Departmental Assistantships

Many of our students serve on departmental assistantships. Each year the Department receives a budget for the funding of graduate assistantships, which includes a tuition waiver and a stipend for Graduate Assistants. In addition, some grants include funding for graduate assistantships. We choose most graduate assistants on a semester-by-semester basis depending on needs of the Department and availability of funds.

Types of Assistantships

  • Teaching Associates (TOs): teach an undergraduate course under supervision by a faculty member
  • Teaching Assistants (TAs): teach a discussion session of a class
  • Graders: assist a faculty member or a TO with grading and distribution of assignments
  • Research Assistants (RAs): work with faculty researchers on their projects

The Department Chair announces the deadline for applications via the graduate student listserv. Complete the form below for the semester you are applying for, and submit to the Graduate Program Assistant by 4 p.m. on the announced deadline. Applications are ranked by a committee of faculty in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator, who forwards a ranked list to the Department Chair. The Department Chair makes the assignment of assistantships.

How awards are determined

The most important criterion for selection for an assistantship is satisfactory progress and maintenance of good standing in the graduate program. ABD students in good standing have highest priority; first-year students in the Master’s program ordinarily have lowest priority. Whenever possible, students holding assistantships who have fulfilled those responsibilities satisfactorily and who continue to make progress toward the degree will receive priority for funding. The number of semesters of departmental funding that a student can hold is eight; requests for funding beyond eight semesters will result in a lower ranking of priority by the reviewing committee.

Satisfactory progress is measured in terms of completion of degree requirements in a timely matter, particularly filing committee membership forms, completing the Comprehensive Examination, receiving the MA, completion of the Qualifying Examination, and making progress on the dissertation. Maintenance of good standing includes meeting departmental and graduate school GPA requirements and clearing problem grades.

The department tries to allocate funding equitably. Applications are ranked by the Graduate Financial Aid Committee, who may consult the Graduate Coordinator during their deliberations. The ranked list is forwarded to the Department Chair who makes the final determination and assignment of assistantships based on the ranked list, along with the specific teaching needs of the department in the coming semester. The Department reserves the right to offer Teaching Assistantship/Associate positions to students who have special skills commensurate with teaching needs or to whom the department has contractual obligations to support.