Office of Graduate Studies

Graduate Assistantships  

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a graduate assistantship?
A: Towson University Office of Graduate Studies administers a program offering a limited number of graduate assistantships to help graduate students cover some of their expenses as well as to give them professional experience as they pursue their degree. Three types of graduate assistantships are available:

 Administrative Graduate Assistantship
 Teaching Assistantship
 Research Assistantship

Q: How does a graduate student search and apply for a graduate assistantship?
A: Go to Hire@TU and choose the ‘Students’ link in the right hand column to login. (Students must be admitted and registered for classes).

Students use their Towson University NetID and password to log in to Hire@TU. If you do not know your NetID or password, please contact Student Computing Services at or 410-704-5151.

 After logging in, Students should choose: 1) Jobs 2) Advanced Search 3) Graduate Assistantship 4) Search. This search will find all assistantship positions that are open at that time.

'Students FAQ's' can be found in the left hand column on the Hire@TU page if needed.

Students are also encouraged to contact their program director to inquire about possible assistantship opportunities relative to their field of study and/or various campus departments of interest. Keep in mind, gaining a assistantship position can be quite competitive since there are far more applicants in comparison to positions available, so independent networking is essential.

Q: Where are assistantships available?
A: Each college can award a number of graduate assistantships. Applicants will be placed in their major program if possible. Other positions are available in other academic programs and administrative offices. External assistantships, if applicable, can be arranged at businesses or nonprofit organizations off campus.

Q: What are the responsibilities of a graduate assistant?
A: Graduate assistants are responsible for a variety of activities, including assistance to faculty and administrators, research, and diverse assignments for external employers. Assistants provide appropriate work for the number of hours per week specified in the letter of appointment.

Q: What are the requirements to apply?
A: Graduate student must be:

 Admitted into a graduate program at Towson University
 Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 while enrolled in the program

Q: How many hours must a graduate assistant work each week?
A: Graduate assistants work 10 hours or 20 hours a week, depending on the terms of their contract. With attendance in classes and study, 20 hours is expected to be a full time undertaking. The 10 hours is designed to accommodate special needs of the departments. Graduates assistants must be able to satisfy their graduate assistantship responsibilities to the university without interference from outside employment.

Q: What are the minimum unit requirements per semester?
A: Full-time (20 hours) assistants must register for a minimum of six course units; and half-time (10 hours) assistants must register for at least three course units.

Q: Can unused tuition waiver carry over from one semester to another?
A: Tuition waivers are awarded per semester; unused tuition waiver will not carry over into the proceeding semester.

Q: How are graduate assistants compensated?
A: Based on a 9- month 20-hour position the administrative graduate assistants receive a stipend of $5000. The graduate assistant will also receive a maximum tuition waiver up to 24 credits that will be distributed on a 12 credit per semester basis. A 9-month 10-hr graduate assistant will receive a stipend of $2500 and a maximum tuition waiver up to 12 waiver credits, distributed on a 6 credit per semester basis. Students who are awarded teaching assistantships and research assistantships receive higher stipends. Please see the Graduate Assistantship Handbook for the additional assistantship types and payments.

Please Note: The Graduate Assistantship Program only will pay tuition waiver for degree required courses and prerequisite courses that pertain to the graduate assistant’s degree program.

Q: Are health care benefits or other benefit types tied to a graduate assistantship?
A: The graduate assistantship office does not offer healthcare or retirement benefits to graduate assistants. Students are encouraged to contact the Dowell Health Center for healthcare insurance options.

Q: Is the stipend taxable?
A: Yes, the stipend is considered taxable income. Contact the IRS to determine if tuition waivers are tax-exempt.

Q: Will my assistantship benefits affect my eligibility for student loans and other forms of financial aid?
A: Consult the Financial Aid/Student Loan Adjustment section of the Graduate Assistant Handbook in addition review Towson University’s standard financial aid budget chart:


 For additional information consult the Graduate Assistantship Handbook or the Graduate Assistantship Office at 410- 704- 4484 or via email at Below are the office hours for the Graduate Assistantship Office:

Monday    9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday   9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Thursday  9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Friday       9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Please Note: Students are not allowed to begin work until they have completed the I-9 process with the Department of Human Resources.






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