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The Office of the Associate Dean for Faculty and Graduate Studies is responsible for the graduate assistantship budget and the allocation of teaching assistantships to graduate programs. The admissions committee of each graduate program recommends applicants to receive graduate assistantships. Individual graduate programs are also responsible for the graduate assistants' assignments. Graduate assistants assigned teaching duties are expected to aid in the undergraduate teaching mission of their departments. Graduate Assistantships (GAs) in the College of Arts & Sciences are offered on a competitive basis. Departments nominate students to receive assistantships through the Office of the Dean of the College. Stipends vary depending on the nature and level of programs.

Period of Assistance. Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts graduate programs offer assistantships for the academic year (Fall and Spring terms). Science doctoral programs (including Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Physics) may offer assistantships for the full year, including summer, provided the departments commit to supporting at least 25% of the students in the summer from faculty grants.

Components of Assistantships. Graduate Assistants will receive:

  • stipends
  • matriculation fee waivers and non-resident tuition waivers (for up to 9* graduate hours during the Fall and Spring semesters, respectively, for all GAs, up to 6 graduate hours in the Summer semester for GAs in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Physics, and up to 3 graduate hours for GAs in the Social Science and Humanities).


  • GAs must be full-time students.
  • Full-time residence during the academic year for all programs means 9 graduate hours in the Fall and in the Spring terms. During the summer, graduate students in the Social Sciences, Humanities, the Arts must register for 3 graduate hours, while students in the Sciences must take 6 graduate hours.
  • GAs must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better in each semester.

Functions and Obligations.

  • Graduate Assistantships (GAs) are normally considered half-time appointments, and fall under two categories: Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Research Assistants (RAs). In all cases, eligibility requirements are the same. Contracts normally stipulate that the maximum allowable weekly assignment is 20 hours. Assignments of less than 20 hours will carry a proportionately lower total salary. Departments need advanced approval to offer anything less.
  • Research assistantships (RAs) are awarded through funds generated by faculty grants.
  • Teaching Assistantships (TAs) are normally allocated to the departments in expectation that they will support and enhance undergraduate education. Normally, TAs may be assigned to full responsibility for teaching a course only after accumulating at least 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline of instruction.
  • In accepting teaching assistantships, students are obligated to register for 9 graduate hours* in Fall and Spring terms, and in the Summer, for either 3 graduate hours (Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts), or 6 graduate hours (Sciences).
    * The tenth hour consists of the mandatory, one-time pedagogy course required of all TAs during the first year.

More on Graduate Support at the College of Arts & Sciences