We offer graduate assistantships to approximately 32 students in our program, or between 7 and 10 new students each year. Our assistantships provide a full tuition waiver and a stipend of approximately $14,100 per academic year. With the tuition scholarship, stipend, and other resources provided by the school, our financial package approaches $30,000 per year.
Our assistantships are flexible in the duties and work required. Our philosophy is that the graduate assistantships should prepare graduate students to assume the role of a junior, tenure-track faculty member. As such, we offer a variety of opportunities for you to grow as a teacher, scholar, and young professional in the discipline. Each assistant is responsible for two units of work each semester—a “unit” could be teaching a class and/or one of the other opportunities described below.
- Teaching Experiences: Most of our graduate assistants teach two courses per term. To help you grow as a teacher we try to provide a variety of teaching experiences ranging from stand-alone courses like public speaking, interpersonal communication, small group communication, and persuasion, to team teaching (with a faculty member) opportunities in courses like Communication Between Cultures and Research Methods. Students in our program typically graduate with four or five courses on their resume (although we do not require that number--some student opt to teach fewer preps). All graduate students are eligible for summer teaching which serves as additional financial support.
- Administration Experiences: Various graduate students are reassigned from teaching to perform administrative tasks like helping with the basic course, assisting one of our journal editors, and assisting the graduate director with recruiting and managing the graduate program. These experiences are valuable for those who may want to enter into administration at some point. Students who work in administrative roles typically teach one class and do administrative work for the other half of their assistantship duties.
- Research Experiences: Our students engage in a variety of formal (through their assistantship) and informal team research experiences. Several students each year are reassigned from teaching to work as a research assistant for a faculty member. Such experiences often result in collaborative projects that culminate in publications.
Assistantships are available on a merit basis and are awarded competitively by the graduate committee. Only students who are admitted unconditionally are eligible for a graduate assistantship. Students in our program are normally granted aid for 8 semesters or four years assuming adequate progress toward the degree. Depending on the unique situation, a limited amount of adjunct funding may be available for students who seek additional funding beyond the normal 8 semesters. For additional information please see the section on "applying to the program."
| Graduate student Joe Mazer teaches an Undergraduate seminar for
students acting as discussion leaders in COMS 101.