History Department

Graduate Studies in History

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships, which cover payment of tuition for up to 9 credit hours per semester and which pay a stipend, are awarded by the graduate committee of the department of history.

Graduate assistants are required by the Graduate School to take a minimum of 9 credit hours of graduate work each semester.

A full-time assistantship requires approximately 20 clock hours of work per week, assigned by the department or chairperson. Students will be limited to two years of financial assistance for the M.A. degree and four years of financial assistance for the Ph.D. degree. 

Requirements for Graduate Assistants

Most master's level students will assist faculty members with general education courses  or serve as a research assistant. Graduate assistants are expected to contribute approximately twenty hours per week in exchange for the assistantship. If assisting faculty with teaching, expectations may be greater than in other weeks during midterms and finals. It is the prerogative of the faculty member to determine the graduate assistant's duties. Any academic responsibility associated with the teaching of a course or specific research by the faculty member is a legitimate endeavor for the graduate student, including:

  • grading exams, quizzes, essays, papers and other coursework
  • mechanical aspects of instruction
  • library work
  • collecting or reviewing material for class use
  • meeting with students to review and prepare coursework

The faculty member will determine what help he/she expects from the graduate assistant and how that help will be provided. The faculty member should clearly communicate his/her expectations to the graduate assistant.

It would be a valuable experience for each graduate assistant at the M.A. level to give a lecture or two in one of the survey courses, but this opportunity will be offered at the discretion of the professor and with the agreement of the graduate assistant. More might be expected of second-year graduate assistants than beginning students. Some professors may choose to assign tasks related to the graduate assistant’s research.

Once ABD, Ph.D. students will often be responsible for teaching their own survey courses. Faculty members will make announced visits to these classes for the purpose of evaluation and will be available to respond to questions and problems.

At the end of each semester professors will review the performance of their graduate assistants. In turn, if the assistant feels that the professor’s expectations are unrealistic or inappropriate, he/she should bring the matter to the chairperson’s attention, after having discussed the situation with the professor.

Every effort will be made to assign graduate assistants to faculty members in such a way as to encourage compatible working arrangements. However, it may be impossible for everyone to work with the student of first choice. Faculty members, as well as the graduate assistants, will inform the chairperson of any serious problems.

Performance Evaluation and Renewal of Assistantships

After reviewing each graduate student’s overall record and pertinent written evaluations, the graduate committee will convene to assess the performance of each graduate student.

If the graduate committee believes that a student should be dropped as an assistant or from the graduate program, information concerning that student will be sent to each member of the department. To ensure due process and the exchange of information, a departmental meeting will, if practicable, be called within a week to discuss the problem and make decisions concerning the student’s continuation in the program and/or as a teaching assistant.

After evaluations are completed, each student will be informed in writing of the departmental decision. Those renewed as assistants or graduate students will be given a written account of any deficiencies and suggestions for improving their performance.

Last Updated: 6/27/22