Graduate Assistantships

Policies and Procedures Governing Tuition Coverage and Stipends

Eligibility

Graduate Assistantships are awarded competitively. Normally, the assignment takes the form of a Teaching Assistant. To be considered for graduate assistantships, students must fulfill all the following criteria:

  • Be fully admitted (special student status does not meet this criterion)
  • Be degree-seeking
  • Have full-time status (requires 9 graduate semester-hours in each semester during the academic year and, in the case of doctorate-seeking students, 6 graduate semester-hours in the summer)
  • Be in good academic standing (minimum GPA of 3.0 each semester)

Coverage

Graduate assistantships normally include two elements: partial tuition coverage and stipend. Fees are not covered.

For MA-seeking students. MA-seeking students who are awarded graduate assistantships for the duration of the academic year.

For PhD-seeking students. PhD-seeking students are awarded calendar-year-round graduate assistantships (12 months).

The University's comprehensive graduate policies and procedures manual is available at the Universtiy Graduate School.

Components of graduate assistantships:

A graduate assistantship normally consists of two components:

  • The tuition waiver
  • The stipend.

Tuition waivers

Tuition waivers are provided from state funds unless the graduate student has external grant funding that covers the tuition. Tuition waivers cover most, but not all the tuition costs. The payment of fees is not covered by tuition waivers: students are responsible for payment of fees and the portion of tuition not covered by waivers. Some external grants cover fees; in such cases, it is up to the student to work directly with the grant agency.

To receive tuition waivers, students must follow the University’s full-time and continuous registration rules. To be supported as GAs with both tuition waivers and stipends, students must be registered full-time; that is, 9 graduate hours in each academic year semester and — for doctoral students — 6 hours in the summer. Tuition waivers and stipend funding for doctoral students in the summer are provided by the University Graduate School and are subject to its requirements.

For Masters students, the requirements are the same as for doctoral students during the academic year. Differences with doctoral students appear in the treatment of summers. Masters students are given stipends and tuition waivers for full-time registration during the academic year only, as listed above, that is, 9 graduate semester-hours per AY semester.

Stipends

Stipends are the bi-weekly salaries GAs receive for their assigned work. Assignments to graduate assistants are done by the Chair of the Department, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. Normally, the assignment consists of a graduate teaching assistantship. GTAs assist History faculty members in teaching and evaluating students who take lower-division courses. Advanced doctoral students, usually those who have been advanced to candidacy, may be assigned as Instructors of Record; such GTAs are given control over their assigned courses, consistent with University and Department policies on course administration and standards.

Stipend levels are differentiated within the Department. Students enrolled in the doctoral program receive a higher stipend level than students in the master’s program. In addition, doctoral students are provided with stipends and tuition support throughout the 12-month year. Masters students are given stipends and tuition support over the course of the academic year. The Department may have funds from different sources to employ Masters students during summers in capacities other than as graduate assistants, but such opportunities are contingent on budget conditions and are not automatically offered.

Re-appointment

Re-appointments as GAs depend on meeting annual evaluation criteria. The annual evaluation is conducted by the Director of Graduate Studies based on input provided by the supervising faculty regarding performance as assistants and by academic performance. TA Evaluation Form

Resources

Graduate teaching assistants are expected to become familiar with the University's policies regarding course administration, grading policies, student academic misconduct, grievances, etc. A comprehensive Guide to Teaching in the Department of History contains valuable information dealing with requirements placed on all instructional staff, including GTAs.