Assistantships @ MTU

What are Assistantships?

  • An assistantship includes a stipend, and a proportional amount of tuition and academic fees for full-time enrollment.
  • Non-degree seeking students are not eligible to receive assistantships.
  • For more information please refer to our Policies and Procedures for Assistantships page.

Assistantship Types -

#1 Teaching Assistantships (GTA, GTI) -

  • Teaching assistantships are awarded by the academic department requiring instructional services.
  • GTAs assist faculty members in teaching.
  • GTIs have full responsibility for the course(s) they are assigned to teach.
  • Appointments are usually for two semesters of the academic year.
  • International students whose first language is not English must take the language assessment before beginning a GTA or GTI assignment.

#2 Research Assistantships (GRA, GA) -

  • Research assistantships are awarded by the professor/program supervising the research activity. 
    • and are usually associated with a specific research grant, contract, or internally supported research project
  • Appointments are usually for the academic year, but frequently includes the summer session.
  • Time devoted to the research activity is is expected to exceed the stated work expectations in cases where the research is related to the student’s thesis or dissertation,
    • the additional time is to meet requirements for research credits in which the student is enrolled.
  • Coding indicates external support (GRA) or internal support (GA).

#3 Administrative Assistantships (GADE, GADI) -

  • Administrative assistantships are awarded by the programs to students who are given administrative duties
    • such as administrative office support, computer support or web page design.
  • Coding indicates external support (GADE) or internal support (GADI).

Enrollment Requirement -

  • All supported students (including partially supported students) must be enrolled full-time.
  • Students are responsible for paying for any credits over the tuition cap for the program that you enroll for
    • as well as for student voted fees, and any remaining balance of the tuition and fee charges if partially supported.
  • The credits required for full-time status may include research credits, graduate, audited, PE, ESL and undergraduate courses.

Additional Employment -

  • Students who accept additional employment may find it difficult to make good progress toward their degree.
  • Failure to make good progress may result in a loss of support in the future.
  • Students should consult with their advisor, and should ensure that the additional employment will not impede progress toward their degree.
    • Advisors will typically approve requests in cases in which the student’s education will be enhanced through the additional employment.

Who awards assistantships?

  • Graduate Teaching and Research Assistantships are usually awarded through a students’ program department.
  • All departments with graduate programs support students through teaching assistantships.
  • Positions associated with research grants or contracts are available through some programs and research centers.

How do I apply for an assistantship?

Your application for admission also serves as your application for funding. Graduate assistantships are available for each of our graduate programs.
You should follow up with your Graduate Program Director and/or a faculty member if you have additional questions about the availability of funding.

When will I know if I am awarded an assistantship?

  • In general, assistantships are awarded in March and April for the following academic year.
  • Recipients of awards are notified as soon as the awards are made and will receive an offer letter.

Full-Time to Quarter-Time Appointment -

  • Full assistantship appointments are for half-time work (20 hours/week)
    • programs can divide appointments, resulting in three-quarter, one-half, or one-quarter of regular appointments (with proportional adjustments of the stipend, tuition, and fees as shown in the table below).
  • Students’ work load assignments, including teaching preparation and grading of papers, should not exceed the level of their appointments.
  • Pay information: Minimum Stipend Levels are set each academic year.

Assistantship AppointmentStipend SupportWork Expectation   (hrs/week)Percentage of Tuition Supported*
Full Full 20 100
3/4 3/4 15 75
1/2 1/2 10 50
1/4 1/4 5 25
*All students with an assistantship must be enrolled full time. The tuition cap of the graduate program determines the maximum amount of tuition support for a full assistantship. Students on partial support will be funded for a percentage of the tuition cap for their program.

Minimum Stipend Rates -

Stipend Rate CategoriesRates for 2016-17 (per semester)
MS Students
$ 6,564
Incoming or Continuing PhDs Lacking an MS Degree
$ 6,564
Incoming or Continuing PhDs with an MS Degree
$ 7,621
PhDs After Passing Qualifying Exam (with or without MS)
$ 7,957
PhDs After Passing Qualifying and Proposal Defense Exam (with or without MS) $ 8,294
1. Departments or faculty can use funds from external or Michigan Tech Fund sources to provide PhD students with support of up to $41,000 per year and MS students with support of up to $35,000 per year (not including tuition). Support from Michigan Tech Fund sources can also be used to supplement stipends funded from Michigan Tech's General Fund (i.e., GTA stipends).
2. This stipend rate will be used by the Sponsored Programs Office for all PhD students during the preparation of budgets for proposals to external sponsors.
Students on assistantship are paid bi-weekly and students on fellowship are paid monthly.

Note - Please review resources for current students for additional requirements and policies regarding assistantships.

What are Tuition Caps?

  • The tuition cap is the maximum each department will spend on credits/tuition per semester for supported students.
  • Full-time status during the academic year is based on 9 credits. Even though it is possible for a student to enroll in more than 9 credits a semester, most departments will not pay for more than what constitutes full-time.
    • Please refer to the tuition cap document to determine what the maximum is for your department.
  • Supported students who enroll in more credits than allowed by their department's tuition cap are responsible for paying for the extra tuition associated with those credits.

    Contract Termination -

    During the time period when a graduate student is supported by a graduate assistantship, only the dean of the Graduate School can approve a case of mid-contract termination of support.

    References -

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