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Assistantships and Employment

Employment versus Financial Aid

The School of Architecture does not offer financial aid. For financial aid, see the University's Financial Aid webpage. The School of Architecture offers employment in the form of assistantships and hourly positions. The School offers a limited number of assistantships to new M. Arch. II students based on the strength of their applications and their standing in the applicant pool; however, these students must still apply for placement to determine their best assistantship role among available positions. (The School also offers a limited number of recruiting fellowships sponsored by the state chapters of the AIA and other benefactors.) The number of assistantships available is limited by the School of Architecture's budget in a given year; fellowships are limited by the amount and timing of funds; hourly positions depend on the budget and School employment needs. No assistantships or fellowships extend beyond the number of semesters offered in the official award letter; all are limited in time and none renew automatically.  

Graduate Assistantships

Assistantships are employment where a full-time graduate student serves the School of Architecture as a graduate teaching assistant (GTA), graduate research assistant (GRA), or graduate administrative assistant (GAA) in return for a paycheck and tuition credit. See the Graduate School's Graduate School's Student Employment/Graduate Assistantships webpage.   

Application Process and Timing. Assistantships are for one year and follow the academic calendar. Applications are requested one time per year, during the late spring or early summer—probably in May—before the start of the next academic year. At this time, a call for applications is sent by email to all registered graduate students with a list of available positions. Under normal circumstances, no positions will be offered or available after positions are awarded until the next call for applications, in the next summer, in advance of the next academic year.  

Qualifications. Full-time graduate students (i.e., minimum enrollment of 9 credit hours) in good academic standing (i.e., GPA 3.0 and above) are eligible for consideration. For School of Architecture assistantships, the primary considerations for appointment are 1) academic performance for continuing students or applicant ranking for new students, and 2) fitness, experience, or other qualifications for the employment role.    

Employment Period. The employment period is August 15 to May 15. Graduate Assistants work on the same schedule as faculty, including term breaks (but not official holidays). See the Graduate Assistantships, Holiday Leave policy.   

Payroll Paperwork. Assistants must complete employment paperwork on campus and no later than August 15. Please see or contact Michelle McLane, Student Services Coordinator, for more information. 

Responsibilities. Graduate assistants (GAs) serve faculty and the School of Architecture as teaching, research, and administrative assistants. GAs in architecture are required to work an average of 10 hours per week, for a total of 200 hours per semester. Given the required 15-credit hour workload in the Master of Architecture program, M. Arch. students are limited to a "1/4 time" assistantship, with maximum of 10 hours per week. See the Enrollment Limits policy and chart and the Maximum Work Hours policy. Assistants cannot be scheduled for more than 10 hours per week, but must account for 200 hours of work per semester. Assistants must keep a current timesheet and work log, and must be prepared to give a copy of this to their primary supervisor, student services coordinator, or department head upon request. Also see the "Aspire" program requirement below. 

"Aspire for Graduate Students" Training. Effective Academic Year 2014-15, all graduate assistants are required to complete an "Aspire for Graduate Students" session by December 2014. "Aspire for Graduate Students" is a comprehensive program that provides a dialogue-based educational session focusing on sexual violence prevention in adherence with Title IX guidelines, alcohol and other drug misuse, mental health, and campus resources. Graduate students will learn about beneficial personal health resources and also how to respond to and seek professional help for their peers and the undergraduates with whom they work. The program is administered by the Student Health Services, Division of Student Affairs, Healthy Campus initiative. The director is Crystal Burnette ( 

Off-Campus Assistantships. Assistantships are employment related to the needs of the School, its programs, and its faculty. The Clemson campus, since it is the hub of School activities and has more students in residence, has more employment needs than our smaller off-campus centers. It is therefore our policy to limit assistantships to no more than two students at our off-campus centers. Because assistantships may not be deferred, if there are more than three students awarded assistantships who are slated to study at the same off-campus center, it may be the case that someone (based on rankings and other considerations) awarded an assistantship will be asked to defer their off-campus study to another semester or forfeit their assistantship for that semester.  

International Students. International students must have a high level of English language ability to qualify for most assistantships; teaching, administrative, and research assistants all need a high level of English language proficiency. International students employed in labs must also have the requisite skills. See the International Student Employment, Graduate Assistantship policy.  

Tuition/Fees. Students with assistantships pay fees but no tuition. See the Graduate School Tuition & Fees webpage.

Renumeration. Graduate assistants are paid. The pay is sometimes referred to as a "stipend." See the Graduate School's Student Employment/Graduate Assistantships webpage.    

Renewal. Assistantships are for one year only and do not automatically renew. Even if your financial aid account shows an assistantship as continuing, this is due to a lag in the accounting process—assistantships do not automatically renew. However, all registered graduate students may apply for an assistantship in the annual call for applications, and the applications of students previously awarded an assistantship who have performed their duties well will be considered.  

Termination. Assistants may be terminated for not carrying out assistantship responsibilities, including not working the required 10 hours per week, and will be required to pay the balance of remitted tuition. See the Graduate Assistants, Termination for Cause policy. Assistants are required to maintain good academic standing; students on academic probation (i.e., with a GPA below 3.0) will not be eligible for an assistantship, and GAs placed on academic probation after the fall semester will lose their assistantship for the spring semester. See the Termination for Academic Deficiency policy.    

Graduate School Policies. For all Graduate School policies related to assistantships, see the Graduate School's Financial Policies webpage.

Hourly Employment

For some needs and special projects, the School will employ students on an hourly basis. Hourly employees are limited to 10 hours per week in accordance with the Enrollment Limits policy and chart and the Maximum Work Hours policy.

Graduate School Policies. The following Graduate School policies apply to hourly employment:

Hourly Employment policy

Hours of Employment, Maximum. See Maximum Work Hours policy for M. Arch. students above. 

International Student Employment, General

International Student Employment, Hourly On-Campus

International Student Employment, Hourly Off-Campus