Process to get Graduate Assistantship in a Grad school at US?

I plan to do Masters in a STEM field in the US next year. However, I will face issues financing my education. According to my research, graduate assistantships provide fee waiver along with a source of income to the students. 

Can you guide me with the process of applying for graduate assistantships or TA/RAships. How to ensure selection, any tips or things I ought to know?


4 Answers

  • MS
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    This varies quite a bit by university, and even by programs within the same universities.  You should contact the programs you are considering to learn about how one applies for these positions and how such decisions are made.  There are some programs (many in the STEM fields) that provide assistantships to all graduate students, although these offerings are more common in doctoral programs.  Other programs have few, if any, assistantships and priority is given to students already in the program.  It can also be the case that students can receive assistantships in other offices and programs on a campus though. Some of our graduate students have assistantships in our career services, women's center, tutoring center, disability services, and other offices.  

  • df
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    1 be in contact with your potential thesis advisor before applying 

    2 usually applications for GTA is done at the same time you apply to the program

  • 1 month ago

    Study the schools' websites. A department might have only 1 or 2 RAs or TAs per year. Many are federally funded & ONLY US citizens can be hired. IF other funding is available & they can hire a foreign student as RA or TA, the best foreign student accepted is the one who will be considered. E.g. some professors have research grants which include funds for an assistant, but the professor will choose one of students, so you might not be considered until your second year, get to know professors, prove you have what it takes to do the necessary work on their particular research project. 

    You might pay tuition at in-state rates instead of out-of-state/foreign student rates, but you still pay tuition, fees, living expenses. No RA or TA position will cover all school or living expenses! It might reduce school costs some, and might pay enough for a decent portion of living expenses, not all. You still need money, and prove you (& your parents) have sufficient funds for all school + living expenses + return transportation to your country of citizenship to apply for student visa. 

  • 1 month ago

    you apply to target Unis first and then financial aid ... usually, such assistantships are 1) given to the best students AFTER their first year in program, and 2) the tuition waiver is limited in amount (especially at public universities where funding from state legislatures defrays part of tuition).  there is little assurance you will get such an assistantship before completing your first year, however, the financial aid process for foreign students may result in sufficient funds to tide you over as long as you have SOME of the needed monies.  [If you have almost no funds you can use for this, you need to look for scholarships reserved for foreign students ... these seem to be more common at private universities] -- grampa [married 33 years to Uni Professor]

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