Graduate Financial Assistance


Appointment Standards (Conditions)

  • Graduate assistants are granted partial remission of academic and other fees and enjoy some benefits provided for University faculty and staff.

  • Research assistantships are provided from the major advisor’s grants.

  • Partial or in some cases full TA’s may be provided by the department.

Hours of Work

  • Detailed in the letter of offer. 

  • Average work effort for a .5 FTE assistantship is 20 hours per week on research other than thesis or dissertation research.

  • Holidays (spring break, fall break, Christmas holidays, etc.) are granted for graduate assistants; however, the average weekly work effort should still be 20 hours during these periods.

  • American students are limited to 30 hours a week from all jobs on campus during the fall and spring semesters.  International students are prohibited by Federal law (Federal Code CFR 214) from working more than 20 hours per week when school is in session (inclusive of total hours worked from all jobs held by the student on campus).

    • Violation of this hourly limit by the student could lead to loss of future authorization to work in the USA and having to apply for reinstatement of student status. Violation of this hourly limit by the employer could lead to civil monetary fines and up to imprisonment.


  • Fellowships awarded from sources outside the Department may be given to graduate students in addition to any previously promised or negotiated assistantship. 

  • Out-of-state tuition is waived for non-resident students receiving a fellowship, but they pay full in-state tuition fees rather than the reduced rate paid by graduate assistants. 

  • In some cases, the Department may award fellowships under its control in lieu an assistantship. 

  • Several fellowships also are available to graduate students through the Graduate School and through the College of Agriculture, Forestry & Life Sciences.  Deadlines for applying for these fellowships are usually in February. 

Student Hourly Employment

  • If funds are available and the graduate student is enrolled for at least 3 credit hours during fall and spring and at least 1 credit hour during summer sessions, hourly employment is permitted in place of or in addition to an assistantship.  As stated above, American students are limited to 30 hours a week from all jobs on campus during fall and spring semesters, and by Federal Code 214, International students are limited to 20 hours per week.  Therefore, foreign students on half-time (20-hour) assistantships cannot work any additional hours.