Graduate Students in the department may be supported in their careers by a limited number of departmental teaching assistantships, typically awarded to M.F.A and Ph.D. students. Students are selected to receive assistantships as they become available and according to departmental needs and other criteria. These include a) the identification of those best qualified to provide a quality experience in the classroom, b) to render financial assistance to recruit top quality applicants into the graduate programs, c) to provide continued support of current graduate students making good progress to degree, and d) to provide students with teaching experience.
Incoming graduate students are automatically considered for a teaching or research assistantship based upon their admission application materials. Returning graduate students with or without a guaranteed multi-year GTA position are reappointed based upon their annual evaluations showing appropriate progress to degree, excellent teaching, and their interest in continuing employment as a GTA. Funding for teaching assistantships is limited, and masters-level applicants rarely receive them, although other support might be offered.
Students who receive a GTA appointment of at least .40 FTE (usually involving responsibility on two courses per semester) receive a monthly stipend and a tuition fee waiver. Lower FTE appointment may be made and these offer tuition waivers proportional to the appointment.