Teaching and Research Assistant Information

Purpose of assistantships

  • To provide graduate students learning opportunities that expand their academic skills and increase their breadth of scholarly experience
  • To provide support for faculty engaged in activities that further the mission of the Department
  • To provide financial assistance to graduate students as they pursue advanced degrees

Application process

All assistantships are contingent upon availability of resources. Any HDFS student may indicate interest in being awarded an assistantship by completing a questionnaire provided by the Graduate Secretary each spring.

Types of assignments

Teaching and research assistantships are available to qualified graduate students. Assistantships may include the following types of assignments: assisting with ongoing research, assisting with graduate or undergraduate courses in HDFS, or assisting in the Child Development Laboratories or Couple and Family Therapy Clinic. Further information can be obtained from HDFS faculty members and administrators.

Criteria for awarding assistantships

Teaching assistantships are awarded based on academic merit, fit with specific needs of the Department, past support, and financial need (e.g. out of state).

Research assistantships are awarded based on the availability of grants and contracts secured by faculty in HDFS. Faculty in charge of the projects, in collaboration with the Graduate Program Director and Chairperson, are responsible for selecting students based on academic merit and fit with specific needs of the project.

Normal Employment Requirements

  • All assistantships begin the week before classes start and end the day grades are due in the Registrar's Office.
  • Quarter-time appointment = average of 10 hours per week each semester.
  • Half-time appointment = average of 20 hours per week each semester.
  • Three-quarter time appointment = average of 30 hours per week each semester.

Tuition Waiver and Health Benefits

Payment for nine credits per semester will be waived for students holding a quarter-time or half-time graduate assistantship during fall and spring periods. Summer assistants will have five credits of tuition payments waived if funded by general funds, and four credits of tuition payments waived if funded by faculty grant awards. Students must be approved for the equivalent of one-half semester in order to be eligible for the tuition waivers and in-state fees.

GEU Contract

Graduate teaching assistants are eligible to join the Graduate Employee Union. The current contract between the GEU and the University describes the rights and responsibilities of Union members. Graduate students who possess a graduate assistantship should become familiar with this document.

Responsibilities and Evaluation

Graduate assistants are expected to meet with their faculty supervisor to discuss their responsibilities before the semester begins. An evaluation of each student's work is completed at the end of each semester. That evaluation should take place in a meeting between the student and the faculty supervisor with whom he or she has been working.

Teaching Assistants are required to attend TA professional development sessions provided by the department, college and university. Graduate students who desire a teaching experience should attend trainings as well to learn the expectations and opportunities in the department.

Waiver of Fees

The matriculation and infrastructure/technology support fees are waived.