Financial Support

The department limits the number of graduate students admitted to those it can support with multiple-year financial packages that combine university fellowships, department grants, and employment as a Graduate Student Instructor. Some of these funding sources are awarded at the time of admission, and others are reserved for the dissertation phase of the program. In addition to the main sources of annual support guaranteed in advance at the time of admission, smaller grants targeted to specific travel needs for research or conference presentations are awarded on an annual basis.

Departmental Support

Department Fellowships
The department sometimes supports incoming students with available internal funding at a level comparable to an annual GSI salary.

Departmental Librarian Position
Students can also be assigned a position as Department Librarian.

Graduate Student Instructor Positions

Language Teaching:
The department can appoint students with the necessary language fluency in a modern Scandinavian language to an instructor position teaching both beginning and intermediate classes. Training in language pedagogy is required and provided by the department.

Reading and Composition Teaching:
Students are also given opportunities to teach courses in the university’s Reading and Composition sequence by choosing topics of their own interest together with Scandinavian texts taught in translation. Additional campus training in college-writing pedagogy is also required in conjunction with these assignments.
R&C assignments for experienced instructors are also available each summer in the UCB Summer Sessions as a way to earn extra income in addition to the annual student support packages.

The qualifications for appointment to a Graduate Student Instructor position can be found here.

Graduate Student Researcher positions
Individual department faculty members at times have research funding available to hire graduate students to aid with their ongoing research projects. These appointments can under certain conditions be combined with other positions.

Faculty undergraduate courses with high enrollments can qualify for funds to hire course Readers to assist faculty instructors with the grading of papers and assignments. Paid duties include hours spent in attendance, reading, or grading, but Readers do not supervise discussion sections or hold office hours.

Research and Professional Travel Funding
The department has some limited funds available to support student travel and participation in language programs, conferences (including teacher workshops), and individual research projects. Partial funding of travel to the annual SASS conference is guaranteed for those presenting papers, and requests for that funding should be folded into the annual continuing student funding application (see below), but for other travel opportunities related to professional development, students can apply off-cycle using this form.

Application Procedures:

For continuing graduate students in the Department of Scandinavian:
There is an annual application cycle for continued funding in which each student is required to complete an updated application each February. The most recent version of the Continuing Student Support and Progress application form and general instructions for filling out the form can be found on the forms page here.

For students enrolled in other UCB graduate programs:
Graduate Student Instructor assignments made for the regular academic year are generally reserved for Department of Scandinavian graduate students since they serve as a form of departmental financial support. Even so, there are occasionally teaching opportunities available during the year and especially in Summer Sessions for those students outside the department with the required teacher training and experience with Scandinavian literary or filmic materials. Interested students should apply to the current faculty Graduate Adviser with a CV and statement of interest.

University Support

University Fellowships upon admission
Incoming students with superior academic records may be nominated during the admissions process to a university-wide selection committee for consideration for multi-year fellowships. If awarded, these fellowships may form part of an admitted student’s overall multi-year support package; otherwise, a combination of departmental funding and teaching appointments will form the basis for a student’s financial support package.

Graduate Division Conference Travel Grants
Ph.D. and Master’s students in academic degree programs may apply for funding to attend professional conferences. Grant amounts will depend on the location of the conference (up to $400 within California, $600 elsewhere in North America, including Canada or Mexico, and $1,000 outside of North America. Master’s students are eligible for only one conference travel grant per academic career. Doctoral students are eligible for two grants per graduate career, regardless of how many degrees they earn. To be eligible to apply, applicants must be registered for the term in which they are planning to attend the conference (students on filing fee are not eligible); be in good academic standing; and be presenting a paper or poster at the conference. The application for these travel grants can be found here.

Fritz O. Fernström Fellowship
The Department of Scandinavian administers the Fritz O. Fernström Fellowship program on behalf of the university. The terms of the endowment state “preference shall be given to American students who wish to study in Scandinavia, preferably Sweden, and to students in Scandinavian Languages and Literature,” but the evaluation committee uses a wide definition of Scandinavia and encourages applications from current qualified graduate students in all fields at UC-Berkeley. The fellowship as now administered is thus intended to support short-term or year-long research or study that requires travel to any of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden). Past awards have been made to students from Architecture, Rhetoric, Music, Political Science, Art, Sociology, Energy & Resources, and Computer Science, as well as to students from the Department of Scandinavian. Students must be U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents, and must be currently registered graduate students at UCB. Applications are evaluated in an annual competition with an application deadline that usually falls in mid-February. Selection criteria include the overall strength of the academic record and faculty recommendations, the degree of preparation (including language competency, when relevant to the project), the expected intellectual contribution of the project to research in the applicant’s field, and the feasibility of the plan given the described methodology and resources. Successful applications demonstrate the need for research or study in a Scandinavian country that cannot be accomplished elsewhere, or relevance of the language and/or culture to the student’s dissertation topic. Demonstrated effort at finding support from multiple sources also counts in an applicant’s favor. Award amounts have averaged approximately $3750 over the past 10 years, including both short and longer-term stays abroad (students looking for year-long support may also combine Fernström funding with other sources). Applications to support advanced language study or conference attendance may also be considered when that study is crucial to a specific research plan. Requested budgets may be adjusted in the final awards. Current deadlines and the most recent application form can be found on the forms page here.

