Graduate assistantships come in a variety of forms -- teaching, research, or administrative -- depending on the student's abilities as well as on the resources and needs of the academic departments. They are awarded with respect to the student's field of study and are competitive, given to applicants with stronger records who will best meet the department's needs. All awards are recommended by the department and college and made through the Office of the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies. Continuation of assistantships will be determined by the department and college and will be contingent upon the student maintaining an acceptable grade record and making satisfactory progress toward the degree. Performance in the assistantship and the availability of funds are also criteria for continuation.
Applicants request consideration for an assistantship on the graduate application for admission form. Because the graduate program faculty and department recommend assistantship appointments, students who want further information about eligibility and the types of assistantships should contact the academic department concerned.
Only individuals who have been offered graduate admission, and who register for full-time status, are eligible for assistantships. In some cases, funding may be late to develop; in other cases, one may have been placed on a waiting list for an assistantship. If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend that you apply for need-based or non-need-based loans or work-study in a timely fashion, before waiting to learn for sure about the assistantship award.
The stipends offered vary widely depending on qualifications and the student's academic program. Academic year assistantship stipends at the master's level in 2009-2010 ranged from $6,000 to $25,000 (full-time rate, academic year). Some students, especially doctoral students, may also receive summer support earning an additional stipend. UMass Dartmouth's graduate assistantships that extend from half-time to full-time are accompanied by a full waiver of tuition, and a full, partial or no reduction of the Curriculum Support Fee dependent upon the terms of the appointment. Graduate assistants pay the same fees that others pay.
A full-time graduate assistant is required to work 20 hours per week for the assistantship; part-time assistantships require a minimum of 10 hours of work per week.