Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are employment opportunities designed to benefit graduate students educationally and professionally. Graduate assistants work a set number of hours per week and, in return, receive tuition remission and a stipend to offset living expenses. 

Graduate Student talking with advisor

Benefits of an Assistantship

Assistantships provide numerous opportunities for growth and development. Graduate assistants are responsible for a variety of activities, including assistance to staff, faculty and administrators, research, teaching and other diverse assignments for external employers. Through their work, graduate assistants:

  • gain further expertise in their field
  • develop their research and pedagogical skills
  • acquire experience in leadership, interpersonal effectiveness and performance evaluation
  • gain academic administrative experience
  • develop collegial collaborations with advisors that may result in joint publications and other professional activities

Skills learned in assistantships prepare students to succeed in corporate, government and nonprofit organizations.

Minimum Qualifications for an Assistantship

In order to be eligible for an assistantship, students must:

  • obtain admission to a graduate degree program at TU with a cummulative GPA of 3.0 or better during the time of application
  • maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 each term in all courses taken for graduate credit during the assistantship
  • register for courses during every academic term of the assistantship 

Types of Assistantships

There are four categories of assistantships available: Graduate Assistants (GA), Teaching Assistants (TA), Research Assistants (RA) and Doctoral Scholars. Compensation for assistantships varies by category.

20-hour position Stipend PER academic year
Graduate Assistant $12,000
Master’s RA/TA $12,000
Doctoral RA/TA $16,000
Doctoral Scholar $35,000

20-hour assistants must register for at least 6 credits per term and are eligible for up to 12 credits of tuition remission per term. Please refer to the GA Handbook for additional details.

10-hour position Stipend PER academic year
Graduate Assistant $6,000
Master’s RA/TA $6,000
Doctoral RA/TA $8,000

10-hour assistants must register for at least three credits per term and are eligible for up to 6 credits of tuition remission per term. Please refer to the GA Handbook for additional details.

External Graduate Assistantships

Some graduate programs offer external graduate assistantships to help defray the cost of advanced study. Developed in partnership with the greater Towson community, the external graduate assistantship program leverages opportunities in business, government, industry and education.

External graduate assistants may be employed for 10 to 20 hours per week, on either an individual term or 12-month basis. Hiring organizations are expected to provide their graduate assistants with meaningful, relevant work, as well as cover the costs of graduate tuition, a stipend and an administrative fee.

External assistantships are not available for all programs; to find out if your program offers external assistantships, please contact your program director. 

Applying for an Assistantship

Assistantships are available in many departments across campus. Handshake is the first place to look for  job opportunities throughout the university. You must be enrolled in courses before your Handshake account can be activated. If you're enrolled in courses and your NetID is not allowing access, reach out to the Career Center . Once your account is established, you may search for 'Graduate Assistant' in the search bar.   Go to Handshake FAQ's for more details if needed.

If you are not yet enrolled in courses or don't have an active Handshake account, you can go to the right-hand column of the Graduate Assistantships page to search for graduate assistantship opportunities; from there, reach out directly to the hiring manager or department on the job posting. 


Out-of-state and International students with assistantships  receive in-state tuition rates. A graduate student who receives a 20 hour, 9-month assistantship receives a stipend and a tuition waiver up to 24 units that will be distributed on a 12 unit per semester basis. A graduate student who receives a 10 hour, 9 month assistantship receives a stipend and a maximum tuition waiver up to 12 units that will be distributed on a 6 unit per semester basis. Fees are not covered. Tuition waivers are awarded per semester. Unused tuition waivers will not carry over into the following semester nor will students be reimbursed for the unused portion.

Please see the Graduate Assistantship Handbook for the additional assistantship types and payments.

  • The Graduate Assistantship Program only will pay a tuition waiver for degree required courses and prerequisite courses that pertain to the graduate assistant’s degree program.
  • The graduate assistantship office does not offer  retirement benefits to graduate assistants.
  • Students are encouraged to contact the Student Health Center for healthcare insurance options. Some assistantships offer healthcare benefits - check with your supervisor to confirm whether or not this option is available to you.
  • The stipend is considered taxable income. It is best to visit the IRS website to determine if tuition waivers are tax-exempt. Students are not allowed to begin work until they have completed the I-9 process with the TU Department of Human Resources.
  • To determine whether your assistantship benefits affect your eligibility for student loans and other forms of financial aid, please consult TU's Financial Aid web page.

Hiring Department Forms

Now available in Graduate Studies section of the Forms Repository 

Summer Registration: March 11
Summer GA Start Date: May 28

Contact Information

Graduate Assistantship Office

Administration Bld.
Room 301

Monday -  Friday 
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.