Assistantships and Scholarships


Most of us work as graduate assistants while we are completing our MA degree.  We applied for funding as part of the application process (we checked the box!).  If we are making progress toward the degree (and the department’s budget isn’t cut), our assistantships are renewed for a second year.   In exchange for a 9-month stipend and a tuition waiver, we work 20 hours/week when courses are in session, contributing to the department in many ways.

Most of us assist faculty with teaching responsibilities like grading, helping with class discussions, or holding office hours.
We also have two regular positions, one with Special Collections in the Virginia Tech Library and another as the student editors of the Virginia Tech Undergraduate History Review (VTUHR). Usually, the VTUHR has two graduate students at a time, one from each cohort.


The VT MA Program also offers two special scholarships.  One for Civil War Studies research, another for research on the history of Virginia.  If you fit the description, here’s how to apply.

The Virginia Center for Civil War Studies (VCCWS) Scholarship

  • Up to $5000 awarded annually, renewable for a second year
  • Supports research interests in the causes and consequences of the American Civil War, broadly construed
    • Candidates for these scholarships may pursue a wide variety of research approaches (including social, political, cultural, military, or economic history) and topics (including—but not limited to—race, slavery, gender, memory and memorialization, violence, political protest, science and medicine, transformations in everyday life, industrialization).
  • Holders of these scholarships are also eligible to hold graduate assistantships.

Applying is easy! Just indicate that you’d like to be considered for one in your MA application.

Frank L. Curtis Fund Scholarship for Virginia History

  • Up to $1500, awarded annually for one year.
  • Supports research specifically focused on the history of Virginia.
    • Curtis Foundation scholarships encourage students to pursue a wide variety of research approaches and topics that advance our understanding of the place of the state and the experiences of Virginians in any era of history.
  • Holders of these scholarships are also eligible to hold graduate assistantships.

To Apply: Submit a separate, one-page (maximum 400 words) essay that

  1. Explains clearly and concisely how your research interests relate to the purpose of the scholarship;
  2. And, discusses how these research interests relate to your career goals.

The Curtis Scholarship application should be mailed directly to the Department of History, Attn: Director of Graduate Studies, Mail Code 0117, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061.