Doctoral Completion Fellowship
Beginning with the students who began graduate study in Fall 2010, all those who have officially advanced to PhD candidacy (having passed their Qualifying Exams) are offered a two-semester stipend of $18,000 plus fees (and non-resident tuition for international students) as incentive for completing the dissertation within the normative time (defined for the Scandinavian as seven years total in the program). Students who receive this fellowship agree that they will not be eligible to receive any form of University funding (including teaching assignments, department block grant, and travel and research support) after the completion of their seventh year of study.

UC Dissertation-Year Fellowships
The UC Office of the President sponsors this dissertation-year fellowship program for Berkeley students. Awards currently include a living stipend of $20,500, payment of fees, and a travel allowance. Eligibility criteria for this dissertation include: experience of situations or conditions which were an impediment to advancing to graduate study; the pursuit of academic research interests focusing on cultural, societal or educational problems as they affect educationally disadvantaged segments of society; or evidence of intention to use the doctoral degree toward serving educationally underrepresented segments of society. A more detailed description of the program and a recent application can be found here.

Townsend Dissertation Fellowships
This fellowship is intended to further the research of Ph.D candidates through interdisciplinary discussion with student and faculty colleagues in other disciplines and departments. Awards are based on the scholarly merit of the individual applications. Projects need not be “interdisciplinary” by definition, but are evaluated in part by their potential interest for interdisciplinary discussion. Townsend Graduate Student Fellows receive an $18,000 stipend, and the Townsend Center will also provide payment of fees depending on the availability of funds. Effective September 1, 2011, Townsend Dissertation Fellows may combine fellowship awards up to the maximum amount set by the Graduate Division, but since the purpose of the Townsend Fellowship is to enable full-time research, Townsend Fellows are not eligible to teach or hold other academic appointments during the fellowship year. More information about the award can be found here.

Maternity/Paternity support and accommodation
The Graduate Division administers a need-based grant for graduate students (single, married, or registered domestic partners) living with dependent children. Grants may be applied toward housing/living expenses, dependent health insurance, child care, and/or tuition. If funding permits, awards of up to $8,000 per year ($4,000 per academic term) will be made to eligible applicants. An example of a recent application form can be found here.

For an updated list of other university sources of graduate financial support and the most current application deadlines and forms, consult the Graduate Division Fellowships and Grants website.

Extramural Funding Sources

The following are suggested funding sources outside the university that are of particular interest to graduate students studying in the Department of Scandinavian. Most of them express a preference for dissertation-stage students in their selection criteria, but please consult each website for more detailed information.

American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellowships

The American-Scandinavian Foundation administers an annual fellowship competition in all academic and artistic fields for American scholars to pursue study, research, or artistic projects in any of the five Nordic countries.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S.

Birgit Baldwin Fellowship in Scandinavian Studies

The Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study (SASS) is responsible for an annual fellowship competition for dissertation students in the fields of Scandinavian (Nordic) literature or film that can most effectively be pursued in the archives and libraries of the Nordic countries.

The Einar and Eva Lund Haugen Memorial Scholarship

The scholarship is intended to support outstanding graduate students whose doctoral dissertation examines a Scandinavian or Scandinavian-American topic in the Social Sciences or History, broadly defined. SASS administers this scholarship competition.


The Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA) is a worldwide organization that offers two doctoral research scholarships of $10,000 through the SWEA Litteraturstipendiet program. Applicants should be an accomplished doctoral student at a university outside Sweden pursuing research in Swedish language, literature, or society.

SWEA Ad Literature Scholarship 2021

The local San Francisco chapter of SWEA also runs its own fellowship competition for an award in the amount of $7500. It is intended to be awarded to a qualified individual or group in the Western United States who is pursuing academic or professional research or artistic endeavors with particular relevance to Sweden. The candidate’s project may include, but is not limited to, work in areas such as Swedish culture, history, music, visual or performing arts, literature, media, sciences, or the environment. It is expected that the project will result in a tangible product and will be completed within a year of receipt of the award. The final outcome of the project should be of a kind that can be shared with other interested groups or parties to help spread knowledge about Sweden abroad.

Leifur Eiríksson Foundation Scholarship

These scholarships are intended for students at U.S. universities to pursue graduate study or research at Icelandic universities.