MA in Applied Sociology graduate assistantships

Overview 

The Sociology Department is typically funded to offer 7-10 students graduate assistantships (GAs) each year. Assistantships, which are for continuing and new students both, are awarded on a twenty-hour or ten-hour basis.

The benefits

An award of an assistantship includes a waiver of the out-of-state portion of tuition. You would still be responsible for paying the in-state tuition, but at a discounted rate. All graduate assistants also receive a yearly stipend, paid bi-weekly, to help fund their education.

  • 20-hour assistantships: 75 percent resident tuition waiver and health insurance premium
  • 10 hour assistantships: 37.5% resident tuition waiver

Work hours

In order to maximize the number of students we can support, the department typically awards more ten-hour assistantships than twenty-hour assistantships.

The work

We try to match the interests of the assistants with those of faculty members. The work assigned to graduate assistants varies greatly; faculty may need a GA for:

  • research assistance
  • help with large classes
  • special projects

Timeline

An assistantship contract is awarded for one year only. It is the department's philosophy to recommend renewal of this contract for a second year (assuming monies are available). This recommendation for renewal presumes an assessment by the Committee on Graduate Studies that the student is making satisfactory progress in the program and has been responsible in carrying out assistantship duties in the first year. Initial decisions on the award of assistantships (both for first year awards and renewals) will normally be made at the time of admissions for the following academic year.  

Requirements

If you receive a graduate assistantship, you are required to:

  • be enrolled for no less than 9 and no more than 12 credit hours per semester
  • have no grades below "B" in coursework for your degree
  • complete at least 9 hours of credit toward your degree requirements each semester

See the Graduate Assistant Policy Handbook for more details.

Assignments 

The Graduate Coordinator determines your assignment and will contact you regarding your assignment no later than the week before classes for each term.  Be sure to contact the faculty member to whom you’ve been assigned immediately, so that you can begin the work.

Read more

Be sure to contact the Graduate Coordinator as soon as possible in the first few weeks of the term if the match is not working.  Since this can involve juggling other students around, use your good judgment if the work relationship is good enough for over a semester. 

Also let the Graduate Coordinator know (an e-mail or written note is helpful) what might interest you for an upcoming semester—perhaps you hope to do research or want the opportunity to teach in a particular area.

Variations between professors

You’ll notice that the expectations vary from professor to professor, depending on the demands upon the professor that semester.  Keep a log if you think you are working more than your 10 or 20 hours per week. 

Variations from one semester to the next

Your graduate assistant assignment the next semester will likely be different—a different class, professor, or project.  Over time, the quantity and quality of the workload evens out because of different assignments.  

Flexibility of work hours and assignments

Generally, the hours required vary from week to week, and month to month.  For example, when assisting with teaching, after assignments come due there is a focused effort to grade, record, and return the assignments to students as soon as possible.  You may also:

  • attend the professor’s undergraduate classes
  • have office hours
  • facilitate discussions

Read more

This depends on your background, the class, and the professor’s needs.  Research assistance tends to vary as well, but more according to any deadlines that the project must meet.  At the end of the semester, you should check into end of semester grading or other deadlines with your professor before you make your travel plans for the holidays.

Professors are generally responsive to necessary absences or to a due date for a graduate class, and will lighten up your load that week if they possibly can. Faculty members are also generally receptive to personal requests for experiences—such as opportunities to:

  • lecture
  • hold office hours
  • learn software relevant to teaching or research

Graduate assistantships outside sociology

Graduate assistantships, typically in student services, are available outside of the department.

Like graduate assistantships through the Department of Sociology, these assistantships include a health insurance premium (for 20-hour assistantships), stipend, and tuition benefit.

However, most of these positions will require a separate application. Other graduate assistantship positions may be advertised through the Graduate College and/or on Jobs for Jacks, the university’s employment database.