College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Graduate Assistantships

Any graduate student that is financially compensated while serving in a support role at a university and completing their post-graduate education is considered a Graduate Assistant. The graduate assistant typically assists professors with instructional responsibilities (teaching assistant), with academic research responsibilities (research assistant), with administrative projects and activities in other university departments (administrative assistant) or provides specialized services for internal non-curricular units (internship) or external businesses, companies or agencies (externship).

four types of graduate assistantships:

Teaching Assistantship

The Teaching Assistant is expected to participate directly in the teaching of a course or be assigned to specific teaching support or related activities. It is expected that the assistantship will be a learning experience that facilitates completion of degree requirements and helps the student prepare for a professional career. The University’s intention is to make the teaching assistantship a valuable and integral part of the student’s graduate education. A tuition waiver is typically coupled to a stipend.

Research Assistantships

The Research Assistant is expected to participate in research as directed by a University faculty member. In many cases, the faculty member will have a research grant. The appointment is primarily a learning experience. The assistant will be given the opportunity to learn research design, data gathering, data treatment, interpretation, reporting, etc., rather than function simply in one isolated phase or serving as a clerical assistant. Duties will be discussed with the sponsoring faculty member.

Administrative Assistantships

The Administrative Assistant is expected to participate directly in the administrative duties assigned by the supervisor. It is expected that the assistantship will be a learning experience that facilitates completion of degree and helps the student prepare for a professional career. The intention is to make the assistantship a valuable and integral part of the graduate student’s higher educational experience.

Internships/Externships

Some graduate programs provide paid internships through agreements with non-academic units within the University or externships if the agency or company is not directly associated with the University. The internship/externship provides the graduate student an opportunity to serve in a professional role and to establish relationships with professionals in their field of study while providing some service to the “hiring” entity. Duties are discussed with the sponsoring representative and a representative of the University, typically a faculty member or program director.
Last Updated: 6/16/21