To find out what financial aid might be available to you, contact the Student Financial Aid Office. 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?
International Teaching Assistant/Associate Language Policy
For more information regarding this policy, please visit the ESOL Program website.
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.
Every prospective graduate assistant (AA, RA,TA or TI) must first have a background check completed prior to finalizing a graduate assistant contract. Click here for Background Check information.