To find out what financial aid might be available to you, contact the Student Financial Aid Office at http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/sfa/. Many graduate programs offer competitive graduate assistantships which fall into three categories of professional duties: research, teaching, or administrative. These competitive awards typically provide compensation in the form of a full or partial tuition scholarship in addition to a monthly stipend for up to 20 hours of work per week. Students should inquire with their academic programs to investigate the graduate assistant policies and the process of application with their individual program. However, other available assistantships are often posted at the following link: Current Graduate Assistantship Positions Available.
What is a graduate assistantship?
Graduate assistantships provide students with valuable professional experience that is related to their academic field, giving the student both applied experience and financial support. While the assistantship is a vital experience to many students’ academic careers, the duties associated with the assistantship should not interfere unduly with the student’s academic studies. Rather, it should complement and enhance the students' intellectual growth and professional goals. Graduate assistantships are considered a form of financial support to assist students complete graduate school, and therefore may come in the form of both tuition scholarship and/or stipend.
A graduate student may receive full or partial tuition scholarship, which is applied toward the cost of tuition. Scholarship funds cannot be utilized toward other extra fees associated with attending the university or participating in campus program events. A student who receives a tuition scholarship only (no stipend) does not have a service/work commitment to the university.
A stipend is a fixed sum of money that is calculated on the number of hours worked per week. (The majority of graduate assistants with stipends work either 10 or 20 hours per week.) It is paid on a biweekly basis and is subject to applicable state, federal and local taxes. Stipend amounts vary by discipline and program, as well as by type of assistantship.As a result, prospective students should check with their program of interest for their stipend formulas.
Total hours worked per week during any time of the year, whether or not school is in session, may NOT exceed 28 hours per week (for ALL jobs combined).
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Total hours worked per week may NOT exceed 20 hours when classes are in session; (i.e., during fall and spring) semesters. During designated periods – such as between fall and spring semesters and during summer sessions, students may NOT exceed 28 hours per week (for ALL jobs combined).
For student employment purposes, the work week is defined as 12:01 a.m. Sunday to 11:59 p.m. Saturday.
What is the time commitment of a graduate assistant?
A full-time assistantship appointment is for a maximum of 50% time (approximately 20 hours of work per week); however, some students are awarded half-time assistantship appointments or 25% time (approximately 10 hours of work per week). Some departments vary their assistantship hours based on the full-time stipend formula. The remainder of a student's time should be spent in making progress toward degree completion. Note: international students may not work more than 20 hours per week.
Who is eligible for an assistantship?
University-funded assistantships may be awarded, competitively, to those students who have been admitted to a graduate program and who are academically eligible. In order to maintain eligibility for a graduate assistantship, a student must be currently enrolled in classes in a specific degree program. Interested students must inquire with their program of interest and complete that program’s necessary application materials.
What types of graduate assistantships are there?
The majority of programs have available administrative, research, and teaching assistantships.
- Administrative Assistantship (AA)
Administrative assistants work with the administrative staff of a department/school, college or university office (including centers and institutes) to assist in the operations of the university. Duties vary widely, but may include advising and/or supervising individual students and student groups and organizations; gathering, organizing, and analyzing information; giving formal presentations; implementing and evaluating programs; leading program efforts; and providing assistance to faculty or administrators in daily operational activities.
- Research Assistantship (RA)
Research assistants (RA) work collaboratively with assigned faculty on academic research projects. This work may take place in field based settings, laboratories, or other academic environments to assist faculty on research projects. The supervising faculty member may or may not be the student's advisor and/or chair. Duties vary by discipline and program, but generally include data collection, entry, and analysis; literature searches; manuscript assistance; attending conferences to present results; and training and supervising less experienced research personnel. Research assistantships may be funded by institutions external to BGSU (e.g., Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, and National Science Foundation).
- Teaching Assistantship (TA)
Teaching assistants generally assist faculty with instructional responsibilities or serve as the principal instructor of one or more courses. Duties vary by discipline and program, but may include meeting with students; administering tests or exams; grading homework or exams; teaching recitation, laboratory, or discussion sessions; and teaching lecture courses. These duties may be conducted completely as part of an instructor of record assignment or only in part as assistance to a professor.
Graduate programs with graduate assistantships available: Go to the Graduate Degree Programs page and click on the program name to investigate as to whether they offer graduate assistantships. For each program, contact that program’s graduate coordinator to discuss the availability of graduate assistantships and their application process.
Background Checks: Every prospective graduate assistant (AA, RA, or TA) must first have a background check completed prior to finalizing a graduate assistant contract. Get information on the policy and procedures of graduate assistant background checks.