A limited number of graduate assistant positions are available by application every fiscal year. The selection process is competitive as appointments are given to students who have shown superior aptitude in their field of study and who appear likely to render a high quality of service to the University by their teaching and research activities. Graduate assistants function both as students and professionals, enhancing their education by playing this important dual role. While studying to meet academic requirements for advanced degrees, graduate assistants also complement their formal studies through research and/or teaching under the supervision or tutelage of UMSON faculty and staff.
Types of Graduate Assistantships Available
A Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) is a graduate student whose primary focus is research related. GRA duties vary according to the nature of the research project in which the student participates and the source of funding. GRAs may work under a faculty member or mentor/PI in her/his research, or may be assigned to work on research that is application to the student's thesis or dissertation.
A Graduate Teach Assistant (GTA) is a graduate student whose main focus is assisting in a teaching program. The specific duties of a GTA vary from one program to another, but for the majority of GTAs, assignments and responsibilities fall into the following categories:
- Administration of community programs, workshops, etc.
- Assisting a faculty member in the grading, advising, proctoring, and administrative duties associated with a course or courses
- Teaching responsibility for a laboratory or discussion session of a course
- Teaching responsibility for a classroom section of a multisectional course, under the close supervision of the course director
Length of Commitment
An assistantship appointment may be either full time (20 hours per week) or half time (10 hours per week) and can last for a total of 10 months (regular academic year) or 12 months. Ten-month appointments begin in the fall and end in June 30. Twelve-month appointments generally begin either July 1 or September 1.
Tuition Remission (offered only during fall and spring semesters) and Health Insurance
Full-time graduate assistants (20 hours per week) receive 10 credit hours tuition remission in the fall and spring semesters as well as student health insurance.
Half-time graduate assistants (10 hours per week) receive 5 credit hours tuition remission and one-half student health in the fall and spring semesters.
Stipend levels are established annually. There are two levels (also known as “steps”) for the classification of graduate assistants. These levels, which are based on experience and progress toward the degree, determine the minimum stipend that may be awarded. A level I stipend is awarded to first and second year graduate assistants. Upon successful admission to candidacy for the PhD, the student may be eligible to receive a level II stipend. Departmental budget constraints may affect promotions.
Current GTA stipend rates:
- Stipend Level I: $19,000
- Stipend Level II: $20,000
Current GRA stipend rates:
- Stipend Level I: $25,000
- Stipend Level II: $27,000
Students are paid bi-weekly
Graduate assistants are eligible for in-state billing during the performance of the assistantship. In order to receive this benefit, the student must submit a tuition remission form to the Human Resources office at least six weeks prior to the start of the term for which they are registered. Tuition remission is available to students who are on payroll and who are registered for the term. For summer and winter terms, remission is not available.
For additional information related to graduate assistantships, please see the Graduate Assistant Guide.