helpful grant-writing workshops.

PhD Base Funding Package

PhD students receive a base funding package of at least $18,000, plus tuition and fees, per year for the first five years. International (“visa”) students will be provided with additional funding to cover UHIP (Health Insurance).  This funding package may be made up from a variety of sources including external awards such as SSHRC and OGS scholarships for domestic students and Connaught and Trillium Scholarships for international students, U of T Fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships. Students must maintain good standing in their programs and apply each year for the appropriate major external awards (e.g. SSHRC) in order to remain eligible for the funding package.

During the past three years, thanks to external scholarships, the average income of funded cohort EAS doctoral students, exclusive of tuition and fees, was has been above $20,000.

Students’ funding packages look different depending on their scholarship status. When a student is awarded a major scholarship, that amount is included in the funding package. Students with a major scholarship typically receive funds from the scholarship plus their TAship. Any difference between their scholarship and TA income and the base funding package will be awarded in UTF funds. The base funding package of a student without a major scholarship typically combines TA income with UTF funds.

What you need to know about your funding package

Each summer you will receive, by email, a letter outlining the details of your base funding package for the following academic year. Please review that letter carefully and don’t hesitate to contact the EAS Graduate Administrator if you have any questions. At the beginning of each academic year, you should defer your tuition fees on SWS (more below). General information about funding packages follows.

Scholarship holders:
• Your funding package can be comprised wholly, or in part, of a scholarship awarded by external agencies (eg. SSHRC, Vanier, Trillium, OGS) or by the University of Toronto (eg. Connaught, Vivienne Poy, Jackman), or of any other external scholarship in excess of $10,000.
• Recipients of external scholarships worth more than $10,000 must inform the department of the scholarship and the scholarship’s duration.
• Recipients of SSHRC or Vanier will receive, in recognition of your achievement, a $2500 “top-up” in May of the year of the scholarship. OGS recipients will receive a $1500 “top-up.”
• Each scholarship has its own payment procedures and timelines. Please check the terms of your scholarship.
University of Toronto Fellowship (UTF) Recipients:
• If your graduate funding letter indicates that you will be receiving UTF, you can expect to receive the fellowship in three installments. The September installment is normally processed in mid-September (half of your UTF), and is issued directly to you. Your second and third installments will be paid to you in January and May (each installment is a quarter of your total UTF). Your UTF Tuition will directly pay your tuition, half in September and half in January.

Teaching assistantships:
• Up to 180 hours of TA income will be included in your funding package. Any amount you work above 180 hours (for example, in the summer sessions as a TA or course instructor) can increase your income above the base funding package.
• If you decline or defer your TAship, your funding package for that year will be reduced by the amount of TA income that would have been included in your funding package (normally approximately $8,000).
• TA income is employment income. Employment income is paid monthly, on the 28th of each month. Your TA letter of offer will outline your total hours and number of installments you can expect. You can check your pay stubs online.
• Please note that summer TA and course instructor income can increase students’ total income as summer income is not considered to be part of the funding package.

Research Assistantships:
• You may be offered an RAship by a faculty member. If you are in the funded cohort and being offered an RAship, please consult the Graduate Administrator.
• Money from RAships is income, disbursed like TA income (above).

Funding Timeline

As discussed above, your funding will reach you at different points during the year. If you are a recipient of a major scholarship, please see the payment terms of that scholarship. UTF installments are paid three times per year (September, January and May). For those receiving “top-ups,” you will receive that amount in May. TA and RA income is detailed in your letter of offer, and payments are made monthly during the period of your contract. Tuition, which you must pay from your funding package, is due by the end of April as long as you defer your fees at the beginning of the academic year.

Funding Beyond the Funded Cohort

The Doctoral Completion Award (DCA) is available to students who are no longer within the funded cohort but within the time limit of their degrees. EAS DCA policies describe how the Department adjudicates the Award. Applications are due on April 1 of each year. The value of the award is determined by available funds. Not all students who are eligible receive awards.

After paying tuition, students in year six and beyond have a lower income than those in the funded cohort. Between 2012-2015, the average income was $9100. Students’ main source of income in the non-funded years is teaching.

How the Money Gets to You

Most of the scholarship and all of the UTF moneys are paid to students through ACORN. Please ensure that you have up-to-date direct deposit information on ACORN so that payments can go directly to your bank account. If you do not yet have a Canadian bank account and wish to have a cheque sent, please make sure you have an up-to-date address on ACORN. For new students, you can use the department as your mailing address if you do not yet have a Toronto mailing address. TA and RA income is paid monthly by direct deposit.


If you have questions about your funding package, please see EAS’s Graduate Administrator, Natasja VanderBerg (

If you have questions about TA or RA payroll, please see EAS’s Business Officer, Paul Chin (

If you’d like to discuss any aspect of your funding package, please feel welcome to make an appointment with EAS’s Graduate Coordinator.